Chase Me: Digital Artist 3D Printed Over 2,500 Pieces and Sets for Stunning Stop-Motion Animated Film

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chase-me-girlWe showed you the trailer last year, and now we’re back, showing you the amazing final product: French digital artist Gilles-Alexandre Deschaud spent over two years creating an incredibly ambitious short film, using only 3D printed parts. Talk about creativity! His stop-motion animation film, Chase Me, premiered at the prestigious Annecy International Animation Festival last June, and was also selected for the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival. All of the 3D printed parts for the film were created using a Form 1+ 3D printer from Formlabs.

The story starts with a young girl singing and playing the ukulele, walking through a magical forest. But it’s not as simple as it may sound: a monster evolves from her shadow, and continues evolving, as it chases her through the woods. In a film that is literally titled Chase Me, I do think that if I were the protagonist, I might be running a little bit faster, considering the many fantastic and frightening shapes the monster takes as it stalks the girl through the trees, but that’s just me.

Deschaud says, “Chase Me is a story about embracing your fears and turning them into something beautiful.”

chase-me-3d-printed-partsSo, what all goes into making a three-minute-long, completely 3D printed stop-motion video? Brace yourself for the answer:

  • Two total years of work
  • Four months of CG animation
  • Ten months of nonstop 3D printing (roughly 6,000 hours!)
  • 80 liters of resin
  • 2,500 3D prints (300 of which were painted)
  • 12 different 3D printed sets

Every single frame of the film was designed by Deschaud in CG first, before it was processed into 3D prints. It was then recreated through stop-motion animation, at 15 frames per second, to achieve the final result. The set and characters were 3D printed in 100 micron resolution, and beyond removal of the support material, there was not much finishing required.

Bigger pieces, such as the massive tree in the forest, were printed in 22 separate parts, and later assembled. Sets like the waterfall needed to 3D printed frame by frame, in order to give them the illusion of movement. The 3D print of the young girl used for wide angles was 3 cm high, while the prints used for her close-up shots went up to 7 cm.

chase_me_girl-jpg-1354x0_q80Deschaud has been working in the VFX industry as a digital artist and animator for nearly a decade. He loves using mixed media for his storytelling, and started out combining 3D animation with a combination of 2D mediums, like painting and drawing. His experimentation with new styles led him to the innovative world of 3D printing, and he began using it in his video creations.

The Form 1+, which Deschaud used to make Chase Me, was introduced in 2014 by the Boston-based 3D printer manufacturer, and uses SLA to create high-resolution objects from digital designs.

Formlabs co-founder Max Lobovsky said, “Users like Gilles-Alexandre, who are doing incredible things with the Formlabs 3D printer, inspire us to keep doing what we do. Chase Me is beautiful and powerfully moving, both in aesthetics and its attention to detail.”

chase-me-titleThis isn’t the first time we’ve seen 3D printing used to help create a stop-motion video: it’s been utilized in stop-motion ads, and even stop-motion movies. But I find the amount of time and effort that went into Chase Me to be simply astonishing.

hand-placing-chase-me-girlIf you’d like to own a unique part of this project, just visit Deschaud’s website: you can donate whatever you want, shipping paid separately, and you will receive one of the 3D printed pieces used to create the film! All of the available pieces are different, and most are numbered, corresponding to the frame of the film it’s in. This also helps support him financially as he works on making his next short film.

Take a look at the stunning 3D printed stop-motion animated film Chase Me:

 

Discuss in the 3D Printed Stop Motion Film forum at 3DPB.com.

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