3D printing and rapid prototyping are buzzwords for the world to take interest in as these technologies are gaining traction faster than anyone had expected. Be it preservation of invaluable artworks or creating new masterpieces- rapid prototyping and 3D printing have proven to be exceptional tools that ensure precision, intricacy, detailing and durability all at a low cost and less time. Some recent feats of 3D printing include recreating some intricate glass sculptures by the glass sculptors of Germany- the Blashka family.
The recreation of the sculptures was closest to the original and is going to prove valuable in future. New art can also be created without much hassle with the help of rapid prototyping. A sculpture of Madonna was revealed at a beach in Rio de Janeiro to raise awareness about throwing away of recyclable plastic bottles. The filament of this 3D printed sculpture came from none other than melted plastic bottles.
However, the recent application of 3D printing was seen at the bus stands of Toronto, Canada. The film Kubo and the Two Strings is already creating ripples around the world. 3D printing took the promotion of the film up by a notch, here’s how!
In case the film enthusiast in you did not quite detect the film on your radar, Kubo and the Two Strings boasts very original and entertaining filmmaking. It happens to be one of the most original films of our time. Laika Studios, a critically acclaimed animation studio has produced this work of art. The plot revolves around a young Japanese boy, Kubo who is gifted in the art of magical feats. Kubo weaves his magic with the help of origami and a special, two stringed instrument much like a shamisen. This very thrilling and original movie is great for film buffs of all ages, which is why it has pretty much taken the box office by storm. Critics seem to love this film, as well as the internet as it boasts a 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Kubo the movie is pretty much being showered with praise and positive reviews.
Origami Birds: in 3D!
Hollywood is already a big fan of rapid prototyping and 3D printing technologies. The film industry is one of the prominent clients of rapid prototyping as the technology is increasingly making a name for itself as a developing tool for oddly shaped and intricate props. More and more film directors are using 3D printed props and other materials for their high precision movies. The film’s marketing department was not to remain far behind.
Released in August and a huge hit since then, animation film Kubo and the Two Strings ran a marketing campaign that caught the attention of the general public. As part of its marketing campaign, the bus stops Astral and Isobar in downtown Toronto, Canada were decorated & covered with innumerable 3D printed origami birds. These birds served as an eye catching marketing strategy which none of the passersby or those waiting at the bus station could miss.
Kubo and the Two Strings is a movie that relies on 3D printing as well. Laika Studios has a long standing reputation for making some animated masterpieces that were based on some of the most unique animation techniques. These techniques involve manufacturing some revolutionary tools such as rapid prototyping. These guys have a technical Oscar in their bag for pioneering 3D printing in animation, which they received earlier this year. For one, they have fully 3D printed the lead character for Kubo and the Two Strings. They even rapid prototyped a stop motion skeleton type puppet that stands sixteen feet tall. More rapid prototyping and 3D printing was used for some characters in order to create their expressions. Up to a hundred and thirty different faces were made to capture a single facial reaction- all with the help of 3D printing.
The marketing teams from Vizeum and Isobar were heavily inspired to use 3D printing in their innovative marketing campaign from Laika Studio’s internal technical use of the technology. According to Steve DiLorenzo, the executive creative director of Isobar, it made perfect sense to use the same manufacturing technology for their origami bird based marketing campaign. The same way that Laika had re-imagined the dated stop motion animated medium, the marketers wanted to rethink the design of vintage bus stops. They wanted to employ rapid prototyping and 3D printing in order to break through the confines of this medium.
Toronto based 3D printing company 3DKhacktory worked towards making their fantastic, almost whimsical idea of an origami display into a reality. Along with Isobar, they created a display of origami birds that had fifteen origami type birds that were to fly out of the poster of the film. Each origami bird was constructed with wingspans ranging from seven to twelve and fifteen inches. The material used for 3D printing of the birds was hard composite plastic. Then they were spray-painted by hand meticulously.
According to DiLorenzo, the origami birds are built with great strength so that they are strong enough to remain intact in harsh natural climate. Even though they look fragile in terms of design, these birds are very strong. For the purpose of the promotion, they just had to be in case of sudden tornado, or as the executive jokingly added, if one of the birds flew off. Along with the Astral Media team, the birds were hoisted at the bus stops. They had fifteen pieces of rebar that looked like they were coming out from behind the lead character in the film poster. The process was very collaborative in order to ensure that the execution was just as the team had wanted it to be, along with the intricate technical details- added DiLorenzo.
The bus stations were also fitted with twenty inch screens that had an interactive game for users- Kubo’s own magical quest. According to the marketers, this is all part of the newest trends in advertising that requires interactive features and great attention to detail. The technology of rapid prototyping is a wonderful combination of all of these things and for sure will be used more in this capacity. So get your ticket soon and be sure to take the bus!
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