Pixar Conjures First-Look Images for ‘Onward’

Disney-Pixar has unveiled the first stills from upcoming everyday-life-meets-fantasy-world feature Onward. Directed by Dan Scanlon (Monsters University), the film features the voices of Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) — whose characters are shown in these debut pics — and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer.

Set to hit theaters March 6, 2020, Onward is set in a suburban corner of a fantasy world without humans, populated by elves, trolls, sprites, and infestations of dumpster-diving unicorns. Pratt and Holland voice Barley and Ian Lightfoot — teenage elf brothers raised by a widowed mother (Louis-Dreyfus) who embark on a quest to find out if real magic still exists in their world.

“Tom Holland is perfect for our character of Ian, the younger brother. We were looking for someone who could have this shy quality and someone who is good at being a little awkward. And Tom is great at that! And yet has a genuine sweetness to him that you really root for him,” Scanlon told People. “We wanted someone who was the exact opposite of that [for Barley]. Someone who could be wild and chaotic and out of control, but in a very charming and infectious way. And Chris Pratt is perfect for that. He has this ability to be both sort of wild and out of control but in a really lovable, fun, infectious way.”

Scanlon also wrote the film, and reunites with producer Kori Rae (Monsters University) on this magical new project.

[Source: People]

Onward

Onward

Onward

Onward

Animation Magazine

‘Coco,’ ‘Toy Story 3’ Director Lee Unkrich Trading Pixar for Personal Life

After a quarter century serving as part of the creative core of Pixar Animation Studios, director Lee Unkrich has announced he is leaving the company and stepping away from the Hollywood animation game. The helmer of numerous globally beloved and critically acclaimed films — including animated feature Oscar winners Coco and Toy Story 3 — confirmed his decision on Twitter Friday:

In a statement, Unkrich said, “I’m not leaving to make films at another studio; instead, I look forward to spending much-needed time with my family and pursuing interests that have long been back-burnered.”

Pete Docter, Chief Creative Officer of Pixar, lauded Unkrich’s creative contributions to the studio over the years:

“Lee arrived at Pixar as we were crafting Toy Story, and he’s had a profound effect on all Pixar films since. He literally taught us rookie filmmakers about staging, composition, and cutting. His artistry and expert craftsmanship as an editor and co-director became a major reason for the high quality of our filmmaking, and as Lee went on to direct, his ability to find the deep humor and emotion enabled him to create some of the strongest films we’ve made. He will be sorely missed — but we are enormously grateful for his tireless dedication to quality, and his ability to touch the hearts of audiences around the world.”

Unkrich began his Pixar career as a film editor on the first Toy Story. His credits with the studio also include the smash hit features Toy Story 2 (co-director & editor), Monsters, Inc. (co-director & additional editor), Finding Nemo (co-director & supervising film editor), Toy Story 3 (director & story writer), Coco (director & story writer), and the Coco short Dante’s Lunch (director). He was also executive producer on Monsters University and The Good Dinosaur, and conceived the original story for this year’s Toy Story 4 (June 21), directed by Josh Cooley.

In addition to the two Best Animated Feature Film Oscars and an adapted screenplay Oscar nomination for Toy Story 3, Unkrich has racked up two animated feature BAFTA Awards (Coco & TS3) plus one Children’s BAFTA nomination (Finding Nemo); four feature production Annie Awards, a VES Award and numerous other festival and critical honors.

[Source: Deadline]

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: International Teasers, Toons Writers’ Dilemma, Pixar in Prague & More

VOID Festival Spotlights Iranian Animation
The Copenhagen animation fest (January 24-Feb. 2) will screen a program of “New Iranian Shorts” as well as playing Ashkan Rahgozar’s epic feature film The Last Fiction in competition.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: ANIMAKOM Fest
The Bilbao Int’l Animation Community Festival is accepting submissions of shorts and students films for consideration in a number of awards categories. The third edition of the festival will be held in the northern Spanish city from April 2-8. Deadline: January 31, 2019.

Prague to Celebrate 30 Years of Pixar Animation
Opening February 15 at Krizik’s Pavillions at the Holešovice Exhibition Grounds, Pixar – 30 Years of Animation is traveling exhibition offering visitors a peek under the hood of the renowned studio’s creative methods via original drawings and a multimedia experience.

Animation Contracts and the BeastForbes’ Adam Gaines explores the sketchy realm of animation writing and storyboarding, especially in the midst of Disney’s live-action reboot avalanche. (See: Jorgen Klubien v. Lion King.)

WATCH: English-Dub Trailer for ‘White Snake’
The Chinese folklore-inspired CG adventure from Light Chaser Animation (in a first co-production with Warner Bros.), directed by Amp Wong and Zhao Ji, launched in China Dec. 21. All Rights Ent. is the international rights representative for the film. H/T to Cartoon Brew!

