3D Printing Goes Hollywood

When Lakia, the animation studio behind such hits as The Boxtrolls, Paranorman, and the Oscar-nominated Coraline, began production on their latest feature, a samurai adventure called Kubo and the Two Strings, they turned to the 3D printing company Stratasys to help the streamline the exhaustive stop-motion animation process.┬áStratasys ultimately helped create the individual puppets that are posed and photographed to create the illusion of life in the finished product. They include the three-foot Moonbeast, the villain of the piece, which is made from 850 individual exterior pieces and 250 internal structural pieces. The star, Kubo, has a choice of 66,000 facial pieces that offer a bewildering 22 million possible expressions. Watching the trailer though, it’s hard to believe they aren’t real.