Stop motion animated film ParaNorman taps 3D printers to create 31,000 unique facial features

Take one look at the upcoming 3D stop motion film ParaNorman and it's easy to see that moviegoers are in for some stunning visuals come August 17th. Once you realize the contribution of 3D printing to the film's creation, however, you're likely to appreciate the movie on an entirely new level. In order to portray a wide array of emotions on the faces of the film's 62 characters, animation studio LAIKA tapped 3D Systems and their ZPrinter 650 to generate over 31,000 individual facial parts for inclusion in the production -- talk about working overtime. According to Brian McLean of LAIKA, "By using a color 3D printer we were not only able to push facial performance to new levels, but we were also able to achieve a level of detail and subtlety in characters' faces that a few short years ago would have seemed impossible." If you've yet to catch a preview of ParaNorman, just hop the break to see some of the printed handiwork.

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3D Systems' Full Color Printers Bring LAIKA's ParaNorman to Life

ROCK HILL, S.C., Aug. 8, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced today that the company's ZPrinter(R) 650 is the first ever full color 3D printer used in a stop-motion animated film, ParaNorman, produced by Portland, Oregon based animation studio LAIKA. Known for integrating innovation with the hand-created artistry of the stop motion technique, LAIKA utilized 3D printing to create over 31,000 individual, color facial parts for production.

3D Systems' ZPrinter technology allowed LAIKA animators to quickly and accurately print hundreds of facial features and expressions for each of the film's 62 characters.

"ParaNorman is an enduring and emotional story that is driven by strong characters and exquisite designs," says Brian McLean, LAIKA's Creative Supervisor of Replacement Animation and Engineering. "In order for us to give the characters the facial expressions and emotional range needed to support such a wonderful story, we needed to try something unprecedented. By using a color 3D printer we were not only able to push facial performance to new levels, but we were also able to achieve a level of detail and subtlety in characters' faces that a few short years ago would have seemed impossible. This technology, combined with a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication from talented artists and technicians, has created something truly unique and beautiful."

"We are absolutely thrilled to partner with the ground breaking team at LAIKA as they utilize our full color 3D printing technology to revolutionize storytelling," said Cathy Lewis, Vice President of Global Marketing for 3D Systems. "We look forward to ParaNorman being a great success with global audiences."

ParaNorman premieres nationwide in theatres August 17, 2012.

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Stop motion animated film ParaNorman taps 3D printers to create 31,000 unique facial features