How 3D printing has changed stop-motion animation

How 3D printing changed the face of ‘ParaNorman’

The technology is not too dissimilar from the budget 3D printers making their ways into the homes and garages of hobbyists. Nor, for that matter, is it far-removed from more traditional inkjet printing, spraying down a minute amount of resin (15 microns, according to McLean’s numbers), layer by layer, which is cured by the machine’s built-in UV lights. Laika put the technology to work printing “replacement faces” that could be attached to the head of a character, giving young Coraline a grand total of around 200,000 expressions. It’s an impressive number, particularly when placed up against the 800 or so expressions Jack Skellington was capable of achieving in “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” By “ParaNorman,” however, the studio had rapid prototyping down to a science, with the movie’s fuzzy-haired protagonist (that’s 275 tightly bundled strands) able to express himself a staggering 1.5 million ways, according to Laika’s number crunching

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