Noman's Numbers and Nuggets
ParaNorman is the first stop-motion movie to utilize a 3D Color Printer to
replacement faces for its puppets. Over 31,000 individual face parts were
for the production.
The ParaNorman crew used replacement faces on their puppets to allow a wider
range of expressions for each character. Many different faces were needed for
individual shot. For example, over 250 unique faces were utilized for one
to create a single shot that lasts only 27 seconds on screen.
45 animators, riggers, and modelers comprise LAIKA's Rapid Prototyping (RP)
department making replacement faces, among other parts and props.
RP-made replacement faces require a 10-step process over 5-6 hours of cleaning
and coating from when they are printed to when they are ready for their
On ParaNorman, 4 3D Color Printers were active for a combined total of
approximately 572 days of straight print time.
The following amounts of materials were used in finishing these faces:
8,308 pounds (3.77 metric tons!) of Printer powder
226 gallons of ink
1,867 disposable print heads
77 gallons of superglue
66,432 rare earth magnets
729 sheets of sandpaper
5,000 X-Acto blades
2,430 cans of Crystal Clear Spray
35 gallons of coating
35,000 rubber gloves
The faces for all characters are housed in LAIKA's face library, stored in
The most unique faces used in any single shot of ParaNorman is 545, spread
across 7 different characters. The shot, near the end of the movie, is 42.7
(1,024 frames) in length and took over a month to complete.
In several shots the camera is close enough to Norman's face that it fills the
theater screen, magnifying his 1.875 inches-wide face roughly 380 times!
It takes at least 3-4 months to craft a new puppet from start to finish, not
design or testing time. Once a character has been created in its finished form
the first time, the multiples of that puppet can be fashioned faster. It took 60
puppet makers to create 178 individual puppets for ParaNorman's 61
...including, for Norman himself, 28 individual full body puppets. Thanks to the
replacements created by the 3D Color Printer, Norman has about 8,800 faces with
a range of individual pieces of brows and mouths. Being a "man of 8,800 faces"
meant that he could have approximately 1.5 million possible facial expressions.
There are 275 spikes in Norman's signature hair style. His hair was primarily
made out of goat hair held together with hot glue, hair gel, fabric, and super
glue - as well as medical adhesive, Pros-Aide make-up adhesive, thread, and
wire. Once built, it was hand-finished with paint and human hair dye.
120 different costumes were designed and made by hand for ParaNorman.
Norman has 5 costume changes in the movie: hoodie & jeans, T-shirt & jeans,
pajamas, his school play Puritans costume, and baseball uniform.
The bottom edge of Norman's T-shirt has 102 stitches - all handmade and
measured in length and spacing - with 48 stitches around his neckline.
Norman's parents, Sandra & Perry, wear 3 sets of clothing in the movie: their
"going out" clothes, their casual home wear, and their sportswear.
Although she is the most style-conscious member of the Babcock family,
older sister Courtney has only 2 outfits in the movie: her pink velour track
her cheerleader outfit.
The costume department's sewing needles are size 15 extra long beading
the dimension of 1 hair.
There were roughly 31,600 props made for ParaNorman.
The Town Hall Archives sequence encompassed two full sets/stages with over
20,000 miniature cast books, over 5,000 paper items (paperwork, maps, files, et
al.), and over 400 hand-folded file boxes.
The model shop made 26 "animatable" (meaning, with moving parts) vehicles. All
were actually able to roll forward and backward, and most of them also had
headlamps, windows, and taillights. The station wagon and van had working
hinged doors, real chrome accents, functioning suspensions, and working
8 different complete versions of the van were made for the shoot: 2 for
shots, 2 for interior shots, 2 for the rollover sequence, and 2 built at half
the size of
the others for long-distance road shots.
It took 18 carpenters, 18 model builders, 6 riggers, 12 scenic painters, 11
artists, and 10 set dressers to craft the movie's nearly three dozen unique
For the outdoor sets, 300 feet of country road were created out of recycled
and coated with three kinds of paint. Additionally, 2,000 individual trees were
out of shredded cardboard to create the forests seen in the movie. Laid out end
end, those trees would stretch out to be about 2 miles long.
The crew of 93 artists in the ParaNorman art department used over 4,000 pounds
of silicone for prop and set fabrication.
Principal animation was photographed with Canon 5D Mark II cameras. A total of
63 cameras were used to shoot the actual movie as well as 53 motion control
systems (36 Kuper systems and 17 proprietary systems) and 21 motion control
track & boom rigs.
70 Fluorescent fixtures and 1,102 C-Stands for light and grip holders were
the making of ParaNorman.
The total footage generated from the camera department on the movie was 20
hours, 29 minutes (which amounts to 1,770,601 frames).
The bathroom sequence, when Norman is contacted by the ghost of Mr. Prenderghast, took 1 year to shoot.
The "ghost reveal shot," where we see Norman walking through Blithe Hollow and
interacting with its ghosts, required 28 visual effects artists' work for over 2
The smallest animatable prop made for the movie was Norman's mom's perfume
sprayer, which gets used in the station wagon to ward off the (zombie) Judge.
out of brass and then chromed for a brushed stainless look, it measures 5/8" in
length and 1/8" in diameter, with the pump nozzle 1/16" in diameter - and, it
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