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When Stop Motion met 3D Printing

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Whilst 3D printing technology is a relatively modern concept, stop motion animation has been around for decades. Who would have thought then, that the two would fit together so effortlessly? Of course, when you look at it logistically, it's obvious why 3D printing is such a great tool for creating stop motion video, as the ability to print multiple objects means the same object can be printed over and over again with subtle alterations to give the effect of movement. The only thing holding filmmakers and designers back was probably the fact that 3D printing takes a VERY long time.

The video features several electronic musical instruments being played, with 3D printed objects used to physically represent sound emanating from them

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This has done little to quell the ambitions of the London-based Swiss video artist and director Greg Barth, who has used a completely fresh technique that combines both principles to create a TV ad for the Belgium online electronic music platform, Hello Play, which is unlike anything seen on television before. The video features several electronic musical instruments being played, with 3D printed objects used to physically represent the sound emanating from them. Barth, who has always enjoyed experimenting with new techniques and using surreal visuals to off-set a contemporary aesthetic, printed dozens of objects with hundreds of slight modifications in order to create the unique effect.

Hello Play NYE Promo

Barth is a passionate filmmaker and designer, who has had his work featured on sites such as Rolling Stone, Stereogum and the Huffington Post, and has worked for such established brands as Subway, Microsoft, McDonalds and Sony Music. He said that this new project was “Based on the possibilities and capabilities of 3D printing.” He says of the video that, “This surreal and retro interpretation of electronic music was driven by a concept to create a beat using instruments that glitch and deform according to the sound they produce, creating a visual landscape that reflects the sonic one.” He wanted to “Experiment with 3D printed animation as well as 3D particle and physics simulations, combining them to physically deform electronic music instruments according to the sounds they produce.”

This surreal interpretation of electronic music was driven by a concept to create a beat using instruments that glitch and deform according to the sound they produce” Greg Barth

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The physical deformations he speaks of take the form of an MPC sampler with physically rising sky scrapers of sound, a kick drum that appears to be almost vomiting sound waves, and a bass speaker that virtually crumbles and dances to the music. Barth said that with “The speaker, MPC pad and kick drum being the main actors of the track,” he thought it “Would be great to have them react visually to the music.” All models were printed using EOS 3D printers, and were created after Barth had invested a lot of time and effort into 3D simulation research. Whilst it was a commercial project, it was truly a labour of love for him, and it shows!

Hello Play – Making Of

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