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Festive Fizz – resin casting techniques to create realistic visual effects

  • December 14, 2017
Festive Fizz – Resin Casting Techniques To Create Realistic Visual Effects

Realistic visual effects are in demand at this festive time of year for window displays, point-of-sale and attention-grabbing in-store concessions.  Using artificial food and drink obviously avoids the issues of short-shelf life and spillage hazards.  Our wide-range of in-house creative skills enable us to test, develop and replicate everyday products for visual displays or to use in photography and filming for advertising. One recent project for set designer, Miri Katz, raised fresh challenges for the team. The end-client was looking for a wow-factor display to feature in a champagne brand advert. Having designed and pitched her idea, our client wanted to know how it could be delivered. The key requirement was to create realistic visual effects for the audience to imagine real bubbly in the glasses. Outlining the brief Our client came to us with the concept to explore what would be possible. The key concerns to address were: Authentic…

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Creating premium brand displays: here to make you look good

  • December 1, 2017
Creating Premium Brand Displays: Here To Make You Look Good

Premium brand displays in store have a mysterious appeal. Done well, the mix of quality and exclusivity inspires us to spend more because it feels good. Behind the scenes, we know a lot of work goes into product innovation, developing the brand, premium props, designing spaces and creating visual merchandising. Wow-factor premium brand displays are a blend of creative concepts and excellent delivery, just like any project. To deliver it successfully, you have to stretch the budget and time across both design and build quality, although it can become skewed by one premium prop or bespoke design. At Amalgam, we're here to make you look good, with our tips for creating your premium point-of-sale display: Share your plans early When exploring concepts, your team will have plenty of ideas - whether working with a creative director or agency, retail designer, shop fitter or specialist prop makers. The earlier you can share…

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Creating Aardman sculptures for The Grand Appeal 2018 Sculpture Trail

  • November 17, 2017
Creating Aardman Sculptures For The Grand Appeal 2018 Sculpture Trail

We were honoured to be asked by The Grand Appeal to sculpt the characters for next year’s 2018, Bristol sculpture trail, Gromit Unleashed 2. The three characters, Wallace, Gromit and Feathers, were unveiled yesterday at an event in Aardman HQ in Bristol and we were lucky enough to be there to witness the great reveal. Please keep an eye on this space where we will be talking more about the processes involved with making these iconic sculptures!

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The New Crystal Maze props and replicas

  • June 23, 2017
The New Crystal Maze Props And Replicas

Amalgam was extremely pleased to be asked to work on key props for the new TV version of the Crystal Maze which starts this Friday at 9pm on Channel 4. We were asked by James Dillon, who was the designer on the original early nineties TV show, to produce the Crystal Dome Timer Table as well as a large prop for an extra special one off episode to be shown later this year! We designed the table in 3D CAD software, CNC cut the panels then finished it using a variety of textures and paints to match photos of the original, supplied by James. The program was filmed here in Bristol at the Bottleyard studios not far from Amalgam's workshop. Amalgam offers a one stop shop for prop buyers, film makers & other media in the local area and rest of the UK, offering our services and resources to those in need of…

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Development of the Holovis game controller for immersive 3D experience

  • February 28, 2017
Development Of The Holovis Game Controller For Immersive 3D Experience

Published in this month’s Develop 3D, you can take a look behind the scenes at the development work we did for Holovis to design and manufacture the Crimson Wing game controller. Holovis came to Amalgam with a basic outline shape developed as a 3D concept. Their first priority was to develop the ergonomics, starting with the handle of the controller. To test each handle design, we made controller handles out of modelling foam, using our 3-axis CNC machine.  Once we determined the desired shape and best size, we adjusted our CAD model and applied finer exterior design details to it. The concept version was then shelled out, for us to apply all the required internal features and electronic support bosses.  The next stage was to develop our CAD file into a final design, which took four weeks of computer-aided design work.  Once the CAD files were complete, we 3D printed…

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Large scale insect models for IVCC to mark World Malaria Day

