Rehovot, Israel – In Coraline, the extraordinary new animated feature film, a young girl unlocks a mysterious door and enters into an exciting alternate reality. Truth be told, her magical journey began long before she opened that door – when the film’s creative team broke new ground in animation by applying 3-D printing technology from Objet Geometries Ltd to create many of the magical stop-motion animations of Coraline’s characters and sets.
The filmmakers used three of the cutting-edge 3-D printing systems from Objet – the Eden260™, Eden500V™ and Connex500™ – in the development and production of the film. Thousands of high-quality 3-D models, ranging from facial expressions to doorknobs and food spreads, were printed using the Objet systems, which easily transform CAD (computer-aided design) drawings into high-quality models in record time and with extreme precision.
Firsts in Movie Magic Made Possible by Objet
From the opening scene through the entire film, movie-goers see startling animations stemming from Objet technology, particularly in the fluid, life-like facial animation of the characters. Talented artists at LAIKA used Objet systems to create hundreds of models with individual facial expressions that were exchanged on puppet characters to create the illusion of all manner of actions and emotions, from talking and smiling to laughing and crying.
Marking the first use of 3D printed replacement faces in a feature-length film, the character of Coraline had the potential to exhibit well over 208,000 facial expressions. By comparison, the main character in the 1993 stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas – by the same director – had but 800 possible expressions, and was considered a breakthrough in animation in its day.
Objet was also utilized in the creation of, among other elements, prop silverware, doorknobs, door hinges and food spreads, and made possible the first-ever sequence of computer aided stop-motion morphing, a special effect that seamlessly transforms one image into another. In another first, the technology also enabled a fire to be created with physical, replaceable models, and allowed the film-makers to generate vast numbers of near-identical characters, eliminating the need for computer duplication.
Groundbreaking Technology for a Groundbreaking Film
One of the key advantages available to the filmmakers in using Objet technology was the capability to print multiple materials, each with different mechanical and physical properties, simultaneously. Objet’s Connex500™ is the only 3D printing system on the market that can do this. In addition, Objet’s patented PolyJet™ and PolyJet Matrix™ technologies enabled the jetting of photopolymer materials in ultra-thin layers that were cured immediately with UV light, speeding up the production process and offering unmatchable levels of detail.
“Companies in diverse industries around the globe have embraced our advanced rapid prototyping technology for the unique effectiveness it demonstrates in a very wide range of applications,” said Adina Shorr, Objet’s CEO. “And now we are thrilled to see the impact of our systems in a larger-than-life format. Coraline provides dramatic evidence that our technology can support and foster the most creative ideas.”
Coraline is a Focus Features release of a Focus Features presentation of a LAIKA production in association with Pandemonium. It will be released in theaters nationwide on Friday, Feb. 6th, and it will be viewable in 3-D in some locations. Further details on the movie, including trailers and making-of documentary videos, can be found online at www.coraline.com.