Is This What Pixar Movies Will Look Like One Day?

We’ve gotten pretty used to CGI animation. So much so, the idea of animation evolving even further doesn’t always get brought up, at least not in my mind.

But the truth is that innovation is always happening. It’s always…innovating (unlike my vocabulary.) When I was doing research for the Pixar Theory, I couldn’t help but notice just how far we’ve come since Toy Story, though the technological advancements have only been incremental.

Well, that may change in the not-so-distant future. Pixar recently published a video showing off a completely different animation style for our viewing pleasure. You can view the full video below:

Stylizing Animation By Example from Pierre BΓ©nard on Vimeo.

What gets me excited about this type of style is how close it sticks to the original Disney movies. It feels more drawn.

One major complaint about CGI, at least from me, has always been that it has a knack for lacking expression. It just takes way too much time and effort to make computer animated films be as fluid as the animated movies from just 15 years ago. Wow I feel old.

This fusion of art and pixels, however, provides a new twist on how onscreen characters can be rendered. The crisp frame-rate combined with other big words I’m not going to pretend I know could promise to deliver movies we’ve never imagined before.

Of course, these are just white paper innovations, and Pixar probably isn’t close to incorporating them in upcoming movies. In the meantime, we still have the fortune to enjoy the already masterful animation Pixar (and other great studios) have privileged us with.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog via the right sidebar. You can also connect with me on Twitter (@JonNegroni). I’ll follow you back if you say something witty and awesome.

23 thoughts on “Is This What Pixar Movies Will Look Like One Day?

  1. First I want to say I’m sorry for the unfollow. Didn’t mean to. Hope trip to haiti was good. Your take on animation is on target!

    • Yikes. This is awkward. Unfortunately, unfollowing is an offense punishable by a strict silence. OK, we’re done. All is well!

      • Nice one Mr. Negroni

  2. I bought Brave on Blu-Ray and a friend of mine, who is 65) was here watching it with me. When it started and it showed the landscapes at the beginning, he said, “Oh. I didn’t know Pixar did live-action now”. When I told him it was animation, he laughed and said, “I don’t know what people are telling you, but this is NOT animation”. Animation has come so far that some people think it’s literally live-action.

    • I’m sure he was surprised when Mord’u showed up then πŸ™‚ It’ll be amazing to see how the limits are pushed even further, especially within our lifetimes.

      • YEah! Not to mention that Blu-Ray has made everything more awesome than it would be. I just got a player last May, so I;m still new to HD. I started buying Blu-Rays of movies I;d seen a million times and it was like watching them for the first time. It was so bizarre seeing Gone With The Wind so clear it looked like it was a new release. I’m excited to see the future animated movies on Blu-Ray (and also to see what comes after Blu-Ray. How can they possibly get any clearer??)

        • you should show him The Blue Umbrella! and see his reaction :))

    • Well yeah, animation is always progressing but it’s been like that for longer than you think, I heard that they had to “dumb down” the animation in finding nemo because it was too realistic and that was in 2003! A little of topic ; I do wish that they would bring back 2-d animation ( despite the fact that frozen warmed me up to the idea of cgi animation, I walked into the theatre determined to hate it) i just love 2-d so much , it’s such a beautiful medium with so much more to teach and evolve ( does that last part make since?) I just wish that they could coexist better

    • In UP, a lot of people think that the mountains and certain scenery are live-action. I myself still don’t really know if it’s animation or not. But if it is, I cannot believe we’ve come so far.

  3. Hey, cool blog! I’ll Stay tuned on your blog!
    (Sorry for the bad englisch and short Text πŸ™‚ )

  4. Personally, I actually Pixar’s animation style, mostly because it’s THEIRS. Okay, so it’s not physically theirs, but one of things they are known popular for is their style of animation: the realistic faces, background imagery, intricate details, all into one fabulous looking film. For example, look at Pixar’s “big break”. Luxo Jr. That short film, at least in my opinion, was WAAYY before it’s time. I mean, it would be popular even now, which it is. And the reason it was so popular then was because it was such a new style of cartoon, CGI I mean, so innovative (That was for you, Jon) that it blew people’s minds. I would, at least for me, feel very sad and disappointed if they did more Disney like animation . Let Disney be Disney, because they are great. And let Pixar be Pixar, because they’re equally as great.

  5. I’m surprised that no one here brought up Paperman. I mean, I realize you’re talking about Pixar, but Disney made this short, Paperman, that already utilized this technique and put it in theaters before Wreck-It-Ralph. The technology is already there, it’s whether Pixar decides to use it that’s the question.

    • There was a rumor that they ( being Disney )where gonna use it for one of Disney’s next movies ;moana . But they said that the tech isn’t advanced enough yet to do a full movie like that( my not entirely educated guess is that that’s the reason it was black and white, color crud wasn’t advanced enough or some thing)I do like the idea of that medium though, sort of like a compromise between hand drawn and cg animation. I don’t know . My guess- again, not educated- is that it’ll get integrated into full length films by the end of the decade but even that seems a little close.

  6. Wow, it looks great. I have to admit that I’m a bit biased with Pixar, I think because they have always managed to make a successful movie, I’m very open to the direction that they choose to take.

  7. Personally, I’m going to stay cautiously optimistic about this type of animation. When you said CG animation “lacks expression”, I point you to “Frozen”, where almost every charactewr shows unique, realistic facial expressions at all times.

  8. Let’s clear some things up here. First of all, this is still 3D CGI, just modified in various ways. Second, all computer animation films made in 3D are pre-rendered into raster graphics before distributed. You are not viewing real vector graphics being rendered on screen when watching the movie, you are viewing pre-defined 2D images pre-rendered for your viewing at a set pixel based resolution, playing in a sequence on the screen. Third, this has been possible for a long time, just not at such a scale with such a fast way of doing it. Making vector graphics appear hand-drawn, by using real drawings, and implementing them into animated video can be achieved by very simple algorithms. It can also be achieved using algorithms in which hand drawn graphics are not even directly involved, and still produce equally appealing results. The only thing that is new (technically) is the method, which does make it more ideal for full feature film production.

    Sources? CGI production and rendering is my life.

  9. I kind of like that their bringing back some older techniques. I think the expressions and emotions on some of the older movies like the Incredibles but the detail is sharper and more realistic in Frozen( I love that movieπŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™) I’m really interested in what they’ll do with Inside Out. But if they dare try 2D I will cry because Pixar has always been 3D and I like It that way. 2D is Walt disney animation’s thing( or it use to be)

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