The teams did it by creating an animation so excellent, Bears on Stairs, that it's impossible to feel bad about the time you spend idly watching it happen.
The project began with a computer-designed, polygonal bear, but instead of simply extrapolating a bunch of frames to make a CGI movie, the DBLG and Blue Zoo players went old school in a very Ray Harryhausen way and 3D printed 50 individual models they used to create a stop-motion sequence of images.
While it's certainly not the first time anyone's used 3D printing to create stop-motion animation, the result is utterly captivating. Stop motion animation has a charm all its own, and 3D printing is fast becoming a go-to part of the process used to create characters and sets.
The technique was used to good effect in The Pirates! Band of Misfits, a video short by Sony Animation, which calls on a set of some 8,000 3D printed mouths to capture the detailed movement of the character's jaws to make the words they speak seem more realistic.
As for Bears on Stairs, creating it was a painstakingly slow process which involved printing a series of 50 tiny bear sculptures and then photographing them over a period of 4 weeks, the finished product amounts to a loop of only two seconds of screen time animation.