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3D printers enter the film industry

27 September 2012

3D printers enter the film industry

3D printed items have been featuring in films for longer than you would have thought.

Weta Workshop, one of the design companies behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy, has been using a 3D printer to produce props for several years.

The production company behind ParaNorman, a new children's animated film, have gone one step further and used 3D printing to create the facial expressions of their main character.

A library of over 8,800 3D printed faces with individual expressions was created for the film. Used in a variety of sequences, these faces resulted in around 1.5 million different expressions.

Over 3.77 tonnes of printer powder were used by the four 3D printers in order to create this incredible range of faces and the process took a total of 572 days.

Brian McLean, a creative supervisor of replacement animation and engineering at Laika (the production company behind the film), told the BBC: "The 3D Printers are the connection between computers and stop-motion.

"Cutting-edge computer-generated starts it, and hand-made practicality - the signature of the stop-motion art form - finishes it."

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