“We wanted ‘Up’ to have a distinct look all its own and to be a departure from other Pixar films.”
From Disney/Pixar comes “Up,” a comedy adventure about 78-year-old balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen, who finally fulfills his lifelong dream of a great adventure when he ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away to the wilds of South America. But he discovers all too late that his biggest nightmare has stowed away on the trip: an overly optimistic 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell. From the Academy Award®-nominated director Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”), Disney/Pixar’s “Up” invites you on a hilarious journey into a lost world, with the least likely duo on Earth. “Up” will be presented in Disney Digital 3-D™ in select theaters.
(L- R) Dug, Russell, Carl Fredricksen ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
Released in North America on Friday, May 29th, Up is the 10th Disney/Pixar film, and the first to be presented in Disney Digital 3-D™. The response from audiences has so far been tremendous, landing it at the number one spot at the box office. Of course, with the Disney/Pixar track record thus far, who would of thought otherwise?
What follows here, is a look at some of the work going into the film, by way of still progression, courtesy of Disney/Pixar.
“Up” (L- R) Russell, Carl Fredricksen Storyboard by Enrico Casarosa. ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
(L- R) Russell, Carl Fredricksen This is the camera and staging phase which precedes character animation. The set is not fully built at this point and is finalized once layout is finished. ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
Final set modeling and dressing. Additional textural detail will be added later with shading. Organic sets such as this one tend to be more challenging than man-made sets (e.g. buildings) because the shapes are more complex and difficult to design in a pleasing way that also looks natural. Note that most of the leaves of the plants face camera. This was a design choice to keep the vegetation simple and graphic. ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
(L- R) Russell, Carl Fredricksen Final character animation poses. The characters bodies, faces, and props (e.g. the cane and ropes) are animated by keyframe. The objects on Russell's backpack are animated automatically using a dynamics system. The movement of those objects can be further refined by keyframe. The animation of the clothes is added by the Simulation Department. ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
(L- R) Russell, Carl Fredricksen This shows the final shading (material textures) for the set. All of the surfaces have texture, color, patterns, and material properties that will respond appropriately when later lit by the Lighting Department. For example, the broad leaf plants have shiny leaves that will also be translucent when backlit. The textures in Up are stylized to have larger patterns that sometimes resemble painted brush strokes. They are not made to literally look "real" but do have the complexity of objects found in nature and that makes Carl and Russell's world believable. ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
(L- R) Russell, Carl Fredricksen The Effects department animates natural phenomena such as the water running in the river and the drips from Carl's shoe after he plunges into the stream. ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
(L- R) Russell, Carl Fredricksen Final animation of the characters' clothes. The cloth is animated by dynamic simulation. The clothing simulation on Up is some of the most complicated ever done at Pixar. Carl's clothes are difficult because he has loose, baggy clothes and a hose wrapped around him. Russell's clothes are difficult because he has many layers (e.g. backpack over a scarf over a sash over a shirt over shorts) and moving parts. ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
(L- R) Russell, Carl Fredricksen Final lighting. The Lighting Department is responsible for integrating all of the elements (characters, set pieces, special effects, cloth animation, etc.) to create the final imagery. The lighting is achieved by placing virtual light sources in the scene which illuminate on the characters, set and special effects. Many dozens of lights are often required as well as lighting effects such as the shafts of sunlight seen in this shot. ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
Director Pete Docter, Head of Story Ronnie Del Carmen
and Nathaniel McLaughlin sketch drawings of their surroundings on a
research trip in Venezuela. ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
Having not seen this film myself yet, I'm more than excited to get to the theater to see just how well this one stacks up to previous Disney/Pixar films. And if I could put a bug in their ear, I'm still hoping to hear of work on a sequel to The Incredibles!
In the meantime, if you have been to the theater to see Up, please drop in to share your thoughts!
All supporting images are ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved. Supporting images cannot be copied, printed,
Nick C. Sorbin is a digital artist, sculptor, writer, and Managing Editor for Renderosity's Front Page News.
June 1, 2009
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