Have you ever wondered how Pixar films are made? There is an insane amount of work going on behind-the-scenes. Today we have a new video from Pixar Animation Studios and Khan Academy that will give you a peek at the magic behind films like Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., and Inside Out.
Khan Academy is an institution that creates instructional videos to help people learn outside the classroom. In addition to Pixar, they work with companies and agencies like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT. The video tours the Pixar campus and shows us the process, which starts with simple hand drawings, moves through storyboards, digital animation, and rendering to the big screen. You also get a bunch of fun facts, including what was hardest thing to do on each film, like dealing with the hair in Monsters, Inc. and the reflective metal in Cars.
Considering how long everything takes—a single frame can take 24 hours to render—it’s amazing we get as many films as we do. I’ve actually had a chance to tour the campus and let me just say, if you’re choosing a college major, you may want to consider art and animation. The place is incredible; It’s like summer camp. Everyone is smiling all the time, there are secret rooms, a party terrace with all alcohol-related plants like agave, and free yoga classes and massages.
What’s not in the video, but is actually something fascinating I’ve learned from my own Pixar visits over the years, is that their story process is brutal. Teams can work on a film for months and actually have it in a pretty advanced state, but when it’s shown to the group at Pixar (and Disney does the same thing), the entire thing can be rewritten if something doesn’t work. We see so much CGI and animation these days that we sometimes forget the work that goes into it. If you’re a fan of animation at all, this is definitely worth watching.