‘Bears On Stairs’ Is a Ridiculously Smooth Stop Motion Animated Video

Titled “Bears on Stairs,” this unbelievably smooth stop motion animation of 3D printed pieces was created by DBLG, a creative agency based out of London.

Meant as an experiment to just keep with being creative and have some fun, this particular project combined 3D animation (commonly referred to as CAD), 3D printing and stop motion animation. What makes this stand out from many other similar projects is just how smooth the final product looks, despite each frame consisting of a completely separate 3D printed piece.

From watching the video, it looks to me like there are roughly 40 separate pieces of the bear climbing the stairs. And although they seem to have markers on the screen to keep things consistent, keeping that many frames as stable and smooth as they did is downright astounding.

Give the quick video a watch, let us know what you think in the comments, and keep up with DBLG’s future projects over on their Vimeo page.

(via Devour via Dooby Brain)

  • Heath Collins

    The Star Trek replicator is coming. #callingit

  • Rob Elliott

    So I’m just thinking this through, 3D printing is super slow.. this would be two weeks worth of printing for the 4 second or so loop to make this.. That is dedication.. but really very neat.

  • Gannon Burgett

    That’s what I was wondering while writing. There’s no mention anywhere of how long it took, but assuming there’s 40 of them, that must’ve been hours upon hours upon hours of just the printing itself. Granted, they only had to press “print” and could get back to work, it’s still time-consuming, as you mentioned.

  • The_Nexus

    I am REALLY curious how many calories the bear burns while doing this “stairmaster-esque” exercise ;)

  • William Zhang

    What a waste of time and materials

  • Trolololol

    Its called marketing nowadays

  • kassim

    Couldn’t agree more.

  • anon

    There’s a time lapse at the beginning of the video just of that. So it’s slow.

  • Federico Montemurro

    The drone shooting the bear rampage was missing.

  • Rob Elliott

    Well I know similar structures can take anywhere between 6-18 hours depending on a few factors in a Makerbot. I counted 5 rows of 10 so that is 50 at least.. that is anywhere between 2 weeks and a month of just printing. I suspect the Polygonal shape of the bear was to quicken the printing process.

    3D printing is still really neat and this is an excellent example of what can be done.

  • behindthecamera

    You’re talking about your post, right?

  • Notmyrealname

    Yes we are not far now, they already have 3d printers capable of printing some food items (Pizza was one cited I believe).

  • Heath Collins

    And bacon

  • dannybuoy

    They offer 3D printing as one of their services, so no, it’s not a waste of time or materials.

  • Dan Howard

    really smooth, but this is kinda overkill for the sake of overkill. They already had the 3D model animated, why not just render out a 3D animation?

  • Eponymous_Jones


  • Mario Liedtke

    1) Why print StopMotionShoot a virtual mesh that is already in the PC instead of rendiering the scene?
    2) Its a Hoax anyway. Did you see the flickering at the left side of the staircase? Thats typical for a rendered scene and veeeryy untypically in real photography.
    3) The “smoothness” isn’t subject to be surprised. Any 3D Animation nowadays is smooth like hell. Even if you would really print it out and stopmotionshoot it. You have just to place it exactly.
    But as mentioned above! BALDERDASH! Thats a Hoax!

  • MikeAlgar42

    Either you’re trolling, being sarcastic, or genuinely serious. If it is the later, did you even watch the video? You can clearly see the 40 models used.

  • silvr

    I don’t find this to be as impressive as the article make it out to be.

    Yeah, stop motion is cool, and smooth stop motion is cooler… But they didn’t sculpt any of these in the traditional sense; they just 3D printed the models from CAD. Since the origin is digital, it’s fairly simple to make the deltas between each frame as fine-grained as they want it to be. The finer the resolution, the smoother the resulting animation. In traditional stop motion, this is a quality to be celebrated because all interpolation is done manually.

    This is at best a laudable effort at placing the models back in exactly the right place for each shot; at worst a waste of materials.

  • Rhetorikol

    Just FYI, CAD is not reference for 3D animation, CAD is a static 3D file format normally used for architecture and matching real world dimensions. Animation is normally applied to CAD designs in programs such as AutoCAD and 3ds Max.

  • Steven

    Most would just call this “proof of concept”

  • Danielle

    I believe they did it this way for a different esthetic. Plus it shows off in one video their multiple skill sets. Plus, having done stop motion before, this is quite impressive.

  • stubaw

    3D animation is most definitely not referred to as CAD. You could maybe argue it’s a subset of CAD but they certainly aren’t one and the same.

  • That guy

    Wow, negative nancy. Can’t appreciate something that isn’t yours?

  • Joey Duncan


  • Eric

    Go watch Paranorman or Coraline. Same technique x 1000

  • Jack

    It looks cool, and I admire the dedication, but I wonder… with all the effort they put in to model the bear and stairs on the computer, print out the 3D models, light it, and shoot it, I just wonder.. What’s the point? They’ve already animated it on the computer, so that takes away from one of the fundamental elements of stop motion. The fact that most stop motion is hand made. This isn’t stop motion, this is CGI.. I just don’t see the point of animating something, then going through all the extra steps of printing, lighting, posing, and shooting. =/

  • Rob Elliott

    Stop motion has been around for a long time, but in the case of other modes it is claymation where the models are moveable. In this case there is a different model for each position. It was the printing time. that I find interesting.