The fields of 3D art, 3D graphics, 3D animation, and 3D printing all have a certain degree of overlap. Those within the 3D animation business certainly will have an easier time making a switch over to 3D modeling and 3D printing, than those who have no experience within these fields at all. Because of this, these fields are beginning to converge upon one another, resulting in the creation of some very unique art forms, films, and character animations. Whether it be interesting zoetropes or revolutionary stop motion videos, 3D printing is beginning to bring a creative side out of film production that we have not seen in a long time.
For one young Argentinian woman, named Noelia Perrelli, who is currently living in Melbourne, Australia, 3D printing was just the thing she needed in order to fully show off her creative side.
“Almost two years ago, I decided to learn about Computer Generated Graphics, therefore I enrolled myself in an Advance Diploma of Screen and Media, where I started to use Maya, Mudbox, Photoshop and a bit of After Effects,” Perrelli explained to 3DPrint.com. “My teacher, Keith Hibbert, was the one who told me about the possibilities of 3D printing, and I started to become curious about [the technology].”
At first, Perrelli started to model some objects using AutoDesk Maya and Mudbox, before sending the files to a local library to have them 3D printed. After finding that this process required too much time, she ended up purchasing her own FlashForge Creator Pro. This allowed her to be in control of the process as well as get her work done much more quickly.
While she admits that she still has a lot to learn about 3D printing, Perrelli did utilize her experience to create quite the unique animated film.
“The video was the result of experimenting with 3D printing, 3D modelling, animation, filming and VFX (and a bit of acting!),” Perrelli tells us. “The initial idea was to work with a 3D model, placed in a real footage, to create a visual special effect. I thought that it could be a quite unique concept to create the effect of the plastic dog coming alive, mixing 3D printing and 3D modelling.”
First Perrelli created a simple storyboard where her “artistic modeled” dog took on the part of protagonist. This allowed her to envision a certain style that she wanted inherent within the film. Using AutoDesk Maya and Mudbox, she began modeling her dog in 3D, and once she was satisfied with the results she sent it off to her FlashForge 3D printer to have it printed out.
Because her printer only features a build envelope measuring 14.5 x 15 x 21 cm in dimensions, she had to break her dog down into several pieces, all of which would be assembled when complete. The head was printed as one piece, while the neck and body were broken down into multiple pieces.
“When I designed the dog, I kept in mind that it had to be articulated in order to be animated, but at the same time I wanted a ceramic-like look, as it were a little ceramic sculpture,” Perrelli explained. “I didn´t use any material support at all, and I didn´t do any clean up. I put the pieces together using a bit of wire and glue, as I just wanted to use the dog for the movie.”
It took Perrelli about 25 hours of printing time to completely print out her dog, and 7 hours alone just to print out half of the body at an infill level of 5%. As you can see in the video that Perrelli created, she used a bit of 3D animation, combined with filming of the actual 3D printed dog. At times, however, it is difficult to tell whether or not you are looking at a computer generated animation or the actual 3D printed articulated dog. Perrelli did a phenomenal job at creating this video, albeit it is very short. (see film below)