Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Man Behind Pixar's 3D Films

Here's an interesting interview with Bob Whitehill, Pixar Studios 3D supervisor. He explains a little bit on the process of making Pixar's 3D movies.

Explain how you have to make the film for the left eye and then make it again for the right eye.
Whitehill: We have a rendering group and we have this huge render farm, and creating these huge images of over 2 million pixels each is really expensive. They're just crunching math and all this brilliant programming goes into creating these images, and then we have to do it for the other eye. We basically have to do the entire movie twice. We also have to worry about those two eye views matching exactly. And there's this thing we call bit rot, where when you render a frame for the 2D version and show it to the director, and then he approves, it, and then you render the version for the other eye four days later, it can look different than the first version. Like, someone might have changed a shade, or improved Lotso's fur, so the fur looks a little better, and he checked it in on Wednesday, and then they rendered the left on Tuesday, and you rendered the right on Thursday, and now Lotso's fur doesn't match. And you can get this odd shimmering effect because your left and right eye views aren't the same. So there's a lot of care and expertise and finessing that goes into creating both eye views as swiftly and accurately and expertly as possible.

It's a fun and informative article.


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