Sunday, October 24, 2010

Production Process of Movie Making in Pixar Animation

Production Process

Is made up of 4 stages:


Step 1: Pitching an idea
This step requires the Pixar employee to explain the idea of the movie to the audience and the members of the development team in a way that sounds like a sales pitch.
Step 2: Text Treatment
The idea is then written down in what is referred to as “text treatment” which summarizes the main idea of the story. For example the early version of the Monster Inc storyline featured a 32 year old man who could see monsters. But at the end, the Pixar team decided to feature the relationship between Sulley, a furry eight-foot monster and the toddler called Boo.
Step 3: Storyboard
This includes illustrations and images for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture. The artists receive the scripts and they are then expected to make the drawings. The drawn out sequence is then handed to the director.
Step 4: ColorScript
Colorscript is a process where the artists now create storyboard with colors to give an idea how the characters and the scenes would look like in colors.

StoryBoard for the movie “Up” by Enrick Casarosa, who worked on the storyboard for Ratatouille as well.

Colorscript for the movie “Cars” done By Bill cone in Pastel

Colorscript for the movie “ToyStory3” done By art director Dice Tsutsumi

Step 1: Is making Scratch Voice for the movie. The professional actors are hired and they do not depend on the script alone but also need to improvise to make the movie interesting.
Step 2: Creating Reel
This is the part where the storyboard is developed into a reel. The reel should be able to tell a story without the need to have a pitched person telling the story.
This process is important as it helps to validate the sequence of the story.

Production Stage
Step 1: concepts arts

Concept Art by Harley Jessup

For the movie Monster Inc.

Concept Art for the movie Wall E created by Daisuke “dice” Tsutsumi

Step 2: models are sculpted

Doc Hudson sculpt from the movie Cars by Jerome Ranft using oil based clay

Manny and Rosie Sculpts for the movie A Bug’s Life by Jerome Ranft made of cast urethane resin


Step: 3: The Sets are Dressed

After the sets are built in 3D, they are dressed with prop models such as chairs, curtains and toys to create a realistic scene.

Step 4: Layout

They have to create a layout to determine the composition and the visual structure of the movie. This is the part where they have to work with the visual camera and virtual sets to figure out how the camera is going to move.


Step 1: Animation

At this point, Layout, dialog, sound, character and models

are already done and the animators should determine

how the characters should move.

Computer controls are used and avars are necessary at

this point.

The animators usually would have to listen to the scratch

voice and determine how to animate the characters –

what are the right gestures and movement for the


Some animators tries to act it out which makes them look

like silly and they record themselves doing it and study

the movement. But actually they are recording their

movement so that they can apply their movement to

their characters.

The last part that they have to do is to animate the face

and some details like for example fur.


Step 2: Lighting and Shader

The lighting completes the whole picture and at this stage the key, fill

and bounce lights become important in enhancing the mood and

emotion of the characters in the scene.

As for the shaders, it helps to bring out different color effects. The

surface color and texture is determined by the shader. shader in

Maya is like hypershade.

Renderman have it's own shader program but uses it's own

programing language: Renderman Shading Language (RSL).

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Visual Effect Lab



I. Introduction

  1. Pixar is one of the most successful computer animation companies in the world. Even though other good companies are coming up, the Pixar Company is one of the most successful companies because of its high reputation and quality products.
  2. The Pixar Animation Studio is a computer animation studio based in Emeryville, California.
    1. It was founded in 1979 and produces Computer Generated Imagery (CGI).
    2. The development of sophisticated Pixar Imaging Computer, brought the company into the limelight. Although the product did not sell well in the market, Pixar gained the attention of a giant company, the Walt Disney Studios.
    3. The two companies made a production deal in 1991, which led to the production of Toy Story.

II. Body

  1. One of the reasons that Pixar is one of the most successful companies in the world is because it produces high quality products using highly innovative processes.
    1. The films undergo four stages.

- Development Stage.

- Preproduction Stage.

- Production Stage.

- Post-production stage.

2. The process of producing a high quality film starts with an employee of the company coming up with an idea and selling it to the audience.

3. The next stage involves writing the text treatment, which is a short document that summarizes the thesis behind the film.

4. After writing the idea, a storyboard is drawn.

5. The voice talent recording begins after the storyboard is drawn.

6. Professional actors record the character voices while reading from scripts.

7. The editorial group then makes videotapes to validate the sequence of the story.

8. The art department creates inspirational art and illusions of the characters and the world they live in.

9. The art department sculpts the characters.

10. Scanning, dressing and hinging the characters in 3-D are the next steps in creating a near reality picture.

11. The story is translated into 3-D scenes.

12. The company uses a variety of software to enhance the image.

-The Pixar animation software animates the models

- The “shaders” software allows for color variations.

13. Digital light is then used to lit the scenes and create different moods.

14. Rendering the computer data to make sure that all the information in the file in combined into a single frame of film

15. The editorial team puts the final touches to the film.

III. Body

  1. Another of Pixar’s strengths lies in the use of highly sophisticated and advanced technology that ensures the production of high quality films.
    1. RenderMan.
    2. Pixar’s tractor.
    3. RenderMan studio.
    4. RenderMan Pro Server.
    5. Renderman for Maya.

IV. Conclusion

  1. One of the main reasons that Pixar commands such a high appeal to its audience is the use of its unique 3-D animation tools. The tools help in creating a balance between artistic expressions and believability. Some of the company’s famous masterpieces are A Bug’s Life, Toy Story and Finding Nemo. The company also gives it characters and scenes exquisite attention, which is evident with the final product. Pixar also does not shy away from experimenting with new technology, which is one of the distinguishing aspects between Pixar and other companies. Even though other good companies are coming up, the Pixar Company is one of the most successful companies because of its high reputation and quality products