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Thesis Blog

This page is intended to document the progress of my thesis, both the written component and the visual component.

3D Printed Face Progression

Here is an example of a replacement face as it progresses from the raw print through clean up, the addition of extra pieces such as the eyes & back magnets, to the painted details. The eyes are inserted separately so they can be animated individually. Clay eyelids will be added so blink cycles can be animated as well as to remove the surpirsed expression on the puppet’s face.

3D printed face progression

Puppets & Replacement Faces

These are the initial 3D printed replacement faces and puppets for the film. For most of the faces, clay eyelids will be added so the characters do not have such a surpised look on their faces. The necks for the characters still need to be trimmed a bit to fit the bodies better.

Initial puppets and replcement faces

Set Diagrams - July 23, 2017

Set Diagram 1 Set Diagram 2

Face Models - June 22, 2017

face models

Outline - June 22, 2017 (revised)

  1. Introduction
    1. What is Phenomenology & how does it relate to film?
    2. What is Stop-Motion Animation?
      1. Define Animation
      2. Define Stop-Motion animation
        1. How is it different from traditional (2D) & 3D animation?
        2. What is its appeal?
        3. Example: Aardmann Studios - Morph
    3. What is replacement animation?
      1. Define repalcement animaiton
        1. Basic Advantages
        2. Basic Drawbacks
      2. Examples>/li>
        1. George Pal
        2. Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas
    4. What is 3D Printing?
      1. Define 3D Printing / explain process in general
      2. Why use 3D Printing for repalcement animation?
  2. How do films that use 3D Printing differ from films made with more traditional methods?
    1. What is 3D Printing’s influence on Rapid Prototyping?
    2. For the Animator
    3. For the Audience/Viewer
    4. Examples
      1. Laika Studios
      2. Anomalisa
  3. Absurdist Films & Dream Sequences
    1. What is the nature of absurdist films and how are dream sequences used in film?
    2. Examples of dream sequences in film / TV
      1. The Science of Sleep - Michel Gondry 2006
      2. Brazil - Terry Gilliam 1985
      3. Coupling, “Circus if the Epidurals” (episode), BBC
      4. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 1947 & maybe 2013
      5. The Fisher King - Terry Gilliam 1991
  4. “Ask A Simple Question” film
    1. Premise of the film
  5. Conclusion

Outline - June 11, 2017

  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions
    1. What is Stop-Motion Animation?
      1. Define Animation
      2. Define Stop-MOtion animation
        1. How is it different from traditional (2D) & 3D animation?
        2. What is its appeal?
    2. What is replacement animation?
      1. Define repalcement animaiton
        1. Basic Advantages
        2. Basic Drawbacks
    3. What is 3D Printing?
      1. Define 3D Printing / explain process in general
      2. Why use 3D Printing for repalcement animation?
    4. What is Phenomenology?
    5. What is Motion Media Design?
  3. How do films that use 3D Printing differ from films made with more traditional methods?
    1. What is 3D Printing’s influence on Rapid Prototyping?
    2. For the Animator
    3. For the Audience/Viewer
  4. Case study: Anomalisa
  5. “Ask A Simple Question” film
    1. Premise of the film
    2. What is the nature of absurdist films and how are dream sequences used in film?
    3. Examples of dream sequences in film / TV
      1. The Science of Sleep
      2. Brazil
      3. Coupling, “Circus of the Epidurals” (episode), BBC TV
      4. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  6. Conclusion

Thesis Statement - June 11, 2017

Exploring the Phenomenological implications of using 3D printing for rapid prototyping and replacement animation in stop-motion filmmaking.

Thesis Abstract - June 11, 2017

The purpose of this paper is to explore the uses of 3D printing technology as it is applied to stop-motion filmmaking’s use of replacement animation techniques. I intend to do this by looking at the Phenomenological implications of stop-motion and how 3D printing can enhance this and increase the speed and quality of the film’s production.

Stop-motion films are inherently a physical endeavor and this is recognized by the audience, either consciously or unconsciously. This physicality influences how the audience experiences the film, its story, its aesthetics, and its meaning. I will discuss the uses of 3D printing for replacement animation in modern stop-motion productions; how this contributes to the film’s look and feel; and how this influences the audience.

Finally, I will create a absurdist stop-motion film exploring the idea of a day dreaming utilizing a mixture of techniques including 3D printing for set pieces as well as replacement animation for the lip-syncing of the characters’ dialogue. In addition, this film will contain multiple layers of filmmaking techniques including live action footage, physical sets, doll animation, the use of replacement animation, and the use of day dreaming sequences to escape the primary plot of the film.

Some questions I will explore are: how does 3D printing improve replacement animation? How is it being used today? And how does it impact the film and the audience’s experience of the film?