So with the imminent release of Brave, Pixar’s latest sampling of visual cocaine I thought an appropriately topical blog post was in order.
It’s no secret that Pixar are the Zeus, Budda and Chuck Norris of the 3D animation world all rolled into one. Well Pixar itself is well aware of this fact as well and every now and again, they like to remind the rest of us none-Pixar animators of who they are. Effectively saying “we have a more talented artists than you as footstools.”
The way they do this is by adding one or two shots that show off some of the ridiculously complicated techniques that they’ve used in the film. Just so there’s no confusion, Pixar didn’t come up with any of these 3D tricks, they just improved the living shit out of them.
It’s pretty obvious what Brave is trying to show off……… pitch prefect Scottish accent simulation. Every actor in the production was actually speaking in a thick New-Delhi accent. That’s how good Pixar is.
In A Bugs Life it was crowd control, the possess of controlling a large group of characters with some simple instructions. Watch it back and you’ll notice there are quite a few lingering shots of the big crowds.
Monsters Inc was Pixar showing that it can do Fur simulation better than real life can.
Finding Nemo – volumetrics. All those pretty underwater shots were made possible by volumetrics.
They were subtle in The Incredibles, most people probably didn’t even see it. There’s one single scene where Bob is talking to his boss and for one quick shot, we cut to a close up of the guys hands as he interlocks his fingers. That was it, soft deformation. May not seem like much but at the time, it blew our freaking minds.
Cars was all about the lighting. All that damn neon was no small feat.
And remember that one shot in Up where the sunlight is shining through the balloons onto a building in over-saturated Technicolor. That’s colour bleeding and it’s complicated as hell to do properly.
So now you know, pretty much every time there’s an out of place shot in a Pixar film, it’s actually them waving their big 3D balls in our collective faces. Hopefully that mental image will stick with you for a bit.
See you next week!