Written, directed, produced, and edited by Joseph Campo
3D animation design by FRANK Design
3D models created by Mcor
Director of photography: Angus Mitchell
The Mcor printer creates 3d models by cutting, pasting, and layering pieces of paper. This pretty much changes the game for 3D modelling, as up until now, there was no financially viable 3D modelling solution. Now, universities, small businesses, and even individuals can create their own 3D models.
Our concept was simple: we wanted to see what an animation looked like if it were designed using 3d animation software, printed out frame by frame, photographed one frame at a time, and then edited together as a stop motion piece. In essence, we’d be creating a digital 3d animation that actually moved in the real world.
We approached Stephen Shaw from FRANK Design, and his team created the animation that would then be converted into the printer’s design format. There was a healthy amount of testing involved, because the printer does have restrictions on how the model can be shaped.
The second step of the process is the one highlighted in the video itself: Mcor printed out the frames of the animation. We saved on paper by printing multiple frames within the same ream of paper.
Angus and I put an orange baseboard on a rotating tripod, and we stuck a pin through it from underneath, so we could attach each model, one by one. Instead of taking a photo of each model, we opted to record video of the model turning 45%, so that I could choose the frame that best suited the spot in the animation, a bit of a safeguard against inadvertently placing any given model slightly off.
And the rest is just editing. There are two parts to the animation. The first is the closeup of the models replaced one after another on the orange baseboard. The second is 4 frames of the butterfly’s wings beating, that I used in succession, pulling out the background and then rotating in the edit in order to create flight.
Vimeo video link: http://vimeo.com/15844037
For the most part, I’m pleased with how it came out. It was my very first stop motion project, so I learned a lot, and most of the video isn’t even stop motion animation! I do see there being potential for exploring this style of stop motion in the future, though perhaps more for specialised sequences when something can’t quite be accomplished using a more traditional route.