Ubisoft Turns to 3D Printing to Create Futuristic Costumes in Just Dance 2023

Published on February 10, 2023 by Madeleine P.
ubisoft 3D printing

For over 14 years, Just Dance, a game that (as the name suggests) has been designed to get you dancing, has amazed users. Starting on the Wii all the way back in 2009, this year Ubisoft released the 14th version of the game which can be played on a number of different consoles including Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S. But more consoles is not the only way that the game has changed. For this latest version, Ubisoft, the game creator, turned to 3D printing to help create futuristic fashion pieces for use in-game.

Ubisoft is one of the biggest gaming companies out of there. Some of their most famous games include the Assassin’s Creed series, Far Cry, Rabbids and more. And of course Just Dance is also one of their most popular offerings. In the game, users use a motion detecting device in order to follow along with a coach that is dancing on the screen, trying to get as close to the actual movement as possible. These coaches are faceless and virtual, but they do tend to have one thing in common: incredible costumes. It is here that Ubisoft has turned to 3D printing.

Ubisoft used 3D printing and laser cutting to create the intricate costume for Night Swan

Ubisoft Uses 3D Printing for its Intricate Costumes

As mentioned, the coaches in Just Dance are known for their extravagant and beautiful costumes. But contrary to what you may believe, these cannot just be made on screen. In fact, in order to get the correct movements for the game, Ubisoft needs to have actual dancers perform the movements in front of a green screen. These are then animated in the game itself. However, this means that the dancers also need to be wearing the same clothing as their characters, no matter how intricate they may be.

Thus, Ubisoft decided that 3D printing would be ideal to help them create the outfit of the villain of Just Dance 2023, Night Swan. In order to reflect the fact that Night Swan was a powerful villain, the designers decided that the costume needed to be equally elaborate, landing on a long, flowing overcoat and body suit covered in 300 independently movable, hand-placed feathers. This was then created by combining additive manufacturing and laser cutting.

For Just Dance 2021, Ubisoft turned to 3D printing to create a futuristic prosthetic for one of the dancers

Moreover, this was actually not the first time that Ubisoft turned to 3D printing. In Just Dance 2021, the team used the technologies to create a 3D printed prosthetic and chest plate to give a retro-futuristic feel. Costume Designer and Character Lead Benjamin Jouffret does not specify which 3D technology was used in either case, but we know it uses polymers, notably softer ones for Night Swan since hard materials would have hurt the dancer. Furthermore, given the look of the costumes, it could have easily down with some kind of photopolymerization method like SLA or material jetting. Indeed these two processes are often popular for pieces that must look beautiful, for example in the movie industry, so it would come as no surprise that they may have been adopted for video games as well.

Joffret concludes, “It’s been a huge opportunity to work with 3D-printing techniques because we can create an outfit with a lot of detailed elements that makes the finished product look and perform in a really high-quality way. Additionally, once we decide on a final shape and material for the 3D-printed objects, we can change the way the computer renders them. For example, we can make the objects appear like they’re made of metal or plastic on-camera, in order to fit with our initial vision.” You can find out more on Ubisoft’s website HERE.

What do you think of Ubisoft’s use of 3D printing for Just Dance 2021 and 2023? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

*All Photo Credits: Ubisoft

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