Behind-the-scene secrets of Pixar

From Toy Story to Wall-E, Cars and Brave, Pixar Animation Studios has created more than a dozen films and popular characters.

Its behind-the-scene secrets are now revealed at “Pixar: The Design of Story” exhibition at New York’s Smithsonian Design Museum.

The show takes a peek into the collaborative design process behind Pixar’s all 15 animated films.

The exhibit selected a wide range of items from Pixar’s archives, from sketches to sculptures and digital designs.

Design is what matters most for every Pixar film.

The exhibit reveals how Pixar created some of its most famous characters, like Wall-E, Woody and Merida.

But, what really decides a character’ s success is the emotional connections with the audience, and that cannot be done without a believable, appealing story.

SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): ELYSE KLAIDMAN, Director, Pixar University & Archives

“For Pixar, stories are the center for everything, that’ s the whole reason that we do what we do. And we need to create characters as part of those stories, we want these characters to be appealing, so even if you are telling a story about a rat in a kitchen, which you might not think would be appealing, how do we design Remi so that he is charming, so that you relate to a rat that you have feelings. So it’ s the appealing characters and then worlds that are believable, not realistic, we don’t need it to look like the outside world, but believable so that when you are in that world, you believe it, you are completely consumed by the story. So in order to do those things, we really do a lot of research, and we have a very iterative process, trying and trying till we just get it right, and then it’ s all about collaboration, all working together.”

Pixar also shares its design tools, that is research, iteration and collaboration.

The exhibit displays sketches and pictures that artists made during their research, such as the architectural drawings of Carl’ s house in Up, and the design drafts of Wall-E’ s mechanical functions.

From its very first short film Luxo Jr. in 1986 to the latest released film Inside Out, Pixar’s success would not be possible without the support of technology.

On the exhibit, a touch-screen table enables visitors to engage with Pixar’ s advanced animation-making technology.

SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): ELYSE KLAIDMAN, Director, Pixar University & Archives

“Pixar and art technology go hand in hand all the time, so artists may be coming up with ideas that are challenged to our technical artists, our software engineers who are developing the technology, and they say to themselves, how can I make it possible to bring this visual to the screen? The same thing happens the other way, the technical artists have created incredible ways for our artists to communicate, so there is constant inspiration. We always say that art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art. (BUMP) The technology is different, but at the heart, the story-telling is the same.”

The show runs through August 7th, 2016.

Leave a Comment