WATCH: ‘Goopi Gwaiyaa Bagha Bajaiyaa’ Official Trailer
Billed as “India’s first children’s movie for adults,” this new project from CFSI and Karadi Tales (animation by Paperboat Animation Studios) follows two inept musicians whose passion for creating an unbearable racket finds them shunned by their fellow humans and embraced by nefarious supernatural forces! The film has already won honors from AASIFA India, APSA Brisbane, Orbit Live Industry Awards and WIFTS Los Angeles. H/T to Animation Xpress!

Pixar animation

Pixar animation

The Lion King

The Lion King

Animation Magazine

Pixar Launches In-House Indies Program SparkShorts

Pixar Animation Studios has brought its “Experimental Storytelling Initiative” into the limelight with the official reveal of SparkShorts — an intriguing spin on in-house short film production which grants artists of diverse backgrounds from across the studio’s departments a bit of money, a bit of time, and the necessary support to bring their unique vision to the screen.

Per Pixar’s Twitter, fans will get a chance to see the first fruits of this program with an exclusive one-week run of the first three shorts — Purl, Smash and Grab and Kitbull — at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood starting Friday, January 18. The shorts will screen alongside the new live-action The Little Mermaid.

The shorts will also roll out on YouTube next month: Purl Feb. 4 (YouTube), Smash and Grab Feb. 11 (YouTube & YouTube Kids), and Kitbull Feb. 18 (YouTube & YouTube Kids).

In the launch announcement video posted to the Disney-Pixar YouTube Channel, participating artists and studio leadership (including SparkShorts Production Lead David Lally, Pixar President Jim Morris and VP Development & New Media Lindsey Collins) shared the initiative’s mission in their own words, and offered some preview peaks at upcoming films.

Upcoming SparkShorts include:

Float. A father discovers that his son floats, which makes him different from other kids. To keep them both safe from the judgement of the world, Dad hides, covers, and grounds him. But when his son’s ability becomes public, Dad must decide whether to run and hide or to accept his son as he is. Writer/director: Bobby Rubio.

Kitbull. An unlikely connection sparks between two creatures: a fiercely independent stray kitten and a pit bull. Together, they experience friendship for the first time. Writer/director: Rosana Sullivan.

Purl. An earnest ball of yarn named Purl gets a job at a fast-paced, high energy, male centric start-up. Things start to unravel as she tries to fit in with this close knit group. Purl must ask herself how far is she willing to go to get the acceptance she yearns for and in the end is it worth it? Writer/director: Kristen Lester.

Loop. A non-verbal, autistic girl and a chatty boy are partnered on a canoeing trip. To complete their journey across an urban lake, they must both learn how the other experiences the world. Writer/director: Erica Milsom.

Wind. Wind is a magical realism story about a Grandma and a Grandson trapped in a massive, never ending sinkhole, living on a large boulder suspended by strong winds. Together they scavenge falling debris to build an escape, hoping to find a better life in the outside world. Writer/director: Edwin Chang.

Smash and Grab. After years of toiling away inside the engine room of a towering locomotive, two antiquated robots will risk everything for freedom and for each other. Writer/director: Brian Larsen.

[Source: PixarPost]

Wind

Wind

Smash and Grab

Smash and Grab

Purl

Purl

Loop

Loop

Kitbull

Kitbull

Animation Magazine

Pixar Animation Studios Releases RenderMan 22

The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2

Pixar today released RenderMan 22, the highly anticipated new version of the Academy Award-winning 3D rendering software for animation and visual effects. This major release is focused on artist productivity, improved data management, and advanced new features. With version 22, RenderMan redefines production rendering by delivering photorealism with new artistic controls, enhanced interactivity, and robust scalability for feature film.

Major updates to the core architecture allow RenderMan to support “live rendering” at every stage of the pipeline, providing fluid feedback for fast artist iteration. These dramatic improvements to interactive workflows enable new kinds of collaboration throughout the filmmaking process, and will transform traditional pipelines. The latest release also includes advanced lighting technology used on Pixar’s own animated feature films, including Finding Dory, Cars 3, Coco and Incredibles 2. Pixar research and development provided important new features for producing superior imagery faster, and the latest version of RenderMan delivers the groundwork for USD (Universal Scene Description), a new technology for scene management also developed at Pixar Animation Studios.

RenderMan artist tools for Autodesk’s Maya, Foundry’s Katana, and SideFX Houdini have all been comprehensively updated for version 22. These upgrades make live rendering faster and more robust while also supporting entirely new kinds of interactive edits: modeling, animation, grooming, and more. Additionally RenderMan’s Preset Browser and library of materials will now ship with all bridge products for easy sharing of materials, lights, and textures. New Maya and Katana interfaces are available immediately, with Houdini integration available shortly.

