Tyvek Innovative Uses Blog, by Material Concepts

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tyvek Used in "Kubo and the Two Strings" Animated Film from LAIKA

Kubo and the Two Strings, a 3D animated stop-action film in which Tyvek was used in the creation of its stop motion figures. The movie was produced by LAIKA, makers of the Academy Award-nominated animated movie Coraline. Kubo and the Two Strings is the story of a "young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past," according to IMBD.com. This movie is in theaters right now and features the voices of Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, Rooney Mara and Matthew McConaughey.

So how does Tyvek fit into Kubo and the Two Strings? Via Laika and their public relations agency, MBC Communications, they provided the information on how Tvyek was used in the film. The production notes that were provided describe how Tyvek was utilized:
16,725 feet of Tyvek paper was used.

According to Costume Designer Deborah Cook, "We used a lot of Tyvek [the high-density polyethylene fiber material so often used in building construction] underneath fabrics as well, because it has the dimpled surface of an older, richer fabric and resembles crumpled silk. We also used actual silks that were very fine grade so that the surface weave of the fabric looked good in our scale; these too had to be weighted and bulk out underneath."

Brad Shiff was the Animation Supervisor for the film. What with loose flowing costumes and long hair for many characters, Schiff's team of animators found new challenges on Kubo and the Two Strings. He remarks, "There is a reason that costumes on stop-motion puppets are always tight-fitting and that's because tight-fitting is easy to control. Loose-fitting has a tendency to do weird things in our scale. It's a testament to our puppet makers, riggers, and animators all working together with the costume department that this was pulled off. We were able to handle and manipulate the kimonos without them – or the puppets wearing them – going out of control. There were tiny rigs on all the puppets to help the animators achieve the most subtle of movements."

Six different materials were used as backings in Kubo's sleeves so that they could fold precisely where and as needed; origami patterns were used in the sleeves design so that they would always hang the same way when his arms were down. Sheets of Tyvek ... needed to be crumpled and un-crumpled exactly 15 times to create the required flexibility.
Many thanks to LAIKA and MBC Communications for providing the information and the photos, used here with permission.

Behind the Scenes of Kubo and the Two Strings Video

Kubo and the Two Strings - Official Trailer

Tyvek is often used by innovative, creative people in many and varied ways. Material Concepts provides Tyvek rolls to many of them - just contact Material Concepts or via phone: 215-338-6515 or 1-800-372-3366 or buy Tyvek online.

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