Client Project

BlizzCon Experiential Element: Starcraft Hydralisk Skull

Client: Activision Blizzard

Purpose: Experiential Display Model

Blizzard created a walk-through experience of "Joeyray's Bar" from Starcraft at their annual BlizzCon event in 2018. Featured in this installation is the famous "Hydralisk Skull," mounted as a hunting trophy and strung with Christmas lights.

To produce this element, we started with the original in-game 3D model of a Hydralisk skull provided by the Starcraft creature design team. The piece was sectioned into chunks to fit in our ABS Plastic 3D printers, and then assembled and hand-painted with a realistic bone wash patina.

The stained backboard is made from a single piece of 2" thick hardwood which was cut and shaped on a 3-axis CNC mil. The trophy plaque, also cut on a 3-axis CNC mill, is made from 1/8" aluminum stock and hand-painted to darken the inlays.

Services Used

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3D Printing

The skull piece was too large to fit within a 3D printer build volume, so it was sliced up into a dozen smaller sections. This sectioning also speeds up production, allowing multiple machines to build parts simultaneously.

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Custom Fabrication

This build includes a true hardwood backplate and engraved aluminum plaque, milled on a 3-axis CNC mill. An aluminum frame was bolted to the 3D printed skull and mounted on the hardwood backplate.

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Model Painting

The assembled 3D printed skull piece was coated with a smoothing agent and sanded to fill gaps from the construction process. The antique bone appearance was achieved with a dozen various hand-applied coats of paint and tinted washes.

Material Used

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ABS Plastic

This hard, sturdy material is ideal for quick general prototyping and confirmation of form, fit, and function. ABS Plastic parts are accurate and consistent, however part surfaces do show visible build lines, especially along organically curved surfaces. These lines can be sanded down smooth to create display pieces.

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