Everyone loves a good movie. What I love even more is seeing what brought that movie to life. Before my life as a blogger I watched all the commentary DVDs, the deleted scenes, every interview with the filmmakers I could find so now actually going “Behind The Scenes” of some of todays best films as part of my day job? Well, it’s one of the highlights of my career. Plus, the guys over at PIXAR are filled with such passion for each and every project that they get you even more excited for a film once you talk to them.
First up: Production Designer Harley Jessup who chatted with us about how the Art department designed the different dinosaurs in the film and their surrounding environments. I’ve talked about how much research goes into every film, but Mr. Jessup stressed again, “For every Pixar film in depth research goes into it to make it come from an authentic place”
The production team is made of artists, art directors, character designers, set designers, and sculptors. Harley also said that, “We are never trying to create perfectly realistic sets, but they have to be believable.” In The Good Dinosaur that seems to be a theme to the point where in some scenes you are actually asking yourself, “THIS is animation?” It truly feels like you are in the backwoods of Jackson Valley Wyoming.
We also got a closer look at the clay sculptures or what are called clay maquettes, which is basically a a small scale model or rough draft that the animators can look at to see the character in 3D. They put all of the extreme small details in the maquette. We passed around a few different versions. Here are a few of the Dinos.
Our next session was called “ACTING” LIKE DINOS. Animators Kevin O’Hara & Rob Thompson gave us an animation demo highlighting the reference used by animators to inform the movement of the dinosaurs. This was similar to when I witnessed a “Mock Animation Dailies” session for Inside Out. THIS is fun and probably one of my favorite sessions for the #GoodDinoEvent.
They took a live action clip of an elephant for inspiration for the dinosaurs #GoodDinoEvent
— kasandria (@SBellasWays) October 1, 2015
From there they broke it down into 4 movements to start out with. I know you are thinking why elephants? Well Arlo himself is supposed to be 18 feet tall and since elephants are so massive it was logical to use their gait and walk. Kevin said, “Locomotion is all about efficiency an elephant could sneak up on you and you would not even notice .” The animators take that and perfect those movements before moving on. Which then goes into adding personality. It was a great day and I’ll be sharing more of what I learned at PIXAR in the next few days.
“The Good Dinosaur” asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo
(voice of Raymond Ochoa) makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of. Opens Nov. 25 2015
***Disclosure: I attended the #GoodDinoEvent My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***