Static & Animatronic Figures

OUR CREATIONS STATIC & ANIMATRONIC FIGURES

Producing highly realistic portrait figures, incredibly accurate IP based characters, and outrageous whimsical creations, our creations engage and entertain audiences in a variety of venues around the world.

Long considered the benchmark for realistic figures, LifeFormations has also developed a strong digital sculpting studio for developing and translating IP based characters into a variety of different forms and media.  Our blending of traditional techniques with advanced digital processes enables our team to create figures across the entire spectrum of styles and applications.

Our figure team is of two minds—we have the ability to focus in on the tiniest of details to make the most realistic figures in the world, and then we can change direction to create some of the most whimsical animatronic creations ever seen. Our portfolio of figures ranges from:

  •  Branded & IP
  •  Museum Portrait
  • Animatronic
  • Stylized and Monochrome
  • Animals

Branded & IP Figures

LifeFormations has created branded and IP based figures for dark rides, roller coasters, flume rides, stage shows and a variety of retail spaces. 

We’ve been entrusted with some of the most beloved characters inhabiting today's popular culture and brands. And we've been asked to help create a few from scratch.  We understand the incredible responsibility that comes with translating them into new forms or a new medium while maintaining the integrity of everything their audience has come to cherish.

Our team is able to work with art directors from a variety of backgrounds across movies, television, advertising, print media and location based entertainment. We love to work with these creative teams to find new ways to push the characters forward into the next chapter of their story.

Translation - Forms & Media

Our experience working in different materials, scales and media assures a high level of attention to detail as well as efficiency as we navigate the development or translation of figures from one form to another as they head into and through the manufacturing process.  At every step, we are thinking about not only the form and expression, but also the design, mechanics, engineering, and marketing across multiple platforms. 

Full Digital & Dimensional

LifeFormations' team is equally comfortable in the digital and dimensional realms when working with branded and IP based figures. Our digital sculpting team is able to start from scratch to create new sculpts of figures, or import just about any type of digital file format as a starting point to kick things off.  Likewise, our dimensional sculpting team is able to start with a mound of clay or brick of foam to sculpt a new figure, or utilize milled or 3D printed parts when a seamless transition from digital development through final figure is the preference.

Animatics

Creating digital movement studies for animatronic figures assures that everyone on the project team aligns their vision and expectations.  This is particularly important when the subjects are well known movie or television characters, and our team is charged with achieving a believable translation of the character into animatronic form while being mindful of the project budget.

Our movement studies combine the digital sculpts that will be used to create the appearance of the figures with the technical designs that will be used to build the armatures inside of the figures.  These digital motion studies can be adjusted both artistically and technically until everyone on the project team is happy with the appearance and performance.  The agreed upon version can then be directly used for production so the final figure accurately achieves the team's design intent.

Surface Finishes

Characters that appear on screens or printed pages can have extremely controlled (faked) lighting, wonderful textures and surface treatments, and lines-of-sight and perspectives that never change.   When we bring them into the real world, we have the realities of an audience that can move around the character, lighting that may not always be fully controlled, and surfaces (such as fur) that may not be able to be replicated technically or within reasonable budgets.  Our team has translated hundreds of figures from screens and pages into the real world, so we've developed a deep understanding of what is possible, and a large toolkit to help achieve the best possible results.  

Museum Portrait Figures

It can be an awesome responsibility to create a portrait figure.  Whether we're creating a famous historic person or a figure representing a group of people.  Everything from the expression of the sculpt to the gesture of the pose to the finish of the details must be treated with the utmost integrity.  We've created thousands of realistic figures over the past 25 years, and each has contributed to our reputation as a world leader in the creation of portrait figures.  

Here are a few elements that we think really make our figures unique...

Precision Sculpting

Our sculptors go beyond simply creating a likeness. They incorporate a lifetime of individual details to capture a subject's personality and the best expression at the moment of the story being told.  

Finishing & Attention to Detail

Some of our most important decisions involve details as small as a freckle or tear. This attention to detail enables us to provide incredibly believable, highly realistic figures. And while not every project warrants this level of detail, we believe having the capability to create it gives us a unique ability to determine what’s best for each situation or scene.

