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!
It’s high time that Pixar was funny again. Before you begin writing fierce and angry comments, keep reading, even if you’re tempted not to. When people think of Pixar’s highest creative peak, they likely consider the four films released between 2007 and 2010: Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, and Toy Story 3, movies typified more by their emotional highs than comic highs. This is not to say that this quartet of films aren’t funny; they are, and frequently so. But think of Up, and you hear the tinkling sounds of Michael Giacchino’s Oscar-winning score and the “Married Life” montage in its opening act. Consider WALL-E, and you may think of WALL-E and Eve swirling around in space, triumphant in their mutual admiration and determined to help the human race evolve once more. And Toy Story 3’s final act is an emotional flood for most audiences. Pixar hasn’t stopped being funny, but they’ve allowed themselves to be swept away by that flood.
Depending on your age and attitude, it has become very difficult over the last month to not be cynical about the state of affairs at the Walt Disney Company. Though Disney appears to be, financially, as high as they’ve ever been, the company is cutting costs left and right, up to and including letting long-time employees go. Some of the more high-profile layoffs have targeted, inadvertently, one hopes, touchstones of many a Millennial child. Last year, people thrilled at the idea that Disney was now in league with the seminal video-game company LucasArts as part of buying Lucasfilm as a whole. A few weeks ago, those same people were depressed to hear that Disney shuttered the company for good, essentially outsourcing future video games. And now, Disney’s axed a number of their most venerated employees in the hand-drawn animation department, cementing the notion that hand-drawn animation is persona non grata at a company that built its reputation on that illustrative vision.
Yesterday, we launched a new column called Al’s Steal of the Day, meant to highlight great deals on Pixar related items. Today, we are launching yet another column – Pixar Extras! – set up to bring you bits of Pixar from around the web. It is a collection of Pixar-related artwork, products, and cool goodies that may not make make it into their own full-blown articles, but are too sweet to simply ignore. Check out this week’s edition of Pixar Extras! after the jump! [Read more…]