3D Printing in Film, Sculpture, and Special Effects | Alliance Studios

I moved to LA to get into the makeup effects industry. This was a time when the movie The Thing had come out already, American Warewolf in London, The Howling These were huge innovations in makeup FX. I was lucky enough to get in with Stan Winston Studios when I first got here. I worked for him for a few months, I went to Rick Baker’s as a sculptor for Harry and the Hendersons. And I think, it wasn’t until shortly after that I met Eddie. He was, what, 17? And I was introduced to him-

Here’s this kid, he’s really amazing, he’s really talented, and wanted to meet you So I met with him, and Instantly we hit it off. Yeah, we’ve been friends ever since, and he taught me. Steve had this completely unique way of doing things. At the time everything was kind of humanoid, It was what kind of, we call kind of a “safe design”.  It was monsters paint jobs, Purples. Fleshy tones.

Everything was kind of done in a  very kind of boring fashion And then Steve shows up, Monster maker contest with this hermit crab inspired Sea creature amphibian paint job with this samurai kilt underneath, and everybody was like: “Oh my God, it’s beautiful, it’s designed well, it’s something we’ve never seen before” It hit all those elements Everything we did in the industry was started with clay. We do maquettes, we just do our final products always done in clay.

And since I slowly moved out of the makeup effects arena, and started getting more into creating statues for video games, The first one I did was for Blizzard back in 2004, and it wasn’t until 2010 when they came to me, and they had this giant robot guy named Jim Raynor, a guy in the robot suit and they show me the 3D model and say, we want you to make this. At that point it was totally different from what i’ve done before. Before everything was done traditionally, and now i’ve got this giant robot. And so that’s the first time that I really got into digital. Digital printing is a huge part of what we do now. Digital printing is obviously catching on.  It was something relatively new a few years ago, and now it’s everywhere.

Every studio has a 3D printer, and is doing something because it just makes so much more sense, it’s so much easier And its 1:1 You design stuff in a computer digitally, and you get exactly what you want. The first printer we ever bought was a Makerbot, but it was too small, and we needed something bigger, we needed solutions So we started researching into larger printers, and we looked at every company. I think we were on a tour of Blizzard Studios, when Brian “Oh you should look at the Raise3D” And I go “Oh, what is that” It’s the first time I’ve ever heard of it And sure enough, we contacted John over at Raise3D, he had a printer over here ASAP Rolled it out of the truck, plugged it in, and that was pretty much history. You know with the Raise3D, obviously a bigger build space, faster, and also high resolution We’re actually able to actually, for the most part, take some of the parts that we’ve done for the big life-size statues print them, take them to the back and do our regular finishing on them, and you really can’t tell the difference between that, and the parts that we actually farm out to the big printing companies. And you do one job, and it pays for the printer. Oh yeah, price.  That was a huge thing, because the ones we were looking at were 2, 3 times more than a Raise3D printer. And then when the Raise3D printer- Ok how much does this cost, and like: Ok, so I guess this is a no brainier. Yeah, we’ll buy 2. Exactly. So we were only going to buy one, but we were able to afford 2 of them So that was a huge huge advantage that Raise3D has, and since then, recommended it to many people, and that’s spread on. As artists and being creative every day, we think of unique ways of utilizing this technology and the machinery, and we can do things that we’ve never done before.

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