“The new RenderMan technology is already changing our pipeline. We are moving to take full advantage of its interactivity and scalability. New workflow options will also open as we add direct RenderMan integration with Pixar’s Universal Scene Description. RenderMan will play a critical role during this rapidly evolving industry move to adopt USD.” –  Pixar CTO Steve May

“Artist freedom and productivity are both critical to large scale productions. MPC Film chooses RenderMan because it is always driven forward by the requirements of real productions, and the latest release reflects that. It is a platform that provides great artistic versatility, scalable productivity, and inventive technical solutions that support the team in delivering ground breaking visuals for major feature films.” — SVP Technology & Infrastructure, Production Services Damien Fagnou.

“RenderMan allows us to innovate in unique ways as a studio. It allows us to achieve a director’s vision more effectively as a result. Version 22 is an amazing evolution of what is, in my opinion, already the best tool for the job. We are excited to get our hands on it!” — Kevin Baillie, founder and VFX Supervisor at Atomic Fiction.

Pixar will be demonstrating the new version of RenderMan in a series of presentations at the upcoming ACM SIGGRAPH 2018 conference in Vancouver.

RenderMan version 22 is available for download today at renderman.pixar.com for customers on maintenance. Individual licenses of RenderMan are available for $ 595, and $ 250 for yearly maintenance. This new pricing reflects market adjustments and Pixar’s increased investment in RenderMan development. Quantity discounts are available. Researchers, individual artists, and students creating non-commercial projects will have access the Non-Commercial RenderMan release shortly after SIGGRAPH.

Check out the new features here.

[Source: RenderMan]

The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2

Animation Magazine

Domee Shi’s Pixar Short ‘Bao’ Satisfies Artistic Appetite

Bao

For so many of us, food is home. The type of food made by parents or caregivers becomes as much a part of who we are as anything else that we experience growing up. And so it was for filmmaker Domee Shi when it came to her short, Bao, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and will play in front of The Incredibles 2 in June.

“Growing up, I’d just eat these amazing dumplings that my mom made all the time and I didn’t understand how hard she’d worked on them,” says Shi, who is the first woman at Pixar to direct a short film. “My mom usually made these half-moon-shaped, Beijing-style boiled dumplings, or bao, and that really inspired me when I was thinking of this story, of something you care for and work hard to create and kind of coddle, because I was definitely overprotected as I was growing up as an only child.”

Shi, who was born in China and raised in Toronto, started as an intern at Pixar just after college in 2011. A devotee of anime, she worked as a storyboard artist on Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Toy Story 4. Around 2014, Shi started to put together elements of what would eventually become Bao, but with the idea that the project would be “a side hustle” because she didn’t think Pixar would be interested in her very personal, unusual project.

Just the same, she found herself pitching the idea of a traditional Chinese mom who “nearly nuzzles her little baby dumpling until it dies” to one of Pixar’s legendary directors, Pete Docter.

“My mom has always told me to believe in myself and to work for what I want, and I think that’s a big part of why I pitched the idea,” says Shi. “And he loved it — even the dark or strange parts of it.”

Plump and Appetizing

As difficult as dumplings are to make in the real world, they’re even more complicated to pull off in the digital realm. The texture of the dough has to look both plump and full of ingredients while also smooth on the outside. And, in this case, the character Dumpling also had to have the kind of human qualities — like the rounded mouth of a baby — that would made him relatable, and more than just another delectable for someone to pop in their mouth.

“I think the hardest thing for our effects artists was getting the texture of Dumpling just right, because it can’t be too wet or too full or not full enough. So, we had my mom come in and make dumplings for reference so everyone could see how they’re made and how they look,” says Shi. “I think they really enjoyed eating her cooking and my mom was very proud of her food.”

Shi gave the animators oodles of references of Japanese animation that leaned into a more “cartoony” style. The director was after a look that was organic, squishy and round. Things needed to look like they’d been handmade, and the surroundings needed to give the audience a sense of warmth.

One of Shi’s major influences on the project was Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata’s My Neighbors the Yamadas. Shi loved how Takahata explored culture through seemingly ordinary moments in the lives of his characters. And this led her to document the lives and habits of many Chinese matriarchs living in the neighborhoods near her. The director was inspired to create environments that conveyed the world she knew growing up.

“I was excited to show every detail of what a Chinese immigrant home would look like, what kinds of things would be common for them to have, how they would set up their house and every detail of how the mom in the film would make her dumplings, how she would stuff them and then pinch the dough to seal them up,” says Shi. “Our production designer Rona Liu is a Chinese-American artist, too, and I loved her aesthetic. She also understood the details of a Chinese immigrant household, and we took trips to Chinatown in San Francisco and Oakland for reference. I was fortunate to make a film about so many things that are important to me and to my mom.”

Bao plays before The Incredibles 2 in theaters.

