Thursday, November 12, 2015

How Pixar Brought Computers To The Movies

As we celebrate 20 years of the first Toy Story movie, this is a rather nice article on the movie technology that was brought by Pixar to the movie industry with that first Toy Story release.

In the past two decades, Pixar has become a celebrated art house, with other groundbreaking films to its credit, including "Monsters, Inc.," "Up," "Wall-E" and, most recently, "Inside Out." But Pixar's achievement hasn't just been a game changer for animation; it's been course-altering for all of film.

"Toy Story" wouldn't have been possible without groundbreaking software from Pixar. Called RenderMan, the program let animators create 3D scenes that were photorealistic. The idea: Generate, or "render," images that look so real you could put them in a movie alongside live-action footage -- and no one could tell the difference.

Pixar, which licenses RenderMan to other film studios, boasts that 19 of the last 21 Academy Award winners for visual effects used the software. They include "Titanic," the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "Avatar."

This is what most people don't realize, that the impact of computer animation permeates all through the movie business, not just in animated movies.

Pixar was, and still is, truly revolutionary.


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