…Meanwhile, 3D printing has changed the way Clement does business. The effects’ gurus can sculpt a monster head using a computer program, then make tweaks and print it out.
“It’s an extremely fast way of sculpting and of doing concepts,” Clement said. Concepts are the mock-ups shown to moviemakers as a sort of first draft of the effect. Instead of building them from scratch only to have to re-do them with filmmakers’ fixes, Clement’s team can now keep them digital-only until all the changes have been made.
“On Harry Potter, we had a big old giant spider we did for the last film and we had to build a smaller version of the same thing, so we had it scanned and 3D printed,” Coulier said. He still prefers old-fashioned sculpting by hand much of the time, however.
“You get what I call happy accidents when you sculpt things physically with a clay material that just don’t happen when you sculpt on the computer,” he said.