Feb 7, 2017 | By Julia

Italian director Nicola Piovesan, best known for his ventures in cult-approved sci-fi shorts like Deus in Machina (2014), has begun pre-production for his newest flick: Attack of the Cyber Octopuses.

The setting is “Neo-Berlin,” over sixty years into the future. Mega corporations lord over a dark, rain-soaked city. Life’s only pleasure is in cyberspace, where users get hooked on a cyber drug aptly known as Binary Trip. It is here that we find our heroes: a team of cracked cyber-detectives hunting the city’s newest threat, a league of cyber octopuses terrorizing Neo-Berlin.

Inspired by the sci-fi gems of the 1980s—Neuromancer, Blade Runner, Terminator, and Aliens, to name a few—Attack of the Cyber Octopuses promises to recreate the look and feel of those genre classics without relying on CGI.

In classic 80s form, Piovesan’s production will revolve heavily around the use of miniature models. But, with a keen eye towards budgeting, Attack of the Cyber Octopuses hopes to achieve its goal through a uniquely contemporary means: nearly all props, models, and set pieces will be 3D printed.

Of course, the low costs and fast turnaround times of 3D printed models were obvious advantages for the Italian director. But Piovesan’s use of 3D printing also grounds the film in a sense of cinematic reality, rather than the virtual reality afforded by CGI technology. The expected result is a more coherent atmosphere that draws viewers deep inside the film’s world.

The film’s production blog documents Piovesan’s progress. Since December, the Tallinn-based crew has completed all the working models for the futuristic city of Neo-Berlin. Made up of 9 miniature 3D printed blocks, each measuring approximately 30cm x 30cm x 40cm, Neo-Berlin is the main setting of Attack of the Cyber Octopuses.

Piovesan explains that the models are 90% 3D printed and finished off with some spare parts from other plastic models, LED lights, and a few minor add-ons.

The director says he began with the design process. All of the 3D designs were created using 3D modelling software 3D Studio Max. From there, the 3D printing itself took about 10 days, including all buildings and platforms. Piovesan used the Wanhao Duplicator 13 V2.1 and basic PLA filament.

Photos reveal an incredibly intricate base for the Neo-Berlin model blocks, which were then glued to a thick cardboard. Once assembled, the models were painted dark grey, and airbrushed with silver acrylic. Additional plastic details were glued on top, along with some semi-transparent yellow tape. Piovesan says “vintage 80s advertising” will be broadcast from some of the buildings via a couple cutouts and an old mp3/mp4 Creative Zen player.

As part of pre-production, Attack of the Cyber Octopuses has launched an official teaser video and a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. A range of perks reward early backers of the project: a pledge of €40 will get you the STL files for 3D printing your own cyber octopus; €150 and up lands you an original 3D printed model or prop. Check out the campaign for more rewards, details, and updates.

So far just over €8,000 has been pledged of the €18,000 goal. If Piovesan’s flick gets off the ground, Attack of the Cyber Octopuses could open the door for some exciting new collaborations between 3D printing and the film industry. And at the very least, we’ll get to see some cyber octopus hunting. Best of luck to Piovesan and his entire Tallinn crew.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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