Turn Limitation into Intention, How the 3d printing in Bone Mother created a unique look

Don’t let limitations slow you down when you can intentionally use them.


Over the next week, we’re featuring exclusive Making-of segments on our film Bone Mother. First up is about 3d printing Baba Yaga and Vlad’s face!


Baba Yaga’s design required her to be old, really old, so old that she forgot how old long ago. So wrinkles in her skin were a necessity.


A lot of studios and film makers have worked very hard to ensure a smooth skin texture in their faces, some through pretty toxic processes. The FDM type of 3d printers seem to have a limit in how small they can make the layers, so instead of fighting the printers' natural behaviour, the stepping was enhanced.


Not only with a thicker print resolution, but more importantly the 3d model was placed lying down. The print lines trace across her face, creating a topographical feeling. The world is in her skin.

3d printed stop motion replacement face of Baba Yaga from the animation film Bone Mother
3d printed stop motion replacement face of Baba Yaga

But for the vain Vlad, he needed to be as smooth as possible. So his faces were placed standing up. Although it’s actually the same print resolution between the two characters, Vlad’s faces are smoother because the layers are stacked

cross section of a 3d printed stop motion replacement face of Vlad the Impaler from the animated film Bone Mother
Cross section of a 3d printed replacement face of Vlad

By simply changing the direction of the model on the print bed, two unique characters were created that still felt like they belonged in the same world and it all came from the limitation of the technology.


P.S. Happy Halloween!


  • Dale Hayward

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