ParaNorman is a film from 2012 made by the same folks as Coraline. Like Coraline, the film is composed almost entirely of stop-motion animation, using color 3D printers to make many of the replacement parts for the character faces. Still, it also used a ton of hand-building, particularly for the props, set dressing, and vividly-detailed landscapes. Check out this all-too-brief featurette on the hands that made the world of ParaNorman. So many model houses. So many tiny props.
Tested visits Sideshow Collectibles to see how they sculpt and paint their realistic statues of comic book characters in this video. It’s not quite props, but the look at the tools and techniques they use is pretty fascinating.
Here is a very cool video showing how Frank Ippolito made a life-sized dragon. Capcom wanted the front portion of one of their video game monsters for their booth at the E3 gaming conference, so they turned to sculptor and special effects artist Ippolito to make it happen. Tested shot this video, which shows all the stages of the build, from planning to creating the structure, and from sculpting the foam to coating it with a hard shell. If you ever wanted to create your own life-size dragon, this video is a good place to start.
The Stan Winston School continues to post previews of their lessons offered at their online school. This series for building a life-size T-Rex head out of foam looks incredibly promising.
Here’s a great clip from a “Making of” video on the original The Matrix from 1999. Did it really come out that long ago? The film uses a great blend of practical effects and CGI, and this clip focuses on one sequence in particular that uses a whole blend of techniques.