November 9, 2010

It's not easy being small...

I am fascinated by the tiny things in life. IGI member Una Gildea told me about Aardman's new short, Dot.

It all started with Professor Daniel Fletcher from University of California, Berkley. He had an idea that now helps save lives. They took a microscope, a Nokia phone, and put them together. It's called it the CellScope. It's a super-portable microscope imaging device, perfect for diagnosing diseases in remote areas in the developing world. Images of cell samples can be captured, and sent by MMS anywhere in the world for instant analysis.

This device was the inspiration for a teeny-tiny film created by Ed Patterson and Will Studd of Sumo Science at Aardman. It stars a 9mm girl called Dot as she struggles through a microscopic world. Dot is the smallest-ever stop-motion animated character in a film, certified by The Guinness Book of World Records. Shooting only four seconds of footage per day, Aardman worked painstakingly on Dot.

The team made 50 versions of her, each Dot model was then turned into a 3D render before being printed using an innovative Rapid Prototyping 3D printing technology that uses a computer-generated model of an object or character and then prints it in full 3D using a plastic resin material. The Models were so tiny that the animator in charge of painting her couldn’t speak or even breathe as he applied the brushstrokes to her 9mm frame!

Hope you enjoy!

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