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Bear On Stairs: an amazing 3D printed stop motion animation

We've talked before about how stop motion animators can benefit from 3D printing - films like Coraline and Pirates!

Check out ParaNorman's 3D printed face

The studio that created Coraline is working on another stop-motion animated film, ParaNorman - and, once again, they're using 3D printing techniques to help speed up the long and laborious process of animation.

Laika, the studio, uses computer modelling to create each character's different facial expressions, then has those expressions printed. It's much easier to swap out the almost-identical plastic faces than it would be to model them in clay like in traditional 3D printing, and it creates a much slicker effect, but the animation is still all done by hand.

It's a clever way of using new technology without just giving up on the traditional ways of making an animated movie: personally, we much prefer stop-motion animation to CGI animation, so anything that makes those kinds of movies more viable is fantastic in our book.

Check out images, the trailer, and more info on the amazing-looking ParaNorman at its official website, here.

Aardman Animations uses 3D printer for Pirates!

Think of Aardman Animations and, chances are, you'll think of Plasticine. But for the company's new feature, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, they used a 3D printer to create some of their effects.

Not everything, of course; a lot of the character sculpting was still done by hand. Aardman's team of animators used a 3D printer to create the mouths for the characters, since so many different shapes and expressions were needed - some characters needed up to 257 mouths in order to accurately look like they were talking. Sculpting all of those by hand would've been a mammoth undertaking, so a 3D printer was used to speed the process up a bit.

More and more often now we're seeing 3D printers being used to create characters for stop motion animations - we've talked before about how the makers of Coraline 3D printed different heads, with different expressions, for their characters. It's cool to see that Aardman are getting on board with the new technology, too.

Check out the Pirates! production Tumblr here.