The product of ten years of work, ‘Fabricated’ is a stop-motion vision of what it might look like if machines took over our world. We spoke with director Brett Foxwell who encapsulated the idea for the piece well: “The initial idea was that of a world where organic life has come to an end and a form of mechanical life is attempting to re-create an ecosystem, using the skeletons and broken machines left behind.

“The film follows a creature as it is assembled and released into a strange and perilous new world. As it makes its way through this world, it begins to sense that it may have a role to play in the evolution of its imperfect kind.” The overall effect is pretty spell-binding–once you start watching it’s hard to stop.

Speaking to the extensive duration of the project, Foxwell said, “It was a challenge to stay engaged, but not get overwhelmed…Each new set to build, each new character to design, and each new shot to animate kept the project new and fresh for me. This was great in the abstract sense, but then the spine of the t-rex armature would break in the middle of a 30-hour shot. I would then have to spend 5 hours to painstakingly rebuild and repose the puppet, but during that repair, I would knock over a light and I would have to spend an hour getting that back into place.”

Echoing the woes of so many committed animators, he told us, “The project was a continuing series of problems like this that had to be solved. After all of this, though, I would see the completed shot and it would all be worth it, and I would be inspired to keep going.”

As for technical behind the scenes he said, “ I started shooting the project in 2005 using the Canon utility program for image capture and playback. This worked but it was far from ideal. When Dragon(frame) Stop Motion came out, it made the capture process much easier and the live-view feature made the animation much quicker.”

The crew actually did all of the motion control manually with a modular system that Foxwell designed and built years ago, “But,” he told us, “I recently re-configured it with stepper motors and connected it to the ArcMoco system in DragonFrame. This motion-control system is a great development and I hope to see it continue especially for lower-cost setups using Arduino.”

For more on behind the scenes, check out this video on the making-of: