If you collect toys and love Pixar, then these videos will start as exciting and turn into depressing. It shows a wing at Pixar Animation Studios that specializes in 3D printing. Basically, employees can take a frame from any of the Pixar movies and, through specialized printers, output a picture perfect, plaster, 3D model of a character or object from a movie.

While toy companies who deal in Pixar materials can certainly make merchandise that looks like it’s from the movie, these machines make models that are precisely from the movie. Which is incredible. But the fact that I can’t have the little alien in the video – that exact one – on my desk right now, or ever, is upsetting. Watch at your own risk, and find out exactly what these models are used for, after the jump.

Thanks to Pop17 for these videos.

The first video focuses on the 3D printing, the second shows what they’re used for – a life size zoetrope at Pixar that gives people a 3D, physical idea of how animation works. The hostess of these videos, Sarah Austin, is obviously pandering to people who don’t know as much about movies as us, so suffer through her incorrect pronunciation of “Ghibli” and her rudimentary explanation of how animation works for some really cool insight to Pixar.

It’s pretty cool to see Pixar’s characters animated in real life when they’re usually all just in a computer. What I wondered while watching this video (besides the digits in Sarah Austin’s phone number) is exactly why does Pixar do this? Sure, it’s cool to look at and yes, it gives people a good idea of how animation works. But it kind of seems like a superfluous way to spend their money. That’s probably just me being a little grumpy that I can’t have one of those 3D printed characters, though.

What did you think of these videos?

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