Polish technology SMODO aims to bridge the world stop-motion and digital production, and reduce both costs and time spent on set.

Animoon studio founder, director and producer Grzegorz Wacławek has developed the new SMODO technology, which combines puppet animation with motion-capture.

The technology  was already presented in France during MIFA 2017 dedicated to animation and in Mexico during Pixelatl Festival. It has the potential to reduce costs and time spent on set for stop-motion animation.

This is a project incubated since 2013, and supported by a team  of experienced scientists co-operating with Warsaw University of Technology specializing inter alia in 3D/4D visualizations and 3D data processing.

By using SMODO technology, one can save even 25% of the production budget. It is also essential that the animator can implement changes and corrections to the shots even when the expensive and time-consuming animation process is over -Grzegorz Wacławek.

How it works:
Instead of working  with a full puppet from beginning to end (and changing the puppet's location and position at each stage), in SMODO technology, the animator works only with the puppet’s armature,  which shapes and moves analogically as in the classic animation.

There are special colourful markers located on the puppet’s armature. Owing to the system which follows the markers,  the armature’s pose is then transferred to 3D software. In the programme, a digital model  of a puppet is put on the armature. Consequently, the animator observes the whole puppet on the screen just as in the classic animation.

Owing to the digitalization of the armature movement (which still is a handcraft), in SMODO technology it's possible to both create digital stage design (instead of pricey analogue one), freely move the camera that registers the scene and implement any changes in lighting (a camera and sources of light are virtual and set in the program for 3D edition).

The project has now reached its final stage, and due to the funding received from The National Centre for Research and Development, it will be widely available in 2018.

SMODO technology  will be implemented by the production of complete sets and distributing both the sets  and particular elements of the set (i.e. the sets for building the armature of various puppets). All the elements of SMODO system (cameras for registering puppet’s movement,  CGI software, system calibration tools) fit in an average size box. Special sets that will include ready-made armatures and their 3D models will be prepared for education purposes.

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