  • May 11, 2016
Large Scale Insect Models For IVCC To Mark World Malaria Day

For World Malaria Day, our team was commissioned to make large scale insect models to feature in an exhibition display, for vector-control specialists, IVCC. Mosquitos kill 433,000 people a year, mainly children under 5 and pregnant women. Bed nets treated with insecticides have contributed enormously to bringing down the number of deaths, yet vector-borne diseases are renowned for developing resistance. To resolve this challenge, international teams are working to develop new insecticides. World Malaria Day was an opportunity to raise awareness, so Jed Stone from IVCC marked the occasion by heading to London with two large scale mosquito models to share their message with MPs and visitors to Parliament. Insect models fascinate visitors IVCC set out their stall to engage visitors at Portcullis House, where the two insect models were placed on the table among leaflets and on-screen information. The emphasis was on making sure MPs understand how the international development funding…

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Behind the scenes at the Bottle Yard studios – Amalgam’s on-site exhibition and meeting space is open

  • January 8, 2016
Behind The Scenes At The Bottle Yard Studios – Amalgam’s On-site Exhibition And Meeting Space Is Open

The Bottle Yard Studios opened in 2010, transforming a disused industrial space into a vibrant and busy creative hub for production. More international companies are bringing filming to the south west to use the space, which is great news for Bristol and the creative businesses here. However, for the art department, there is a significant challenge to find a company they can trust to produce high quality props, if they require last minute items, artefacts or signage to complete their production shoots. The site is on the outskirts of Bristol, with superb access to some of England’s most exciting film locations on its doorstep, from Regency Georgian to gritty industrial and picturesque coastline. However the majority of traditional creative service providers are based in the centre of the cities, like Amalgam’s central workshop in Bristol, which makes it pot luck for production teams seeking help with their props and physical…

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Sign of the times – 3D signage

  • November 12, 2015
Sign Of The Times – 3D Signage

There are often areas of a project that fall outside the remit of any definite department; 3D signage is one of these areas. Often dreamed up by the graphics department, who may not have the construction facilities to bring the design to life, and turned away by propmakers as 'not really a prop', signage can end up being overlooked. Amalgam offers a fast turn-around service to create bespoke 3D signs from your designs that can add the finishing touch to a well designed and constructed set for film, advertising, television or theatre.   Our model makers can create signage using a wide range of materials and techniques to achieve the desired look, whether this be using vinyl printing, special effects painting, laser cutting and etching or a combination of the aforementioned. We will work from your designs and provide suggestions and advice, to ensure you get exactly what you are looking for.     These…

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An Overview of our Sculpting Services

  • October 30, 2015
An Overview Of Our Sculpting Services

We are in the run-up to our third annual Halloween Pumpkin carving competition, the #AmalgamCarveOff, and being professional makers we are in with a good chance - however, the competition is stiff. With sculpting vegetables at the forefront of most people's imaginations this week, it's worth talking about the sculpting services we can offer, the projects we've worked on, and the role this traditional skill plays in the age of 3D printing.   Animals and Props Our sculpts tend to be one-off, bespoke pieces, but in some cases serve as casting masters to create multiple copies in different materials. The Big Midge for BBSRC has been artworked to high levels of realism, and beyond hand-making and paint finishing required no further processes.   The Rats of Medusa, for the BBC fantasy series Atlantis, took some thinking about how to create a texture that was both fur and stone. We settled on…

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Stainless Steel Sculpture for Blue Peter

  • June 11, 2015
Stainless Steel Sculpture For Blue Peter

Our sculpture of the BBC brand icon, the Blue Peter Galleon, is afloat in Bristol! When the BBC rang to ask us about making a sculpture of their iconic galleon which features on the Blue Peter badges, we were delighted to explore their options. As with most television props, the timing was tight to design and build it – so that filming could go ahead on schedule. We had a total of five days, from taking on the brief, to have the model ready for collection on the Monday by the Blue Peter presenter Radzi. The Blue Peter Galleon is easily recognised, so it was a challenging job to preserve the image and accurately re-produce it in 3D stainless steel. The background In conjunction with Avon Wildlife Trust, BBC Bristol has been developing a wildlife garden at the side of the Broadcasting House building on Whiteladies Road in Bristol –…

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