This amazing stop motion film was made using 200 3D printed frogs

Mar 16, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This amazing stop motion film was made using 200 3D printed frogs

Mar 16, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Recently, I’ve been looking into picking up a resin 3D printer. Finally, yesterday, I caved and ordered myself an Anycubic Photon Mono, which should be arriving tomorrow. In preparation for its arrival, I spent yesterday evening searching YouTube for information about the printer, resin, software, problems I might run into and how to solve them, etc.

And then I stumbled across something very cool. An experimental stop motion film that utilises 200 frogs, 3D printed on the Anycubic Photon Mono X (the big brother to the one I’m getting). It was created by Tom Grigat at TOMs Modelling in Motion and it just looks amazing. He even included some behind the scenes of how it all came together.

When broken down into a simple list, the overall process appears to be quite simple. But resin printing 200 frogs (successfully), figuring out the order of animation for every single one of them, swapping them out and positioning them perfectly from one frame to the next is anything but simple. The basic process overview looks a little something like this…

  • Animate a frog 3D model in Cinema 4D
  • Export every single frame of that animation as a separate STL model file
  • Slice each of those STL models to create printable files
  • Print 200 freaking frogs!
  • Animate them, slowly, painstakingly, one frame at a time

Watching the clips of what went into making the stop motion short is just as fascinating and impressive as the film itself. Animating frogs is a bit of a departure from the stuff Tom usually makes – which is primarily building model vehicles of various sorts (mostly planes) – but it’s not his first stop motion animation. His channel has a few of them for his plane and boat builds. This must add to the build time hugely!

I don’t know if I’ll pursue anything like this once my Photon Mono arrives and I’d hate to think how much it would even cost in resin to do something like this, but it sure is very cool!

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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