Costumes

Costumes offer the most freedom for interpretation and methodology. It ranges from something as simple as a standard suit, to a multi-layered historically accurate gown or uniform including accessories. We’re happy to incorporate existing elements or apparel if provided, or we can produce the costume and accessories from scratch. An accurate quote will be provided based on an approved costume design and specifications.

Authenticity

Whether we’re creating a long lost military medal, researching a historical way of styling hair, or carefully blending several different costume designs into a new style for an imaginary character… we make sure that each thing we create has a proper sense of place and time for the story being told. Often, the hardest design challenges appear “obvious” after our team brings together the many different aspects of a project, and put everything into context.

Extensive Mold Library

In many cases, we may be able to utilize existing molds to create all or part of a figure.  LifeFormations has a library of hundreds of molds across many different types of figures.  Based on the design intent for the figures, we'll search our database to find the best options to consider.

 

Animatronic Figures

It’s a powerful experience when a story looks you right in the eye. It can stir an emotion, or demand a reaction. Whether it is a historical icon or a modern day hero, LifeFormations has created figures for some of the most ambitious museum and attraction projects of the last 20 years.

Animatronic Design

The LifeFormations team has over 25 years of experience designing realistic animatronics for a wide variety of storytelling venues.  Our designs blend creative intent with proven technologies and, when appropriate, rigorous research to establish cultural and historical styles.  Final designs include a detailed plan for sculpting, technical fabrication, surface finishes, materials swatches and exemplars, prop references and anything else that may guide the development of the animatronic figure.

Beyond the figure, our team is also able to provide the surrounding set work and support media to provide a fully immersive storytelling experience. 

Subtlety

The best realism is often achieve by the subtlest of details.  The arch of an eyebrow, the dart of an eye, the casual shift of weight from one foot to the other - these and many other small details help transform a figure of rubber, plastic and steel into a personality and performance.

Reliability

While many of our figures make their homes in theme parks, a large number find their way to local museums, science centers, and family attractions that don't have an army of maintenance technicians at the ready to make repairs or upgrades.  We're able to work with each client to make sure the choices made during the design process match the maintenance capabilities of the buyer. 

Scripting & Voice Services

Animatronic storytellers are actors.  As such, their success will ultimately rely on a good script and a voice talent that can deliver that script in an engaging and memorable manner.  Developing the best script and choosing the right voice talent is something on which we work closely with our clients. LifeFormations has created hundreds of scripts and voice recordings for animatronic storytellers, and have access to a wide variety of scriptwriters and voice talent to fit each type of story. 

Wide Range of Control Options

There are many different ways in which animatronic storytellers can be activated or controlled.  Some are guest selected, some are timed, some are actor coordinated and some are tied to other media or activities in the space.  We're able to work with the intent of the space and any input or potential interference with other activities in the area to identify the best methods to activate the animatronic storyteller's shows. 

 

Stylized & Monochrome Figures

Some of our most powerful figures leave the details to your visitors’ imagination. LifeFormations monochrome and stylized figures are an effective way to contextualize the guest experience, while encouraging them to bring a bit of their imagination to the story.

Breadth of Styles

There are a variety of creative production options and price points to balance budget with artistic intent. While there are a series of industry standard colorization and texture techniques, we welcome the opportunity to create a unique finish or surface to satisfy any art direction.

Animatronic Versions

As with any of our figures, we're able to bring our monochrome and stylized figures alive with animatronics.  These animated statues have the ability to surprise and engage audiences where realistic figures or IP based characters  may not quite fit the intended style. 

 

Touchable Surfaces

Inviting guests to mingle with the figures can really help immerse them in the story. We offer a touchable option for all of our figures. 

 

Animals

We love to bring the animal kingdom up close and personal. Whether we're creating mascots for a theme park or scientifically accurate recreations of a rare or extinct species, our team delves into the details of the appearance and message to find the best mix of materials, movement, and realism.  

Pose & Realism

The lack of clothing along with the amount of movement that many animals have can strain even the most generous budgets.  To help create and maintain a realistic presence for animals, we focus first on the pose of the animal.  The type of pose - relaxed, ready to pounce, etc. - can help make the selected movements seem completely natural, even when they may be limited. 

Caricatures and Characters

Sometimes the animals we create benefit from a little caricature to help them communicate a story, other times we create anthropomorphic versions to interact with visitors. Fortunately, we are comfortable across the entire spectrum of realism from scientifically accurate to full blown character.