Pixar offered a rare but telling look inside exactly how much work goes in to creating a single scene. The company shared six iterations of a scene from "Monsters University," confirming that making a Pixar film is more complicated than even expected.
A Reddit user shared the image strip on Sunday, attracting more than 500 comments.
The images are labeled as storyboard, concept art, modeling process, layout process, animation and simulation, and lighting and final image. However, a fellow Redditor who also happens to be an animator for Pixar, offered a correction. The second image, concept art, is actually called color scripts. Color scripts highlight how the colors in the film will relate to the storyline.
Once the script and colors are finalized, the modeling process begins. This is when the characters are created by technical directors to include shading, which sets them up to have more dimension once the characters are lit.
The layout step is created entirely in the computer, and a virtual camera is placed. The characters are placed based on those camera angles and are animated to fit within those shots.
Animation and simulation brings life to the characters. Everything from background characters to hair on the monsters will move naturally, as if they were real. Textures and colors are also added to make everything pop.
Lighting is the final and arguably the most crucial step. The way a scene is lit will bring all of the elements in the scene together and help them to function naturally together. It is a complicated process, with many scenes of "Monsters University" having more than a dozen lights.
After what we see in the final production, it's hard to believe that in the digital world we live in, Pixar still begins with a simple sketch.
The studio has lured some pretty good gets from celebrities either looking to impress their kids or earn a stable residual check, but Paul Newman is the cherry on top... or should that be the salad dressing?
118. Annie Potts as Bo Peep ("Toy Story")
117. John Turturro as Francesco Bernoulli ("Cars 2")
116. Vanessa Redgrave as Mama Topolino/The Queen ("Cars 2")
115. Tony Shalhoub as Luigi ("Cars 2")
114. Cheech Marin as Ramone ("Cars")
113. Whoopi Goldberg as Stretch ("Toy Story 3")
112. Will Arnett as Horst ("Ratatouille")
111. Roddy McDowall as Mr. Soil ("A Bug's Life")
110. Wallace Shawn as Rex ("Toy Story")
109. George Carlin as Fillmore ("Cars")
108. Bruce Campbell as Rod "Torque" Redline ("Cars 2")
107. Penn Jillette as TV Announcer ("Toy Story")
106. Frank Oz as Jeff Fungus ("Monsters Inc.")
105. Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants ("Toy Story 3")
104. Craig Ferguson as Lord Macintosh ("Brave")
103. Fred Willard as Shelby Forthright (live-action) ("WALL-E")
102. Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head ("Toy Story")
101. Sigourney Weaver as the voice of the Axiom's computer ("WALL-E")
100. R. Lee Ermey as Sarge ("Toy Story")
99. Paul Newman as Doc Hudson ("Cars")
Even amid the intense pressure to keep topping themselves movie after movie, some of the studio's best and brightest find time to voice a character or two, as did the late Joe Ranft who helped define modern animation.
98. John Lasseter as John Lassetire ("Cars 2")
97. Pete Docter as Kevin ("Up")
96. Lou Romano as Snot Rod ("Cars")
95. Lou Romano as Bernie Kropp ("The Incredibles")
94. Andrew Stanton as Crush ("Finding Nemo")
93. Andrew Stanton as Evil Emperor Zurg ("Toy Story 2")
92. Brad Bird as Ambrister Minion ("Ratatouille")
91. Brad Bird as Edna Mode ("The Incredibles")
90. Joe Ranft as Red ("Cars")
89. Joe Ranft as Jacques ("Finding Nemo")
88. Joe Ranft as Lenny ("Toy Story")
The sardonic postal worker from "Cheers" has found a home in every single Pixar movie, and neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays him from doing so. His bad guy straight out of Jack Kirby-era "Fantastic Four" is the hilarious punchline of "Incredibles."
87. John Ratzenberger as Tom ("Up")
86. John Ratzenberger as Mustafa ("Ratatouille")
85. John Ratzenberger as the school of Moonfish ("Finding Nemo")
84. John Ratzenberger as Mack ("Cars 1 & 2")
83. John Ratzenberger and Kathy Najimy as John and Mary ("WALL-E")
82. John Ratzenberger as P.T. Flea ("A Bug's Life")
81. John Ratzenberger as Hamm ("Toy Story 1,2, & 3")
80. John Ratzenberger as The Abominable Snowman ("Monsters Inc.")
79. John Ratzenberger as The Underminer ("The Incredibles")
"Lawrence of Arabia" himself lent an extra air of gravitas to the stuck-up food critic who gets magically transported back to his childhood via a simple peasant dish.
78. Teddy Newton as Chatter Telephone ("Toy Story 3")
77. Bud Luckey as Chuckles ("Toy Story 3")
76. Willem Dafoe as Gill ("Finding Nemo")
75. Denis Leary as Francis ("A Bug's Life")
74. Jeff Garlin as Captain B. McCrea ("WALL-E")
73. Peter O'Toole as Anton Ego ("Ratatouille")
The Bad Parents
For years comedian Patton Oswalt used Brian Dennehy as a punchline in his act, so it was fitting that the great character actor should wind up playing his garbage eating, philistine rat of a father.