Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Good Dinosaur - Behind The Scenes

When making The Good Dinosaur, Pixar wanted to something completely different with their landscape shots. In a normal Pixar film, there is one big "establishing shot" of the landscape in the beginning, which can take months to create. Because of the time consuming process, the rest of the film is is set inside or in a more simple location.

However, the creators of The Good Dinosaur wanted to break away from this cycle and wanted an animated film shot with the complexity of the "establishing shot." They wanted the landscape to be realistic and very detailed, but there was no way to do the number of sequences featuring big landscape shots using Pixar's traditional process. The creators simply dud not have the time to design and render that much landscape, so they had to get creative.

The creators ended up using U.S Geological Survey, which posts a huge amount of topographical date to its website, such as the height about sea level of all of the land features and lots of satellite images. So they ended up downloading a lot of that data and put into their computer and then tried to "render" the real-life landscape. And it surprisingly worked! They were actually able to point a digital "camera" anywhere in a 360-degree rotation and get an image with this data.

They ended up downloading over 65,000 square miles of USGS data. And then added more detail to the landscapes, such as trees, vegetation, and rocks. They ended up using photoreference to build these details, rather than build it from scratch. In the end, the creators made the movie very realistic, with a "painterly realism" rather than photorealism. It is still pretty realistic and very well done.

The movie also took a lot of server space, between the landscape and nature effects, The Good Dinosaur," took up 300 TB of server space, which is ten times as much as Pixars' 2013 Monsters University.

To read more click here.

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