Aardman Animation, the makers of Wallace and Gromit, is putting the finishing touches on The Pirates! Band of Misfits, which may be the most technically ambitious stop-frame animated film yet.
(Video link) This short trailer gives a peek behind the scenes at the unique logistics required for making the 3D theatrical feature. Aardman, which made Chicken Run and The Curse of the Were Rabbit with the clay-mation technique, switched over to all digital for Flushed Away.
With this film they've returned to the physical stop-frame process, though they're using pre-fabricated mouths rather than forming the mouth shapes in clay each time. The mouth shapes were designed on the computer and printed out with a 3D printer.
As this little making-of trailer explains, the filming process is incredibly time consuming, taking 18 months to shoot, with up to 40 separate set-ups going simultaneously. Director Peter Lord says, “It’s really three-dimensional chess. It does your head in.”
The movie is set for release in late March (Europe) and April (USA)