Friday, August 1, 2014

3D Printing!

For the last year I've been working over in New Zealand doing some insane hours, so unfortunately I haven't had as much time as I'd like to animate on the side.  However, the weather here gets pretty hectic, so I've been trying to be creative when I'm stuck inside.  A friend from work introduced me to 3D scanning, and we decided to go halves on a 3D printer not too long ago.  Most of my experiments so far have involved using these gadgets to replicate and customize car parts.  Here is a scan I did of a cracked door handle bezel:

I used a Sense 3D scanner to get the 1:1 dimensions and a rough shape to reference.  From this I could start modeling a replacement.

Once I had a low-res model that matched the size of the original part, I found (after many many failures) that it would print successfully rotated up at an angle.  I extruded some supports from a few edges to prop it up above the build plate.  Here it is in ReplicatorG ready to be printed:

3D printing is surprisingly difficult.  You'd think you could just drop in a model, hit a button, and wait for it to create it.. but there's a lot to it.  Supports are important, and the rotation of the object will make a huge difference.  You even need to decide whether or not it would print the model in pieces to assemble later.  It may come out better if you do that, but experimenting is all part of the fun.

This test print with the low-res geometry turned out really well!  It took a long time but it was worth it.

ReplicatorG adds all these extra supports around the model that are easily broken off when it's finished:

There are still some tweaks I need to do before printing out the high-res version, but now that I have a real, tangible piece I can hold, knowing what changes are needed is so much easier.

Not a bad start!  But you may be thinking, "why doesn't he just buy a new one?"  I'll admit that this method takes a lot of work, and in most cases it would just be easier to buy another.  This piece, however, is for a Toyota Sera, which is so old and rare that Toyota has stopped stocking parts for it.  In a situation like this where replacement pieces aren't readily available, having the ability to recreate or customize is huge, and it makes the whole experience more personal.  Being able to print a door handle bezel may not seem like a big deal, but this makes me very excited for the future!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Animatic from the olden times!

Several eons ago, before the invention of good things, I roughed out a short film idea with 2 lowman rigs.  Today I watched it again and felt inspired to do something with it:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

June 11 Second Club

I'm about to leave the country again and wanted to get in as much personal animation as I could, so I decided to try another 11 Second Club competition. This one was way different, so I had a lot of fun with the idea. Here's the progression from layout to final:

Once the idea was laid out, I roughed in some animation:

The camera angle wasn't working on one of the shots where the other character talks, so I changed it up. I also got a lot of good feedback from a friend, and went further with the animation:

Once I was happy enough with how it was turning out, it was time to render and submit!

Friday, May 31, 2013

11 Second Club - May 2013

After watching from the side-lines as some colleagues entered the 11 second club animation competitions every month, (one even winning!) I decided I had to try it.  My acting experience is really limited, so it was cool to journey into this whole other culture, and I actually came to realize why people love feature animation so much.  You're not just making a character move.. you're giving them life!  During my second week this whole idea hit me and I started seeing this character have personality, and it felt great.  I'm definitely doing this competition again.  Anyway, here's my entry:

Thieves - 11 Second Club Entry - May 2013 from Sam Baker on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Stream of Consciouness

Wow I've been busy!  Almost a year since I've updated this blog, but hey it's been wild.  Unemployed for 8 months and then luckily landed a job up in Toronto, which is finally coming out of the 6 month ice age.  Anywho, this awesome animator named David O'Reilly ( made a 17min long short film called External World, and released all 60 or so character rigs for FREE!  I just HAD to do something with them, so after work, in the 4 hours of sanity I had left in the day, I made new little animations.  Hopefully I'll continue this for a while.  Here's part 1!

Stream of Consciousness from Sam Baker on Vimeo.

Monday, July 23, 2012


It's been a while!  Over a year and no posts.  I've been busy, but also slacking, so here's a new one!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Motorcycle in a Tunnel

It's been an incredibly long time since I've touched this blog, but I HAVE been doing stuff, really! Here's something new. Unfinished, not sure what I'll do with it, but it's something to work on when I'm not making money :D

At the end there's supposed to be an explosion that thrusts the transport up when it slams into the bike, but I think I'll just cut the bike in half. Pieces flying around are hot.