What do you get when you mix a Nokia N8 smartphone, a CellScope microscope, and a really really small figurine made by stretching the very limits of a 3D printer and then hand-painted by artists?
You get the world’s smallest stop-motion animation, starring the 0.35 inch tall Dot cruising an obstacle course made with British coins, runs through a collapsing crystal cave and rides a bumblebee. The character’s chest inflates and deflates as it breathes – the animators at UK’s Aardman studio had to use 50 iterations of Dot, as it was too small to hand animate – and you can hear it on the well-layered soundtrack.
CellScope won one of the What’s New PopSci Awards in 2008. It was created by Daniel Fletcher, a University of California-Berkley bioengineer, by attaching a 50x microscope with a cellphone camera. Nokia approached directors Will Studd and Ed Patterson about making the animation as a celebration and showcase of CellScope’s potential to push the boundaries of medicine in third world countries.