The Making of: Toy Story 3

May 27, 2010

Wired has a nice write up on the behind-the-scenes process that went into Toy Story 3, of particular interest to me is the outline of the schedule they had for each department.

Animation

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The pictures are moving. Each character is defined by up to 1,000 avars—points of possible movement—that the animators can manipulate like strings on a puppet. Each morning, the team gathers to review the second or two of film from the day before. The frames are ripped apart as the team searches for ways to make the sequences more expressive.

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The technical challenges start to pile up. (Simulating a wet bear is especially complex.) Good thing Steve Jobs insisted that the building’s essential facilities be centrally located. “Walking to the bathroom or getting a cup of coffee is often the most productive part of my day,” says producer Darla Anderson. “You bump into somebody by accident and then have a conversation that leads to a fix.”

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The animators are working flat out. They stay late into the night in their highly personalized offices, which have been decorated in a variety of themes, from Polynesian tiki to ’70s-era love lounge. (“We let them do whatever they want,” Catmull says.) The animators even have their own working bars, complete with beer on tap and a collection of single-malt whiskeys.

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