The diploma thesis describes the process of making a puppet with replacement heads for use in stop-motion animation. The main focus of the diploma thesis was: creating and animating a 3D-model in a computer program; exporting, printing and post-processing of the models; and finally dyeing of models and making a functional puppet. 3D printing is a rapidly developing technology, which has been on the rise in recent years. We can choose between a variety of technologies that offer a wide range of printing options, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. The goal of this project was to produce a functional 3Dmodel of the puppet, using reference images, animation of the 3D-model and export of models, preparation of models for print, model printing and post-processing, and in the end, the coloring of models and production of a functional puppet for stop-motion animation.
First, a blueprint for the puppet was made, by which, a 3D-model of the human head was created in Blender program, using reference images. The model thus made was cut into several parts so we got a puppet with a moving head and a changing face. When the model of the puppet was finished, we animated the face with the shape keys. We created a keyframe for a smile, and made an animation from a serious to a smiling face with 16 different frames. The model of the face from each individual frame was exported as .stl file. In addition, we also exported head and shoulder models. The exported files were opened in the PreForm program and prepared for printing on the SLA Form 2 printer. The print was followed by post-processing of the models. The models were first immersed for 20 minutes in a bath of 90% solution of isopropyl alcohol, and then the removal of the support structures followed. In the end, the printed models were painted and glued with magnets.
When creating 3D-models that we intend to animate, a very important thing to consider is the topology since it affects the movement of the mesh points. If the topology is inadequate, the model animation can cause strange deformations of the mesh. In 3D printing, which uses support structures, these must be properly generated. The excessive density of supports makes it difficult to remove them, and can also change the surface of the model. On the other hand, the unsufficient density of support structures can cause models not to print at all. Removing the supports with the pliers is almost impossible for thin-walled models, since the model can be damaged. In the end we came to the conclusion that the method with a hot utility knife is a better method of separation because it does not damage the model.