Coraline, the animated fantasy movie directed by Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas) stars the The Connex500 is a 3-D printer by Objet, kinda.
From the opening scene through the entire film, movie-goers see startling animations stemming from Objet technology, particularly in the fluid facial animation of the characters. Talented artists at LAIKA used Objet systems to create hundreds of models with individual facial expressions that were exchanged on puppet characters to create the illusion of all manner of actions and emotions, from talking and smiling to
laughing and crying.
Marking the first use of 3-D printed replacement faces in a feature-length film, the character of Coraline had the potential to exhibit well over 208,000 facial expressions. By comparison, the main character in the 1993 stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas, by the same director, had but 800 possible expressions, and was considered a breakthrough in animation in its day.
This may not be the first time 3D printers have been used to produce an animation, but what is really interesting about the Connex500 used is that it has multiple printer heads, so it can build an object out of any of Objet’s eight basic plastic materials which range from rigid to flexible, and include clear, white, and black options — or combine them to create an infinite number of composites. Objet’s Connex500 is the only 3-D printing system on the market that can do this.
Above is an example of the printable materials.
Check out the trailer and screening times here.
Iron Man 2 suit printed to fit using Objet 3d PolyJet™ technology.
As we’ve seen recently with the animated feature Coraline and also in the world of Biomechanics, creative explorations are becoming a reality at an ever-increasing pace thanks to Objet 3d printers. When you see a film like Iron Man 2, you expect to be dazzled by all kinds of fancy techno innovations. Much of this emerges from CG wizardry, yet a surprising amount is more real than you may think. A true live-action hero, Robert Downey Jr is kitted out using the “Print to Wear” approach enabled by Legacy Effects and their Objet Eden 3D Printing System. A distinct advantage of this technology is the level of detail as well as the remarkably fine profiles that can be achieved.
Multiple modelling materials jet simultaneously, with the unique result being a smooth, clean, highly detailed and most importantly accurate 3-dimensional model. These are then coated and painted, all ready to be strapped right onto the fragile organic actor. We’ve certainly come a long way from the days when underpants on the outside was all it took to transform an everyday Joe into the latest superhero.
Head to Ecouterre for more images and a quick video interview with Jason Lopes from Legacy Effects.
PS – I’m Guy, I’ve just joined the Ponoko Blog team and will formally introduce myself soon…
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology’s Biorobotics and Biomechanics Lab is working with 3D printers from Objet to create robots that move like living creatures. A recent video features the lab’s founder Dr. Alon Wolf speaking about his work in the field, the benefits of rapid manufacturing to the lab’s research, and a robotic snake made from 3D printed parts.
The robots developed by the BRML are intended for defense department search and rescue missions and medical applications such as minimally invasive surgery. 3D printer developer and manufacturer Objet was previously mentioned in connection with the animated film Coraline. They offer seven different printers and will be present at this year’s rapid manufacturing trade show RAPID2009 May 1—14 in Schaumburg, IL. (I’ll be doing some posts on site at RAPID as long as they let me in on a press pass.)