3D Printers

A Combination of Disney, Google and MakerBot’s 3D Printed Magic Result in A New Love Story

There’s a new Disney animated short film that will — probably — melt your hearts, if the trailer is anything to go by anyway. I say probably, because if you have a similar disposition to my son when it comes to anything even bordering on romantic, you’ll run screaming from the room. “Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story” has been produced by Disney Interactive, and is premiering on Google Play this week. As if Google and Disney collaborating on this stop-motion animated film — well timed for Valentine’s Day — wasn’t high-profile enough, you just know, with it featuring here, that there is some 3D printing joining the party too.

Jenny Howard, MakerBot’s Director of PR, dropped me a line last night to let me know that they contributed 3D printed props for the new short film specifically a 3D printed train and crane that feature throughout. Indeed, small, medium and large-scale versions of the train and several cranes were 3D printed on a MakerBot Replicator 2. Subsequently, the Disney Interactive team used the 3D printed models interchangeably on various sets of the film without any noticeable difference to the viewer.

‘Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story’ is a story of adventure and love in miniature scale, filmed entirely using practical stop motion. Based on the popular Vinylmation franchise of collectible figures, the film follows Blank, a Vinylmation mistakenly left unpainted at the factory, as he sets out to find his identity, and his true love. Throughout his adventures, Blank encounters a series of challenges, which teach him about individuality and self-expression, ultimately helping him find himself along the way. A metaphor for anyone and everyone at the start of their life. The designers created an inventive-yet-polished animation aesthetic by pairing traditional stop-motion techniques with cutting-edge technologies such as 3D printing, which allowed the creators to customize set pieces and replicate them with 100% quality control and precision, even when varying size and scale.

“3D printing has long been used in movies and with special effects,” noted Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot.  “But it is not often that 3D printed items are used in the final production film.  It’s pretty exciting to have Disney recognize the versatility and quality of 3D printed props made on a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer and use them in their final animated short film.”

Disney painted and embellished the 3D printed trains and cranes prior to filming, and the results showcase how 3D printed objects can easily replace more costly, labour-intensive models and props.  With a few artistic tweaks and a little bit of paint, MakerBot-printed objects are camera ready!

As mentioned, you can down load the film via Google Play, or for anyone in California or Florida on February 14th, Disney will screen Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood and Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Orlando.

For a sneak peak, check out the trailer below and let us know if you melt or scream!!