Stop motion animation created with 3D printing

Creative agency DBLG has created a stop-motion animation by 3D printing every single model for each frame.

Creative agency DBLG has created a stop-motion animation by 3D printing every single model for each frame.

(Credit: DBLG)

Stop motion is a pretty time consuming form of animation. It involves creating 3D models and positioning them for every single frame of animation, taking a still image, and then repositioning the models all over again. Typically poseable models are used, although we've seen all kinds, including Lego, laser-cut wood, Perler beads and light from an iPad.

This is the first we've seen that uses 3D printing, though. For Bear on Stairs, rather than building and posing models, creative agency DBLG printed out each frame of a bear's movements as it climbs a staircase.

"DBLG's in-house studio projects are a platform for us to experiment with creative ideas and above all have fun," DBLG wrote on its website. "For The Stairs Project we wanted to explore the use of stop frame animation with 3D printing."

First, the team created a polygonal model of a bear and a small staircase using 3D modelling software. Then the bear and stairs were animated. The team selected 50 stills to be 3D printed, and these 50 models formed the basis of the animation, which is, as described on the tin, pretty straightforward: a bear climbing stairs in an endless loop.

Although it may not be quite as labour-intensive — the printer does all the hard work — it's still not something that can be done overnight. The team's 3D printer took around four weeks to build all the bears — a time frame that seems enormous when you consider that it only produced a few seconds of video.

The end product is impressive, though. Take a look for yourself in the video below.

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