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New Deal Studios is where the line between illusion and reality disappears. Come along for a peek behind the magician’s curtain at one of Hollywood’s top visual effects houses. In this Creative Inspirations documentary, find out how key scenes from Martin Scorsese’s film Shutter Island were created, as well as segments of The Dark Knight and Night at the Museum. Using a combination of models, miniatures, computer graphics, and digital effects, New Deal Studios was designed from the ground up to be a place where effects professionals could do their best work, and where filmmakers could have their visions realized.
(Music playing) Scott Schneider: My name is Scott Schneider. I am a Digital Set Designer for New Deal Studios. What I am currently working on right now is a prop, an action prop, for a movie called Ben 10. Now with the advent of Digital technology and being able to model things in 3D, we can actually do previz on things before we build them, and pretty much everything we do here in New Deal Studios is now, we build it 3D before we build it physically.
The reason for that is so that we can take that file, and we can send it to a machine that is a 3D printer. This is a ThermoJet by 3D Systems, and this particular machine prints in wax. After I have modeled it in Rhino, or Scott's modeled it in SolidWorks, we will run it through the software for this, which is very much like your print software that you have for your printer at home. And it lays it out on a platen. The platen is inside here and we actually have a part in here. This is the platen. This black piece of aluminum is the platen and the wax is deposited onto the platen.
This is an example of a part that was grown, was modeled in 3D, and then it was grown and this is the wax. Once the part comes off, it's pretty warm, because it's melting of wax. It goes into a fridge. It gets chilled down enough to where the support structure, as you can see right in here, see how it's breaking out? That support structure is what it builds first, and that's where the part sets on it. So that way you can actually cut it off, cut the part off.
This is a process we go through every time we remove the part. And you can see it's making a lot of dust there, but those are all the support structures being broken off. So then, there is the part. And then we can just clean off the rest of the support structure. Now we can take that part, glue it down to a board, make a box around it, pour silicon over it, and then we pour a rigid urethane inside of that. Once it cures, the mold is flexible, and it pops right out. It's allowed us to do things that we wouldn't have otherwise been able to do in the past, simply due to schedule.
And so we can't take things -- if when we had to do it by hand, we couldn't take things to the level of detail or the level of quality that we wanted, because there simply wasn't enough time to have somebody sit at a bench and build that object. These are all examples of past jobs that we have done. This is actually the grating for the windows on Ward C for Shutter Island. And you can see how small and thin they are. Normally, in the past, the way we would have done this is we would have done acidex brass, which would have made everything completely flat. You wouldn't have this raised detail.
You wouldn't have the hinges raised. So doing it in 3D, it allows us to add extra details to them, which we weren't able to really do very effectively, time-wise, in the past. Now we can do very, very small parts. These are all examples of mold masters. These were for 'Dark Knight,' for the Gotham City garbage truck. Again, you can see here, these are representational of positive and negative. That's the inside of the lens. This is the outside of the lens. Negative key, positive key. This represents one half of the mold.
This represents the other half. So, once those molds come out, they'll key together, and then I can just inject material into those. We still use the old techniques. They are still valid, but we try to use them in new and different ways. If we can generate parts that give us a good base to work on, we start with that.
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