Parker is a chubby bear-type animal who does Parkour. The character was made in Blender, rigged and animated, before being exported as a series of still meshes for 3D printing. I’ve just completed the walk cycle (of six poses), and got them printed by Shapeways. The aim is to see how few distinct models it would take to complete a series of stop motion animation movements: walking, running, jumping, etc.

Six walk cycle poses, 3D printed

3D printed Walk Cycle poses, seen from the front

These prints were an initial test, and it’s revealed a few problems with some of the finer details: the claws are too small, and the tiny feet are useless for balancing the models. I’ve glued the models onto bases to test stop motion animation, but these are pretty distracting, and ruin the nice sense of the character interacting directly with the scene.

I’d like these to be very easy to animate with – the end goal is to offer sets for sale on Shapeways so that anyone can create videos with them. It might be possible to make them bigger so they’d be easier to photograph, and hollow to bring down the printing price. Certainly, the model replacement speeds up the animation process. Here’s a really quick test on my kitchen table, swapping out the models without too much accuracy: