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The black technology behind film and television dramas: Research on the application of 3D printing in the film and television industry

Many filming tasks for film and television dramas require special customization, and the quantities are generally relatively small. This demand is naturally consistent with the rapid prototyping of small batches of non-standard parts that 3D printing is good at. Therefore, the application of 3D printing in film and television is developing very rapidly, and there are many cases at home and abroad. From Hollywood to Bollywood, from fantasy dramas to cartoons, 3D printing has gradually penetrated into all aspects of the film and television industry.
The application of 3D printing in film and television is mainly related to props, especially visual-related special effects. It is connected to the artists of the crew, especially “fuhuadao”, which means costumes, makeup and props. Provides various design, modeling and manufacturing services through digital technologies such as 3D scanning, 3D modeling and 3D printing. As long as the model is drawn, it can help film and television producers produce the desired effects faster and cheaper, and create special effects that are more faithful to the original intention of the original work.
(1) Direct prop production
Traditional props mostly need to be made by hand, using mud, wood, foam, silicone and other materials to shape them. These props often have rough surfaces, simple shapes, few details, and long time periods. Especially for science fiction or fantasy movies, they is difficult to satisfy close-ups. The attention to detail of the lens. Using 3D printing to directly make props, first of all, the production process is short, which can save a lot of time for the crew. Secondly, there is almost no complexity limit. The finished product is suitable for close-up shooting, can more perfectly restore the requirements of the artist and director, and improves the visual effect. and texture.
(2) Indirect production of props
In some cases, the props directly produced by 3D printing cannot meet the requirements of the film crew, such as cost factors, such as the need for small batch reproduction, or the need for special material properties; at this time, 3D printing can be used as a tool to make prototypes or Mold types are then used to make props using the mold-turning process. In this way, it can not only absorb the characteristics of strong modeling ability and short time cycle of 3D printing, but also give full play to the advantages of traditional technology in terms of cost, quantity and performance.
(3) Character modeling and makeup
Film and television shootings often require special looks, such as the timeless classic Journey to the West, which was made under extremely difficult conditions. The hair on Monkey King’s face was all glued, and Zhu Bajie’s figure and face were all made of silicone clothes and masks. Now, with the combination of 3D scanning and 3D printing, it is easy to collect the actor’s whole body data and use the body data as a basis to make various body-fitting shapes; liberate creativity through digitalization, and then use 3D printing to The output not only makes the shape more realistic and has lens effects, but also fits the body better, and actors and stars can also suffer less. Without a digital solution, we can only rely on applying glue to the body to take impressions. This is such a long and painful process. Based on this progress alone, 3D scanning + 3D printing have great potential in the film and television industry.
(4) Clothing and accessories
Clothing and clothing are also a type of props in a broad sense. The special thing is that clothing has wearable requirements. Usually, the production requires a combination of the three methods mentioned above, both direct and indirect, and also needs to be combined with 3D scanning to create shapes. The movie “Legend of the Gods” has a Douban score of 2.9 and was criticized as a bad movie. Famous stylist Zhang Shuping vented his anger on 3D printing, complaining about Fan Bingbing’s “chicken stand” head. 3D printing is labor-intensive and time-consuming! This is actually an injustice to 3D printing. What Zhang Shuping actually needs is a complete set of digital modeling and manufacturing solutions, not just the gimmick of 3D printing.
5) Concept model
3D printing is best at turning concepts into reality. For designers, when a concept is proposed, whether it is to upgrade and improve it, or to communicate to the crew, compared with having only a 2D floor plan or 3D computer drawing and having a 3D printed physical object, their touch and efficiency are heavenly. Very different. Whether it’s a new world or a new fantasy creature, making 3D printed concept models can make overall communication simpler and more direct.
6) Miniature model
Miniature models are suitable for shooting close-ups or bird’s-eye shots in film and television. The close-up details give people a real feeling, and the bird’s-eye view of the overall situation gives people a macroscopic experience. 3D printed miniature models have a high degree of restoration, especially for close-ups, through physical special effects and Digital special effects, Long focus and short focus are used alternately to make the entire video more textured.
Nobita’s room in “Doraemon: Walk With Me” is a miniature model, which uses 3D printed models, cabinets, chairs and other physical objects to improve the viewing quality.
(7) Scenario design/destructive model
It is more difficult, time-consuming, laborious and expensive to produce catastrophic scenes such as explosions, earthquakes, fires, etc. in movies, and in many cases, it is impossible to actually destroy the original props. Even if computer technology is very advanced now, it is easy to create realistic disasters simply by relying on digital special effects. The scene is still not easy. At this time, 3D printing can come in to help create realistic destructive models. After the production is completed, whether it is flooded, blasted or blown by wind, the difficulty of production can be greatly reduced.
A classic example of a destructive model is the classic Aston Martin DB5 used in “Skyfall”. At the end of the movie, the car needed to explode. If a real car were used, it would be too expensive. The program team finally used 18 parts to 3D print an Aston Martin. In the end, it can be said that the effect of the real car was completely achieved.
(8) Digital special effects related
There is a certain amount of competition between digital special effects and physical special effects, but it is more of a symbiotic and co-prosperous relationship. Some people may be curious, what role can 3D printing play in digital special effects? First of all, digital special effects are based on digital models, which creates a good foundation for 3D printing models. The applications of 3D printing in digital special effects include: 1. Prototyping to improve the efficiency of digital special effects. It is difficult to produce digital special effects solely by imagination. Having physical prototypes of characters or models of scenes can speed up the process of digital special effects. 2. .Connect physical special effects and digital special effects to make movie scenes more textured.
(9) Stop motion animation
Stop-motion animation is an ancient art form that creates animation effects by taking photos one by one. The principle is simple, and it has natural advantages for 3D printing. The posture can be accurately adjusted through the software, and the output animation is smoother. In fact, there are already many animations shot in this way. For example, the more famous one is Hollywood’s “Ghost Mom,” Coraline, each bishop has more than 800 heads, and the heroine alone has more than 200,000 expressions; Monkey.com has also participated in the production of the domestic stop-motion animated short film “Abandoned Baby” .
(10) Develop and produce derivatives
The derivatives market for Chinese film and television dramas is still in a relatively primitive state; in Hollywood, the value generated by derivatives far exceeds the movie box office, while in China it is just the opposite, with movie box office accounting for the majority, and derivatives in many cases being just a fraction or even a gimmick. ;
3D printing can help change this situation, especially if digital models are used in the early stages. Subsequent derivatives can be quickly developed through 3D printing. The picture below is of the Castle Coke Cup developed by Mohou.com for the movie “Warcraft.”.
In most cases, 3D printing cannot be used as a completely independent tool, but as a link in a digital solution. Of course, we are also gratified to see that 3D printing is gradually being used as a key tool in the production of animated blockbusters and playing a major role. As 3D printing becomes more mature and cheaper, its application in the film and television industries will inevitably become more widespread.

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