Cutting costs and improving quality are things that smaller studios try to do to compete with larger stop motion companies like Aardman and Laika. Much like any industry that uses automation, it is a sad reality that comes with trying to increase profits for the sake of keeping a company alive for the next project. There are definitely philosophical points a person could make about it, particularly how 3D printing and digitally creating characters goes against the grain of hand crafted traditions. This is what separates business from the hobby world and there are good reasons to take both approaches.

Motion Foundry Studios is working on an ambitious feature film called Saurus City that has some high grade voice acting and a small team of dedicated artists. To lower costs and speed up production they created hybrid puppets that use both 3-D printed heads with replacement mouths and hand made bodies and armatures. They had their parts printed by GoEngineer, a company that has high end 3D printers capable of printing parts in color. The are one of the few companies that have experience making stop motion parts specifically for the industry. If you'd like to learn more about them you can visit their site by clicking here.

Is this what the future of humanity holds for us? If you haven't seen a Randy Boyum film before, they are all similarly funny and unexpected. Check out some behind the scenes photos, links and videos of his over on Facebook at this link over here. Or subscribe to his YouTube channel over here and click the bell to get notified of his newest creations.

Have you ever tried to make clothing for a stop motion puppet? This video from Sideshow is a mini-goldmine detailing how to create a pattern and sew something tailored to your own character.

Randy

Long time Stop Motion Magic/Animate Clay site member and contributor Randy Boyum got some major props for his work in clay animation.   9news.com, the NBC affiliate out of Denver, posted a terrific article on April 15 (Click here) that contains an interview with Randy where he discusses his 40-year fascination with working with clay, and some of his best productions. Randy also talks a bit about his upcoming short, which we’re all anxious to see.   There are also some links provided to some of his terrific stop motion shorts.

So congratulations to Randy for this well-deserved recognition!

The Shadow King was fleshed out as an idea to be made fully in stop motion by Henry Selick. There were lots of artists who brought the main characters to life in animation tests. Storyboards were created, set designs sketched out, voice acting recorded - and negotiations with Travis Knight and Disney to see what could be done. Laika studios had to pull the plug due to financing and other issues. It is one of those projects that could have been great, if only fate didn't have its way.