Bao

Bao

Bao

Bao

Bao

Bao

Bao

Bao

Bao

Bao

Bao

Bao

Domee Shi

Domee Shi

Animation Magazine

Daily News Bytes: Mikey Day on ‘SuperMansion,’ Pixar Imagines ‘Incredibles’ Toy Comms, Stoopid Buddy’s ‘Blark & Son’ and More!

daily-news-bytes-150

Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and Verison Media Debut IG Puppet Comedy
Live-action puppet comedy Blark & Son will premiere on Verizon’s Tumblr and go90 platforms on June 4 with a new season of 16 x 7 min. — two new episodes released each week. The Webby-nominated concept debuted as one of the first scripted programs on Instagram in 2016. It is anchored by the relationship between a cantankerous father Blark (voiced by series creator Ben Bayouth) and his unamused, awkward, 12-year-old gamer son (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Produced by Stoopid Buddy, the cast also welcomes Deborah Baker Jr., Donald Faison, Justin Roiland, Jim Rash and Patton Oswalt.

“Blark & Son’s live action puppet format sits somewhere between sitcom and cartoon, allowing us to make a comedy that feels both familiar and wholly original,” said Executive Producer Chris Waters. “Thanks to Verizon’s support, we’ve been able to expand the world and stories we can tell through these amazing characters.”

Why Animation and Storytelling Are Growing in Saudi Arabia
“It gives us a great opportunity to actually work and present new kinds of animation related to Saudi culture and closer to the Saudi audience … Now it is more efficient as we see some of the local companies offering scholarships to Japan, sponsored by famous animation studios and gaming companies such as Toei Animations and Square Enix,” Verve Studios animator Ola Sfeeran tells Arab News.

Summus Render Launches Simple Animation 1.0
After more than three years of R&D following a sneak preview at SIGGRAPH 2017 in LA, Simple Animation breaks into the industry as an innovative solution for independent professionals and studios of all sizes. Users will be able to manage their virtual workstations on demand, accessing high speed storage, while using any 2D/3D app from major industry leaders while having access to a configurable pipeline.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Seoul Int’l Cartoon & Animation Festival
The 22nd SICAF is set for August 23-26 in the South Korean capital (and online), where prizes will be awarded to an outstanding international feature, short, student film, kids’ project, online/commissioned work and pilot, as well as the best Asian and Korean representatives.

WATCH: Mikey Day Guest Stars on Sony Crackle’s ‘SuperMansion’
Monday’s brand-new episode, available for streaming on Sony’s free AVOD network, “Masters of Lex” (#302) features the SNL star as Max Penalizer — an anti-hero meting out justice with his Ball Peen Gavel of justice. When Lex (Jillian Bell) starts dating Max, Titanium Rex (Bryan Cranston) and Dr. Devizo (Chris Pine) team up to break them up — while all the villains in the mansion try to bed Cooch (Geidi Gardner) and Robobot (Zeb Wells) learns the dangers of little white lies.

Crackle is also hosting a sweepstakes with Xbox Live to send one lucky winner and guest to Los Angeles for a behind-the-scenes tour at stop-motion shop Stoopid Buddy Stoodios! Enter by May 21.

WATCH: Incredibles Day “Vintage” Toy Commercials
The one-month countdown to Incredibles 2 kicked off with a gathering of content creators, filmmakers and fans to celebrate “Incredibles Day”, which included the debut of three fun “vintage toy commercials” featuring theme songs for the franchise’s heroes Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone! Directed by Brad Bird, Disney-Pixar’s Incredibles 2 opens June 15. Tickets on sale now.

Blark & Son

Blark & Son

Blark & Son

Blark & Son

Blark & Son

Blark & Son

Animation Magazine

New Poster for Pixar Sequel Promises “an Incredible Summer”

The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2

Spring has sprung, which means the summer blockbuster season is nearly upon us — which means we are just that much closer to the release of Brad Bird’s hotly anticipated sequel, Incredibles 2! Now that we’ve been acquainted with the characters and been treated to an exhilirating first look, Pixar has dropped a new poster themed on a tropical family vacation photo-op — complete with sunglass tan lines and tropical prints.

Incredibles 2 arrives in theaters June 15.

Synopsis: In Incredibles 2, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack — whose superpowers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) is by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.

The voice cast also features Brad Bird as Edna Mode, Bob Odenkirk as Winston Deavor, Catherine Keener as Evelyn Deavor, Jonathan Banks as Rick Dicker, Sophia Bush as Voyd, and Isabella Rossellini as the Ambassador. Producers are John Walker (The Incredibles) and Nicole Grindle (Sanjay’s Super Team).

The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2

Animation Magazine

Coco’ Producer Darla Anderson Exits Pixar

Darla K. Anderson

Darla K. Anderson

Darla K. Anderson, one of the top and few women producers at Pixar is leaving the company. Anderson, who just won an Oscar for Coco last week, is pursuing other creative and philanthropic endeavors after 25 years with the Emeryville-based studio.

