The character designs of Samantha Youssef certainly have a lot of charm and personality. But what really shines through is their construction. With each pose and gesture, you see her mastery of life drawing. In a time of heavily stylized characters, it is refreshing to see such fun designs that also happen to be grounded in some serious drawing skills. Whether it’s Bonnie and Clyde or Cleopatra, Samantha brings skill and grace to each creation. A graduate of Sheridan College, Samantha worked in the animation industry (including Disney) for years before founding Studio Technique in Montreal, Canada. In addition to animation freelance projects, she serves as Artistic Director for the studio and teaches life drawing and masterclasses to artists and animators from all over the world. You can check out her site for more examples of her amazing work and read more about the fascinating artist. It will make you want to practice your life drawing! Our sincere thanks to Samantha for contributing this wonderful Merida piece, for which we are so grateful. You can take a closer look at it after the break! [Read more…]
Stephy Coffey does some seriously appealing character design. Lovely ladies and dashing gents fill her portfolio pages. There’s lots to like about her great work. Her conceptual work and illustrations are sure to please. Check them out for yourself at her blog. She’s really outdone herself with this all-American tribute to Pixar just in time for the 4th of July. Take a closer look at her artwork and read more about Stephy in her own words after the break!
Earlier this week, the Disney Interactive team teased us with an image of Merida, stating “Bring on the Brave.” We already knew the character would be in the upcoming Disney Infinity 2.0, as she was spotted for a moment in last month’s trailer for the game, along with Maleficent and Stitch. On Wednesday evening, the developers held a sneak preview for D23 members in San Francisco of Merida and Maleficent joining the game – we have images that were shown and the brand new trailer after the break!
The work of Katia Grifols is full of life. Her colorful character designs and conceptual pieces are visually dynamic and full of personality – just like the artist herself. From visual development art to character designs and comics, there’s lots to see and love on her various social media channels. We were excited when she agreed to contribute a piece to PixArt. Check out her wonderful tribute to Merida from Brave. Read on for more about Katia in her own words and find out why she picked this fiery heroine as the subject of her painting!
In the first iteration of Disney Infinity, there were quite a number of Pixar characters available for gamers to choose from, including from films such as The Incredibles, Monsters University, and Cars. When Disney Infinity 2.0 was said to feature Marvel super heroes, there was a question as to whether Disney and Pixar characters would appear. If you paid close attention to the teaser for the new game, you may have spotted Merida along with a few other Disney characters, albeit briefly. Now we have confirmation that Merida will, indeed, appear!
There are plenty of software options available to animators working to bring their vision to life. Film studios, though, have a larger budget and, therefore, greater flexibility in the animation process. Pixar is considered to be among the elite when it comes to the quality of computer animation – there is often at least one moment in the studio’s films that is breathtaking visually, leaving you to wonder how it was achieved. The studio utilizes its own proprietary software, which you can get a peek at after the break!
When Pixar Animation Studios unveiled its first feature film in 1995, it represented a rebellious pushback against a formula that some people might not have been conscious of until watching Toy Story. Only then were audiences reminded that not all mainstream animation needed to have Broadway-style songs, straightforward leading characters paired with talking-animal sidekicks, or the like. When The Little Mermaid was released in November of 1989, it felt like the culmination of what Disney animation and its rivals were trying to accomplish in reviving the form for a younger generation; movies like The Great Mouse Detective and An American Tail had paved the way, but didn’t approach the same qualitative cohesion as the story of Ariel and her dreams of being human. But within 6 years, its story structure, characterization, and aural composition were no longer even mildly groundbreaking. The same happened with Pixar and its films; even though Toy Story owes a great debt to the buddy comedies of the 1980s, its combination of unique visuals, childhood nostalgia, and action once felt fresh and new.
Annie Leibovitz is a famed photographer who has left indelible impressions with her images, from those of actors and singers to even the Queen of the United Kingdom. In 2007, Disney hired her to photograph celebrities made to appear as some of the iconic characters from the studio’s films. Out of that partnership, we have seen some gorgeous results, from Rachel Weisz as Snow White, to Penelope Cruz and Jeff Bridges as Belle and the Beast. Today, a new photo was revealed, and it is the first time a Pixar character has been featured. See actress Jessica Chastain transformed into Merida from Brave after the break!
It’s the most controversial time of the year. Awards season is officially underway, with various organizations beginning to announce nominations and even winners for what they consider to be the year’s best films. Where awards shows go, controversy follows closely behind, as bold choices are often made for which films, filmmakers, and actors are celebrated. On Monday, the Los Angeles branch of Association Internationale du Film d’Animation, also known as ASIFA-Hollywood, released their list of nominees for the Annie Awards, an event that many consider to be the biggest night for film and television animation. Pixar’s Monsters University and Toy Story OF TERROR! landed a combined 17 nominations. Find more details about what is in store for Pixar this awards season after the break!
Pixar may have a problem with a lack of female representation among its directors, but that’s not the case with many of its female characters. The concern over the disparity of active female characters in mainstream filmmaking has grown (rightly) louder over the last couple of years; though this has been a problem in big-budget films for a very long time, it’s become truly galling because it shows a perceived lack of progressivism in a culture that is often painted as being potentially too progressive. No doubt, there is a disturbing inequality in the number of male versus female directors, writers, and producers in Hollywood. Pixar may not be perfect, but to presume, as some have, that it is similarly failing in representing strong female characters in its films is wildly inaccurate.