The Polar Express, Iron Giant and Coraline

Timeline: 3-D Cinema

Ten milestones in 3-D film over the years.
Here is a good link that  I found showing a brief timeline of the 3D film era.
The Polar Express is considered to be the first feature length film in IMAX 3D
IMAX= a motion picture film format and projection standard created by the canadian IMAX corporation
The Polar Express  is a 2004 computer-animated film based on the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. Written, produced, and directed by Robert Zemeckis, the “human” characters in the film were “animated” using “live action” performance capture technique. Performance capture technology incorporates the movements of live actors into animated characters
The Iron Giant is a 1999 animated science fiction film produced by Warner Bros, Animation, based on the 1968 novel The Iron Man by Ted Hughes. Directed by Brad Bird (also worked on ‘The Incredibles’) The Iron Giant takes place during the height of the Cold War (1957).
It was nominated for awards that most notably included the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation  and the Nebula Award  from the  Science Fiction and Fanatsy Writers of America.
Coraline  is a 2009 Oscar-nominated American stop-motion 3-D fantasy/horror film based on Neil Gaiman’s 2002 novel ‘coraline’.
It was distributed by focus feature and produced by Laika and directed by Henry Selick.

At its peak, the film involved the efforts of 450 people,including from 30 to 35 animators and digital designers in the Digital Design Group (DDG) directed by Dan Casey and more than 250 technicians and designers.One crew member was hired specifically to knit miniature sweaters and other clothing for the puppet characters, using knitting needles  as thin as human hair.

“Coraline was a huge risk. But these days in animation, the safest bet is to take a risk.” – Henry Selick

The film’s creators used three 3D printing systems from Objet in the development and production of the film. Thousands of high-quality 3D models, ranging from facial expressions to doorknobs were printed in 3D using the Polyjet matrix systems, which enable the fast transformation of CAD (computer-aided design) drawings into high-quality 3D models. The characters of Coraline could potentially exhibit over 208,000 facial expression.

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