“I’ve had a magical and privileged experience working at Pixar for over two decades,” Anderson told The Hollywood reporter. “The creativity, imagination and innovation at Pixar is second to none. I’m truly grateful to have been a part of this historic journey and hold excitement for my next chapter.”

Anderson joined Pixar in 1993 after working at Angel Studios in Carlsbad, Calif. During her time at the CG animation powerhouse, she produced feature such as A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Cars, Toy Story 3 and Coco. She also produced the he shorts It’s Tough to be a Bug, Mater and the Ghostlight and Dante’s Lunch. In 2008, Anderson set a Guinness World Record for the highest average movie gross for a producer, at $ 221 million per movie

She leaves Pixar at a difficult juncture in the company’s history as after the studio’s chief creative officer John Lasseter stepped down after admitting to “missteps” in his behavior at the office. She served as a mentor for many of the female producers and has been a strong champion of LGBTQX community and orgs that empower women.

Disney chairman/CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “Darla has been a creative force in animation and a strong voice at Pixar for 25 years. She’s made an indelible mark on the industry as an Oscar-winning producer and a relentless champion for stories that reflect the diversity of the global audience. She takes my best wishes with her as she sets a course for her next adventure.”

Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney Studios Animation and Pixar noted, “I have had the pleasure of working closely with Darla for over 25 years. She was there from the beginning, when we were all figuring out how to make a computer-graphics animated film, and I personally owe her a debt of gratitude for all her contributions to our studio and our industry.”

Added Pixar chief Jim Morris, “Darla is not only a storied producer, but one of the true pioneers in the creation of computer-animated films. From A Bug’s Life to the sublime Coco, Darla has produced a remarkable body of movies that have not only raised the bar for animation but for cinema as a whole.”

Bob Iger and Darla K. Anderson

Director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson

Animation Magazine

Clips: Pixar Digs Up New ‘Coco’ Deleted Scenes!

Coco - Celebrity Tour deleted scene

Coco – Celebrity Tour deleted scene

In anticipation of next week’s release of Disney-Pixar’s Coco on Digital and Movies Anywhere, the studio has released two deleted scenes never seen in theaters — with introductions by director Lee Unkrich and co-director/writer Adrian Molina.

The multi-award-winning motion picture is coming home with plenty of awesome extras this month, starting with Digital & DMA on Feb. 13 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand on Feb. 27.

“Dia De Los Muertos”

“Celebrity Tour”

Coco - Celebrity Tour deleted scene

Coco – Celebrity Tour deleted scene

Animation Magazine

Disney’s California Adventure Pier Getting Pixar Makeover

Pixar Pier

Pixar Pier

2018 is going to be a big year for Pixar fans — and not just with the return of The Incredibles to theaters! Disney Parks has revealed plans to transform the “Paradise Pier” area of Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim into “Pixar Pier,” with rebranded attractions, eateries and merchandise throughout. Of course, this comes with a price: a number of classic rides and locations will permanently shut down in January to begin the makeover.

Pixar Pier will be open to visitors during the previously announced Pixar Fest celebrations, which kick off April 13.

The revamped land on the shore of Paradise Bay will be comprised of four “neighborhoods,” according to the official Disney Parks Blog.

On The Incredibles turf, fans of Brad Bird’s superhero family can get their kicks on the Incredicoaster, created out of the existing California Screamin’. The transformed attraction will feature new vehicles, character moments and a mid-century-modern-style loading area that would make Edna Mode proud. (No word on whether capes are allowed.) California Screamin’ will close January 8, with Incredicoaster set to open in the summer.

Another big change will be visible on the iconic Mickey’s Fun Wheel, which will pin a neighborhood celebrating a variety of Pixar stories. Mickey’s mug will remain on the center of the wheel facing Paradise Bay, but each of the 24 gondolas will feature a different Pixar character. The boardwalk will bring in new midway games inspired by these films (to join the Bullseye Stallion Stampede game). Games of the Boardwalk and Sideshow Shirts will close Jan. 8 in preparation.

The Toy Story-inspired neighborhood will be anchored by the popular 4-D playthrough ride Toy Story Mania!. On the western end of the boardwalk, the park will introduce an Inside Out-themed family-friendly attraction to be announced.

Ariel’s Grotto restaurant and Cove Bar will also be made over into a new lounge and grill looking out on the pier and bay, and will close Jan. 8. Cove Bar will reopen briefly in April before undergoing its makeover.

The remaining area which includes Paradise Gardens, Silly Symphony Swings, Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Goofy’s Sky School, Golden Zephyr and Ariel’s Undersea Adventure will be rezoned as “Paradise Park.”

