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How Raised By Wolves used revolutionary 3D printing in its special effects

Before it was unceremoniously canceled by HBO Max earlier this year, Raised By Wolves was one of the weirdest, boldest science fiction shows on TV. It followed the story of two androids, Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim), who seek to restart the human race on the distant planet of Kepler-22b after Earth is torn apart by a theological war. Over the course of two seasons, we watched as they raised their band of misfit children on a hostile planet filled with hostile forces, and the journey was often as breathtaking as it was shocking due to the show’s poignant writing and stunning special effects.

Created by Aaron Guzikowski and produced by veteran filmmaker Ridley Scott, Wolves was one of the most original science fiction shows to come around in quite a while. As it turns out, the show wasn’t just original in terms of its storytelling, but also in its production. Dreamsmith Studio, the makeup effects and prop-making company that worked on the show, branched out into uncharted territory in season 2 by making ample use of the revolutionary Formlabs Form 3L stereolithography 3D printer to create some of its practical effects. It was a first for the studio, and a trial by fire: before using the Form 3L’s on season 2, Dreamsmith had never used 3D printers as a regular part of its workflow on a project.

The results speak for themselves. Formlabs published a new interview with Dreamsmith founder and Raised By Wolves Lead Prosthetic Designer Jaco Snyman this week that details how the use of these printers enabled the production to not only revolutionize their workflow and save tons of time and money, but also create some effects that would have been nearly impossible without the use of these 3D printers.

Raised By Wolves used 3D printers in revolutionary new ways
While 3D printers had been an exciting prospect for Dreamsmith prior to season 2 of Raised By Wolves, it was difficult to find printers that could accommodate their needs. They spent years searching for printers that were affordable and large enough to print the kinds of props they needed; say, life-sized body parts for dummies. After nearly giving up on the idea of being able to rely on 3D printing for Raised By Wolves season 2, the company discovered the Form 3L and was finally able to get to work.

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