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Occasionally I like to take time out to acknowledge the work that model makers do, both here at KiwiMill and elsewhere. I spend most days in a support role at the model shop and I tend to take for granted what takes place every day. Then I talk to someone outside of the profession and realize it’s a pretty unique job.
Stop Frame is one of several names used to describe animation that is created by moving models, puppets or any three dimensional objects frame by frame in front of a camera.
From the moon in George Méliès’ ‘A Trip to the Moon’ in 1902 to the buildings of Gotham City in ‘The Dark Knight’ in 2008, models and miniatures have played an historically pivotal role in creating amazing visual effects in film.
Model makers blend a unique combination of art and science into their work of replicating, creating mockups, volume studies, and scale reproductions of anything from a building to an automobile. Just about any product you use, whether it is an athletic shoe or a cell phone, was very likely represented by a scale model sometime during its development life cycle.
An architectural model maker builds scale models of buildings drafted by architects. Scale models are necessary for obtaining practical information with regard to what the building will look like when finished, how much sunlight will come in the windows and how the building will fit in with its surroundings.
After talking to the designer, model makers work from design drawings, plans, photographs or computer graphics. They use materials like wood, plastic, metal, plaster, paper or card to produce models.
Models are generally favored over drawings, blueprints or sketches because they put the proposed buildings in proportion to the surroundings.
Alfred North Whitehead said, "Ideas won't keep... something must be done about them." That is why we need model builders to continue the thinking process until the idea becomes a physical reality.