Pixar Pier

Pixar Pier

Pixar Pier

Pixar Pier

Animation Magazine

SIGGRAPH: Winners & Wrap-Up, Pixar Peeks RenderMan 22 & Giraffe-gate

SIGGRAPH 2017

SIGGRAPH 2017

SIGGRAPH 2017 has come to a close, having attracted more than 16,500 attendees to the Los Angeles CGI confab. The conference covered over 600 papers, courses, lectures, panels, installations, artworks and experiences and giving a platform to more than 1,800 speakers and contributors over the past week. In addition, select sessions that were live-streamed generated significant viewership, with over 29,000 views on YouTube, and over 73,000 views on FaceBook thus far.

“We had a fantastic, very well-attended show this year! SIGGRAPH 2017 presented more activities, technologies, experiences, and venues than we’ve ever seen before,” Conference Chair Jerome Solomon said. “Once again, SIGGRAPH has proven itself a preeminent conference for computer graphics and interactive techniques, and I’m confident that our 2018 show next year in Vancouver will no doubt present even more unique experiences, as SIGGRAPH contributors continue to fulfill the future potential of interactive technology and innovation from every corner of the globe.”

Here is the award-winning cream of this year’s crop (on top of the previously announced film fest winners):

Best Real-Time Graphics & Interactivity: “The Human Race” (The Mill, in collaboration with Epic Games)

Emerging Technologies Best in Show: “MetaLimbs: Arms Interaction Metamorphism” (Japan)

Best Art Paper: “Transforming the Commonplace Through Machine Perception: Light-Field Synthesis and Audio-Feature Extraction in the Rover Project” by Robert Twomey (Youngstown State University) and Michael McCrea (University of Washington)

The 45th annual SIGGRAPH conference and exhibition will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from August 12-16, 2018.

Pixar Animation Studios held its 2017 RenderMan Art & Science Fair on Wednesday, previewing upcoming technologies including new interactive capabilities for RenderMan 22 and work on “XPU” rendering using CPU+GPU cores together. Presentations from Pixar and ILM revealed how feature films such as Cars 3, Coco, and Rogue One drove enhancements to RenderMan’s core technology.

RenderMan 21.5 (released July 26) significant new features include “Path Traced Subsurface Scattering,” the most advanced technique for skin and soft materials available for production VFX. New artistic controls provide a wide range for new effects in hair and fur. This version delivers raw rendering performance gains on scenes with thousands of light sources, or complex combinations of mesh lights, hair and fur, volumetrics, and arbitrary outputs. The updated Denoiser enables new compositing workflows and is substantially faster due to advanced code optimizations. Plus, UI simplification and workflow improvements for secondary passes, holdouts, material presets, and deep compositing.

Previewing RenderMan 22, Pixar demo’d next-gen tech. “Always-on” rendering embedded in artist applications, responding instantly to geometry, camera, light and material edits delivers incredible interactive frame rates with the same renderer used for batch renders. Fast vectorized OSL shader network evaluation on Intel scalable-SIMD CPUs were also shown.

RenderMan XPU renders on both CPUs and GPUs concurrently, taking full advantage of workstation resources. RenderMan XPU was shown live on a production scene, demonstrating the power and artistic possibilities of this upcoming technology. More information on RenderMan XPU will become available closer to delivery.

“RenderMan 22 is looking phenomenal,” said Steve May, Pixar CTO. “The speed of creative iteration is critical to our artists. I am excited to see what they will do with a truly live, next-gen RenderMan in their hands. They will be able to refine artistic decisions faster and explore a wider range of possibilities while doing it. It’s a great example of RenderMan innovating around the needs of production and feeding new creative tools back to artists.”

This year’s event wasn’t without a bit of controversy, caused by a giraffe named Tiny who made two appearances as part of an animal drawing workshop. While some attendees were delighted by the novelty, others objected to the exhibition of a wild animal in captivity. A Change.org petition aimed at SIGGRAPH president Jeff Jortner was launched on Wednesday. According to Business Insider, Tiny was brought in by a “well-respected organization” called Hollywood Animals. The company’s website states it has been training animals for film, TV and commercials for more than 30 years — it currently offers dogs, cats, birds, primates, big cats, bears, wolves and “other exotics,” including a giraffe.

SIGGRAPH 2017

SIGGRAPH 2017

Animation Magazine

D23: Disney & Pixar Reveal Film Slate Details

Coco

Filmmakers from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios convened at D23 Expo 2017 on Friday, revealing new details about their upcoming movie slates and introducing key voice talent. John Lasseter teamed up with the stars and filmmakers from both studios to present new details, footage, behind-the-scenes looks and images from a host of upcoming films.

“I’m so excited about our upcoming movies; they are all hilarious, emotional, beautiful and make you think,” said Lasseter, who serves as executive producer on all animated titles. “It’s a great mix of incredibly creative and surprising new worlds and characters and stories we love returning to. Our filmmakers are putting so much heart into these films – I can’t wait for people to see them.”

