A few days ago, during promotion for Cars 2, director John Lasseter spoke about Brave to Irish Film & Television Academy guests in Dublin. While many of the previous quotes on Brave have revolved around it being Pixar’s first film where the central character is a female, the Irish Film and Television Network quotes him on the challenge that arises from it also being the studio’s first period film. All the employees have to do is some research on how objects looked in medieval Scotland and can then simply translate that to animation – right? Not really. Read on to see why John Lasseter says it is not quite that easy.
Lasseter addresses the difficulties that come from working within computer animation:
Set in Medieval Scotland, Lasseter described [Brave] as an “extreme challenge for computer animation,” adding that creating the human figure and cloth on computer animation is “technically challenging. The computer likes things are completely geometric and in a film like that nothing is geometric.”
We knew that objects like making cloth, hair, water, and bags look realistic in a computer animated film are notoriously challenging. Pixar has made great strides in those areas in films such as Toy Story 3 and Cars 2. However, it looks like a period film raises some other concerns – there is a certain rudimentary aspect to many of the objects and materials from hundreds of years ago, which computer animation just does not want to do easily.
We have no doubt it will look great, though. Computer animation has come a long way from Toy Story. That film still looks beautiful today, but one can see the breakthroughs that have been made by watching the latest films in the medium. Animation on medieval objects can be done, but it will likely take Pixar employees a long, long, long time to bring it to the standard they are looking for.
Brave arrives in theaters on June 22, 2012.