Animation has many related crafts and 3D design and modelmaking is one of them. We are extremely skilled at crafting characters, props and environments with precise and intricate details. We design, build and paint everything from scratch in our fully equipped studio.
When it comes to materials, we love to work with anything and everything – nothing is off the table! Woodwork and plastics, metal and fibreglass, paper and polystyrene, we have a lot of fun experimenting and trying new things. Our versatility helps to discover unique creative ideas. We know every trick in the book and love to make use of a wide range of model making techniques – sculpting, sewing, welding, painting, crafting, casting and everything in between.
Like all of our services, we build things both for our own in-house productions/commissions, or we are hired to create props and models by other studios and production companies.
We are passionate about sustainability. The studio operates with an ongoing ‘recycling/upcycling’ policy which means we retain fabrication materials even after a shoot is finished for re-use elsewhere. If something can be retained and converted for a second life in another guise, we retain it and in storage for a minimum of 12 months. All chemical materials are used with strict health and safety protocols and disposed of responsibly. Anything which needs to be disposed of is sorted by type and sent for recycling.
From concept to model
For any model, miniature, character or sculpture, everything begins with the initial design phase. For each project, we are attentive in translating concept artwork into physical models and will establish appropriate colour schemes and style guides. We take great care in planning out the scale of each prop and character in relation to environments, to achieve an immersive world that you’ll want to explore. Our aim is such that once the camera points at something, you should feel like you’re looking into another world.
We use scrap card to ‘brown box’ designs in rough prototype form. Once proportions are correct, we get building with confidence. We will often try out and test various materials and options when crafting models. We pride ourselves on exhaustive research and development. This allows us to not just find the best visual option, but also means we can quickly work out which materials will be best suited for construction, to ensure models can be filmed, photographed, or animated effectively and economically.
Where necessary, we can adopt a manufacturing mindset to efficiently produce multiples of props or puppet variations. Such as multiple replacement facial expressions for stop motion puppets. We love the detail and pore over the finishing, adding polish, or the imperfections of ageing to add believability.
Model Making Examples
Pilsner Urquell ‘Legends’
(2D Animation, Stop Motion)
A stop-motion world of paper that comes to life inside Pilsner Urquell’s Book of Legends. Drawing on the unique provenance of Pilsen in the Czech Republic, this film tells the story of how the world’s first golden beer was created.