Per the Mouseketeers:

COCO [Nov. 22, 2017]

Guests were treated to the first-ever public performance of “Remember Me” from Pixar’s upcoming feature film. Anthony Gonzalez, who provides the voice of Miguel in the film, and Benjamin Bratt, who lends his voice to Ernesto de la Cruz, teamed up to perform the song written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.

Director Lee Unkrich, co-director and screenwriter Adrian Molina and producer Darla K. Anderson shared details about the original story with the crowd: Coco introduces Miguel, an aspiring musician whose family long ago banned music. Desperate to prove his talent and follow in the footsteps of his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, Miguel makes a fateful decision and finds himself in the Land of the Dead, where he meets his extended family and charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal). Together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

Coco features an original score from Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Up, Rogue One) and additional songs co-written by Germaine Franco and Molina. Also part of the team is musical consultant Camilo Lara of the music project Mexican Institute of Sound.

Fans in attendance all received an exclusive poster.

OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE [Featurette,  Nov. 22, 2017]

Kristen Bell, the voice of Anna, introduced fans to the new Frozen holiday featurette. Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf, surprised the crowd with a live performance of the all-new original song “That Time of Year,” written by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson.

Joining Bell and Gad in the featurette are Idina Menzel as Elsa, and Jonathan Groff as Kristoff. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is directed by the Emmy-winning team Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (Prep & Landing) and produced by Oscar winner Roy Conli (Big Hero 6).

INCREDIBLES 2 [June 15, 2018]
Lasseter  was excited to share with fans a look at what the fashion world thinks of super-suit stylist Edna Mode—introduced in Pixar’s 2004 Oscar-winning Incredibles. Showcasing fashion phenoms from Heidi Klum and Kendall Jenner to Zac Posen and Rachel Zoe, the video can be viewed here.

Incredibles 2 director Brad Bird—who voices Edna—joined Lasseter on stage to welcome the voices of Mr. and Mrs. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter), Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (newcomer Huck Milner) and Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson). Bird revealed details of the upcoming caper, which puts the family into an expanded universe that includes new allies and a brand-new villain.

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 [Nov. 21, 2018]

Directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston introduced Emmy-winning actress and comedian Sarah Silverman, who returns as the voice of Vanellope von Schweetz. Fans were the first to see the global debut of a scene from the film that pays hilarious homage to the Disney Princesses. Lasseter revealed that filmmakers had asked the original voice actresses behind the Princesses featured to reprise their roles for the sequence, and in a moment no Disney fan will forget, Auli‘i Cravalho (Moana), Kristen Bell (Anna in Frozen), Kelly MacDonald (Merida in Brave), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel in Tangled), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana in The Princess and the Frog), Irene Bedard (Pocahontas), Linda Larkin (Jasmine in Aladdin), Paige O’Hara (Belle in Beauty and the Beast) and Jodi Benson (Ariel in The Little Mermaid) were welcomed on stage for the largest gathering of Disney Princesses in history.

Disney’s follow-up to 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph leaves the arcade behind, venturing into the expansive universe of the internet—which may or may not survive Ralph’s not-so-light touch. Outcasts-turned-BFFs Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz are reuniting with Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer) and Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch). Produced by Oscar-winner Clark Spencer.

Filmmakers revealed a new character, Yesss, an algorithm who plays an important role in Ralph and Vanellope’s journey within the internet, played by Golden Globe-winning actress Taraji P. Henson (Empire). “Yesss is a new character who owns the website Buzzaholic,” said Henson. “Yesss knows about everything cool and on trend. And she does spell her name with a triple ‘s.’ Yesss is very savvy, smart and sexy.”

UNTITLED DISNEYTOON STUDIOS FILM [April 12, 2019]

Lasseter kicked off the presentation by announcing Disneytoon Studios’ original new animated movie, “Untitled DTS Film.” Directed by Klay Hall and Bobs Gannaway, and produced by Ferrell Barron, the theatrical feature film explores the future of aviation—taking moviegoers to the edge of discovery in the air—and beyond.

TOY STORY 4 [June 21, 2019]

Lasseter invited Pixar’s Josh Cooley (Riley’s First Date? short) to the stage, revealing that Cooley has assumed full director responsibilities for Toy Story 4. The pair brought with them a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the director’s life at the Northern California studio. Produced by Jonas Rivera (Inside Out).

FROZEN 2 (TITLE TBA) [ Nov. 27, 2019]

Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, and produced by Peter Del Vecho, Disney’s feature-length follow-up to 2013’s Oscar-winning film Frozen will see Bell, Gad, Menzel and Groff reprising their roles in an all-new story. Lasseter, Bell and Gad shared with fans a behind-the-scenes video showcasing the filmmakers’ recent research trip to Norway, Finland and Iceland.

