The goal of this project was to produce a short (30 seconds or less) stop-motion film. In order to do this, we had to plan out a story, design and 3D print our protagonist, laser-cut and build our props, use arduino to make light effects, and film using HUE stop-motion animation.
We started by brainstorming ideas for a movie using a Lego StoryStarter kit. We decided to make a movie about Sandy, an Australian robot who loves the Iditarod (an Alsaskan dogsled race), but lacks snow. Sandy decides to build a dogsled pulled by dingos and ride across the dry Australian desert. We planned out the story and ideas for the sled on paper, then began designing Sandy.
We designed Sandy on 3D modeling software using 123D design, then attempted to 3D print him. Printing Sandy proved to be the biggest challenge of the entire project. The first time we tried to print him, the pieces were too close together, and would not stick to the base. We decided to reset and try again. The second time, the skirt on the head and body got mangled and had to be removed during printing, and yet again, the support material would not stick to the base. The third time, we increased the temperature of the extruder from 210 degrees to the recommended 220 degrees fahrenheit, and the print worked better. One of the arms and one of the legs would not stick to the base, but we decided to let the print continue, and get as much as we could out of it. This time, we successfully printed the torso, head, one arm, and one leg. On our fourth print, we printed only the missing arm and leg with no problems.
To build the sled dogs necessary to pull Sandy's sled, we decided to laser cut four dogs. We designed the dogs in Adobe Illustrator and gave each one a unique different coat. We ran the dogs through the laser cutter twice: first as a raster to establish shading and second as a vector cut to cut out the dogs. After successfully cutting the dogs, we needed a way to stand them up. We cut out cardboard platforms and slotted the dogs' feet into the bases giving them the stability necessary to stand upright. Finally, we added felt collars to give the dogs a little style.
We wanted to show Sandy building the sled himslef, so we laser-cut the sled in pieces: two rails, a base, and a handle. The pieces fit together with simple slots that Sandy could put together during the movie using his arduino powered "blow torch". The sled was laser cut from 1/8" acrylic and slotted together. The sled was eventually attached to the dogs using string as the harnesses.
In order for Sandy to put together the sled, he needed some kind of tool. We decided to use an LED to represent a blowtorch that Sandy could use to weld together the sled parts. We designed a small circuit powered by an Arduino that controlled a yellow LED. The code was such that when a light sensor was covered, the LED turned on. The light sensor functioned as a button with which we controlled the LED.
The movie was filmed with HUE stop motion animation. We took a series of photos of our Sandy in action to create the film. We had some problems with the camera, but by refreshing it we were able to start it up again.
The movie was filmed with HUE stop motion animation. It opens with Sandy reading a book about the Iditerod that inpsires him to start his own dogsled team. Sandy's only probmel is that he lives in the desert in Australia. He gathers his dogs together and builds a sled. In the final scene, Sandy sleds across the Australian desert.