My idea for this project originated way back in 2011: for an art project I decided to laser engrave the list of ingredients onto several different foods including bread, cheese, and… bologna. The bread and cheese turned out ok, but I was very impressed by the quality of the bologna. All the letters came out sharp with little to no burn marks.
As I began to study video and animation in school, I recognized the potential of a laser cutter to easily render a digital animation in physical form. I entertained the idea of a laser cut bologna animation for a long time, and eventually pitched the idea around to a few different companies, including Sawyer’s, never expecting to hear back from any of them. But lo and behold, a month later they got back to me and gave the project a green light!
Now I am not very good at drawing. So I knew the first thing I would need to create this thing was a kick ass hand drawn animator to draw the initial pig animation. I found Alex Salsberg through craigslist, and after describing the idea to him, he started on some sketches and rough animations to figure out exactly what these piggies would look like and how they would move.
After finalizing the animation, Alex passed each frame on to me as a vector file which could be read by the laser cutter. It was then my task to cut each frame (18 in all) out of bologna.
Finally, with all the pieces cut out, it was time for some good old stop motion animation! Each set of piggies was put in place and photographed from several different angles. Then all the photos were stitched together to create the illusion of motion that you see in the final animation!