Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Rapid Prototyping comes to the movies

Rapid Prototyping has changed the way that movies are made. Objet has found a niche market, where big name movies including Iron Man 2, Avatar and Coraline have all required Objet Rapid Prototyping during the development phase of filming.

Legacy Effects is a special effects company employed to produce many of the pieces for Iron Man 2 and Avatar. It all starts with concept artists creating 3D images which are turned into CAD files which are then built using rapid protoyping techniques such as Objet printing. This technique is used to build models from scaled down maquettes, to full size parts.

The development process has been accelerated with the help of rapid prototyping techniques. First used in the production of Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World, 3D printing has since come into its own in the world of special effects.

For Iron Man 2 the team looked to Objet for its rapid production capabilities, taking on a range of printers, including an Eden printer as used at RapidPro, to make sure the action-packed movie was never short of parts that were subjected to some extreme conditions on set.

Avatar also used Objet printing. A spokesperson for Objet Geometrics said: “For Avatar, James Cameron relied on Objet-created models to plan how his characters fit in Pandora’s lush environment. With 3D printing, the production company Legacy Effects made detailed figurines of each blue-skinned humanoid to test lighting for every camera shot in the movie. The company also used the technology to create a Transformer-like, walking battle armor complete with cockpit.”

Objet also provided technology to another film – Coraline, which was nominated for Best Animated Feature. LAIKA productions turned to Objet in the creation of “thousands of models ranging from cars to door knobs and food spreads”. Objet technology also allowed the character Coraline to display more than 208,000 facial expressions – considered as a break through of sorts in stop-motion animation.

If Rapid Prototyping and Objet printing can do all this at the movies, imagine what it could do for your business!

For enquiries regarding Objet printing and Rapid Prototyping, contact RapidPro on 1300 559 454.