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3D Systems' Full Color Printers Bring LAIKA's ParaNorman to Life

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Press release from the issuing company

3D Systems Corporation announced today that the company's ZPrinter 650 is the first ever full color 3D printer used in a stop-motion animated film, ParaNorman, produced by Portland, Oregon based animation studio LAIKA. Known for integrating innovation with the hand-created artistry of the stop motion technique, LAIKA utilized 3D printing to create over 31,000 individual, color facial parts for production.

3D Systems' ZPrinter technology allowed LAIKA animators to quickly and accurately print hundreds of facial features and expressions for each of the film's 62 characters.

"ParaNorman is an enduring and emotional story that is driven by strong characters and exquisite designs," says Brian McLean, LAIKA's Creative Supervisor of Replacement Animation and Engineering. "In order for us to give the characters the facial expressions and emotional range needed to support such a wonderful story, we needed to try something unprecedented. By using a color 3D printer we were not only able to push facial performance to new levels, but we were also able to achieve a level of detail and subtlety in characters' faces that a few short years ago would have seemed impossible. This technology, combined with a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication from talented artists and technicians, has created something truly unique and beautiful."

"We are absolutely thrilled to partner with the ground breaking team at LAIKA as they utilize our full color 3D printing technology to revolutionize storytelling," said Cathy Lewis, Vice President of Global Marketing for 3D Systems. "We look forward to ParaNorman being a great success with global audiences."

ParaNorman premieres nationwide in theatres August 17, 2012.

3D Systems
Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced today that the company's ZPrinter(R)
650 is the first ever full color 3D printer used in a stop-motion
animated film, ParaNorman, produced by Portland, Oregon based animation
studio LAIKA. Known for integrating innovation with the hand-created
artistry of the stop motion technique, LAIKA utilized 3D printing to
create over 31,000 individual, color facial parts for production.

3D Systems' ZPrinter technology allowed LAIKA animators to quickly and
accurately print hundreds of facial features and expressions for each
of the film's 62 characters.

"ParaNorman is an enduring and emotional story that is driven by strong
characters and exquisite designs," says Brian McLean, LAIKA's Creative
Supervisor of Replacement Animation and Engineering. "In order for us
to give the characters the facial expressions and emotional range
needed to support such a wonderful story, we needed to try something
unprecedented. By using a color 3D printer we were not only able to
push facial performance to new levels, but we were also able to achieve
a level of detail and subtlety in characters' faces that a few short
years ago would have seemed impossible. This technology, combined with
a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication from talented artists
and technicians, has created something truly unique and beautiful."

"We are absolutely thrilled to partner with the ground breaking team at
LAIKA as they utilize our full color 3D printing technology to
revolutionize storytelling," said Cathy Lewis, Vice President of Global
Marketing for 3D Systems. "We look forward to ParaNorman being a great
success with global audiences."

ParaNorman premieres nationwide in theatres August 17, 2012.

 

Discussion

By Peter Crean on Aug 11, 2012

Printing and animation – a surprising and recurring partnership? These animators are very good at appropriating technology. A lot of echoes for me in this piece. 3D systems was featured in the drupa 2008 Xerox booth because of their use of the Xerox solid ink print heads in many of their products. Fifty years ago, Disney used three Xerox Model D units in their “production” line making cels for their animated features – from “1001 Dalmatians”through “Littlest Mermaid” - copying the animators frame-by-frame pencil sketches to celluloid sheets as colored lines to be hand painted and imaged on their multi-plane camera – many tens of thousands of cels per feature. Ten years ago I helped Disney bring one unit back on line to produce iconic cels for animation aficionados from the original sketches – Disney holds on to more their copyrights forever.

And a shout out to Cathy Lewis at 3D Systems whose printing roots include VP of the production color business when iGen launched.

 

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