UNTITLED DAN SCANLON MOVIE [TBA]

Director Dan Scanlon, (Monsters University} joined Lasseter to share a few details about an all-new original feature film currently in production at Pixar. According to Scanlon, who lost his father at a very young age, the film is inspired by the question he’s always asked: who was my father? The story is set in a world with no humans—only elves, trolls and sprites—“anything that would be on the side of a van in the ’70s,” said the director. “In the film, we’re going to tell the story of two teenage elf brothers whose father died when they were too young to remember him. But thanks to the little magic still left in the world, the boys embark on a quest that will allow them a chance to spend one last magical day with their father.” Kori Rae (Monsters University) will produce.

Coco

Coco

D23 Olaf's Frozen Adventure

D23 Olaf’s Frozen Adventure

Animation Magazine

VES Awards Honor ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Revenant,’ Pixar, ‘Game of Thrones’

14th-Annual-VES-Awards-150

The VES Awards were presented Tuesday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, with the top awards going to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Good Dinosaur, The Revenant, Inside Out and Game of Thrones.

The full list of winners follows:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Roger Guyett, Luke O’Byrne, Patrick Tubach, Paul Kavanagh, Chris Corbould

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
The Revenant Rich McBride, Ivy Agregan, Jason Smith, Nicolas Chevallier, Cameron Waldbauer

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature
The Good Dinosaur Sanjay Bakshi, Denise Ream, Michael Venturini, Jon Reisch

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project
The Order: 1886 Nathan Phail-Liff, Dana Jan, Anthony Vitale, Scot Andreason

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
Game of Thrones, “The Dance of Dragons” — Joe Bauer, Steve Kullback, Eric Carney, Derek Spears, Stuart Brisdon

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial
SSE, “Pier” — Neil Davies, Tim Lyall, Hitesh Patel, Jorge Montiel

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
Fast and Furious: Supercharged Chris Shaw, Alysia Cotter, Ben White, Diego Guerrero

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Falcon Chase / Graveyard — Yanick Dusseault, Mike Wood, Justin van der Lek, Quentin Marmier

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
Vikings, “To the Gates” — Dominic Remane, Bill Halliday, Paul Wishart, Ovidiu Cinazan, Paul Byrne

Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature
The Revenant, “The Bear” — Matt Shumway, Gaelle Morand, Karin Cooper, Leandro Estebecorena

Outstanding Animated Performance in an Animated Feature
Inside Out, “Joy” — Shawn Krause, Tanja Krampfert, Jacob Merrell, Alexis Angelidis

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature
The Good Dinosaur, The Farm — David Munier, Matthew Webb, Matt Kuruc, Tom Miller

Outstanding Animated Performance in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project
SSE, “Pier,” Orangutan — Jorge Montiel, Sauce Vilas, Philippe Moine, Sam Driscoll

Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project
Game of Thrones, City of Volantis — Dominic Piche, Christine Leclerc, Patrice Poissant, Thomas Montminy-Brodeur

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Falcon Chase / Graveyard — Paul Kavanagh, Colin Benoit, Susumu Yukuhiro, Greg Salter

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project
Game of Thrones, “Hardhome” — David Ramos, Antonio Lado, Piotr Weiss, Félix Bergés

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature
The Revenant, Bear Attack — Donny Rausch, Alan Travis, Charles Lai, TC Harrison

Outstanding Models in a Photoreal or Animated Project
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, BB-8 — Joshua Lee, Matthew Denton, Landis Fields, Cyrus Jam

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature
Mad Max: Fury Road, Toxic Storm — Dan Bethell, Clinton Downs, Chris Young

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode
Game of Thrones, “Hardhome” — Eduardo Díaz, Guillermo Orbe, Oscar Perea, Inmaculada Nadela

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature
The Good Dinosaur Stephen Marshall, Magnus Wrenninge, Michael Hall, Hemagiri Arumugam

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial
SSE, “Pier” — Gary Driver, Greg Spencer, Grant Connor

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project
Citipati Andreas Feix, Francesco Faranna

14th Annual VES Awards

14th Annual VES Awards

Animation Magazine

Pixar Reveals New Faces for ‘Finding Dory’

pixar-150

Pixar has revealed two of the aquatic amigos set to help everyone’s favorite amnesiac blue tang on her quest in the upcoming Finding Dory, out in theaters June 17, 2016. EW.com got first dibs on the image, which shows Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) and her new pals Bailey the snub-nosed beluga whale and Destiny the whale shark.

Bailey is voiced by Modern Family star Ty Burrell, and Destiny is played by Kaitlin Olson of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame. “We totally get on each other’s nerves,” Olson told EW. “I like to think I’m a shark, but Bailey calls me a whale, and I make fun of his head, because it’s gigantic.”

Finding Dory follows the tang on a quest to find her long-lost parents. She meets Bailey and Destiny when she passes through a marine life facility, who help her on her journey. The film also stars Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton, Dominic West, Ed O’Neill, Eugene Levy and Idris Elba.

Finding Dory

Finding Dory

Animation Magazine