3D Scanners do work for Comic Relief

Working initially from their 10ft garden shed, Michelle and Lee Moore have turned their business - Hero Prop Design Ltd into a great success. Michelle and Lee started 15 years ago creating replica items and character costumes from films and supplying to companies such as Asda for use in promotional work, as well as supplying to collectors. With the development of Ebay, sales increased dramatically allowing them to take on more work and buy better equipment.

Michelle and Lee’s ‘big break’ came when they were extras in the film - ‘Act of Grace’ and managed to supply the props for that particular film. As word got around, they continued to supply props to the film and television industry, gaining a great reputation and expanding their team.

Hero Prop Design Ltd was approached by Lyn Hewitson, the creative director at Walkers Crisps. Lyn explained that they had a large television marketing campaign coming up for the forth coming Comic Relief 2011 which would be titled ‘Clash Of The Comics’.

Comedians - Jimmy Carr, Frank Skinner, Al Murray, Stephen Fry would be taking part in this campaign, each having their own new avour of crisps and competing to sell the most for Red Nose Day. Walkers would donate 5 pence to the charity for each packet of crisps sold. The forfeit on the 18th March, for the three losing comedians was a body wax from a mystery celebrity!

Hero Prop Design were asked if they could provide the costumes for the campaign, - a roast chicken costume, a pie tank and a giant Jimmy Carr head! With thefilming date being only 6 weeks away, Michelle and Lee knew that they had very little time to create the models and as time was so precious, they turned to 3D Scanners UK to speed up their process. Michelle realised that the quickest way possible to create an upscaled version of something, was to 3d scan the object and have a cnc milled part created from the data. Unfortunately, the giant head was being made as a surprise to Jimmy Carr, so his head could not be scanned. This delayed the project a little, as it meant that Michelle had to sculpt Jimmys head out of clay from two photographs.

3D Scanners UK scanned the ‘drying out’ clay whilst Michelle had a coffee, at our site in Coventry.

We began to process the data straight away so that we could get it cnc milled as soon as possible.

The point cloud data from the scan is initially organised and best fit aligned. This selects the best points to create the most accurate model possible and then the data is meshed.

Once the polygon mesh had been cleaned, trimmed back and optimised it was scaled up to 4 metres high.

Once cleaned, the model was machined.

The machining was carried out by Mark Angus at 3D CNC on a CMS 5 axis Aries machine. The head was made of 23 sections of polystyrene, which all needed to be glued together and carefully trimmed back once it was back at Hero Prop Designs.

It took 9 hours to transport the models from Manchester (where Hero Prop Design is based) to the chosen filming location in Kingston.

Filming went to plan & the television advert was ready for release, in the run up to Comic Relief Day - 18th March 2011.