zapra – LookingOutwards04

Passo Uno (2015) by Krio

Krio is an Italian artist incorporating animatronics into stop motion animation. In his project Passo Uno, he combines 3D printing, robotics, and traditional sculpture techniques to bring his protagonist to life. While traditional stop motion puppets can have hundreds to thousands of sculpted facial expressions, embedding robotic parts allows the animator to  bring the character to life with a single model.

To create the characters, Krio first hand sculpted the models and laser scanned them to create a guide for the mechanical parts. The internal mechanism was then 3D printed and soldered, and the "skin" was cast from silicone. I wish he provided further insight into how he rigged the robotic elements, but you do see a brief shot of an arduino at 0:15. At a time where traditional hand-drawn animation is becoming less and less common in lieu of CGI, it's inspiring to see computation being used to keep the remarkable craft of stop motion alive.