Released last week, Real Steel is an American science fiction action film starring Hugh Jackman and directed by Shawn Levy. The film is based on the premise that by 2020 the sport of boxing is no longer played by humans, but robots. Hugh Jackman’s character – Charlie Kenton plays a former boxer who builds, trains and manages his own robot ‘boxers’ in illegal matches. After a couple of his robots are destroyed, Charlie finds and repairs an obsolete robot called Atom, who he finds in a junk yard. He then trains the robot to fight..and of course the rest you’ll have to watch for yourself. In the meantime here’s a clip of Charlie training Atom to box.
To make the robots as real as possible for the film, animatronic robots were built with motion capture technology used to depict the fights. Legacy Effects was commissioned to build the robot models for the film. Legacy’s Senior Systems Engineer, Jason Lopes has kindly provided us some great photos below showing exactly how Objet’s 3D printers were used to produce the amazingly life-like results.
Being able to print high resolution models on the 3D printer allowed Legacy’s designers to go from concept, to final design and into full size production in the shortest possible time. This is an important factor in the film industry today, where special effects and technical enhancements often come at the cost of increasing time delays. In order to remain competitive, studios are constantly searching for ways to be more efficient, such as beginning their casting and special effects even while they are still rewriting the screenplay, or validating an effect in real-time during the actual filming process. Using 3D printing allows studios to save on reshoots, editing and post production – all of which results in a shorter time-to-market and lower overall costs.
(above) Atom final concept model, 1/5th scale, assembled and painted
(above) Quick test build of Atom’s torso and left arm, printed in Objet VeroGrey
(above) Atom, final painted and assembled concept, backside view
(above) Atom’s upper back, printed in Objet VeroGrey
(above) Atom’s chest logo, brought to life using Objet VeroClear transparent material and some amazing hands-on artistry