Vertex Week day 5: animation live blog


The first of today’s live blogs comes to an end. Coming up later we have two tutorials from the excellent Jackie Droujko who will show how to warm up your animation design skills and then a speedpaint.

If you’re inspired, take a look at our guide to the best drawing tablets for animation, and our feature on the best laptops for animation. Both can help you get started.

Remember, Dylan Sisson’s talk can be rewatched at any time on the site. 

Red popping up in the corner there. Lovely movie.

Thanks Dylan, that was a great talk. Can’t wait to see how Pixar is going to make use of some of this stylisation.

Really interesting to watch the airship move from style to style within the same scene.

You can apply traditional illustration techniques to these new stylised renders. Dylan shows us some training from a classic pen and ink art book.

The same ideas apply to Dylan’s render in RenderMan. The focus on contrast replicates how a traditional pen and ink drawing would work.

“Style can attract the viewers,” says Dylan.

This living illustration demo is giving us an A-ha vibe.

Competition time – who guessed the renders versus illustrations correctly?

Pixar is looking into creating more stylisation in its technology and we guess its movies. This could be interesting. It’s interesting to hear how much harder it is to create stylised looks rather than photoreal animation.

This is cool, you can create and share your own libraries across Maya, Blender and Houdini. 

Pixar Vary looks like an amazing time saver. 

Pixar and ILM teaming up here. 

‘Phasor Noise’ looks great. Dylan says it can look “wacky” or more real, like marble.

That light rendering demo is impressive. We can imagine there’ll be some great films coming out of Pixar with XPU.

Croc-Ostrich! The Pixar walking Teapot is a little different to what we remember.

Wow, RenderMan takes 6.44 mins to render a scene. That’s 11 times faster than the current RenderMan.

What’s next? Increased image quality and control, says Dylan. Pixar wants to improve workflows for artists. 

XPU is the next evolution of RenderMan, this is big. RenderMan XPU – the next-gen renderer from Pixar. Forget GPU and CPU, Pixar has XPU.

The history of RenderMan, has it been this long? Is there a favourite Pixar movie you’d like to see come back?

Pixar’s come a long way from a walking lamp and Toy Story.

RenderMan RIS is free to try for yourself, visit the RenderMan website to take a look. 

Ah, Soul. One of the best animated movies in recent times. Who cried?

The Luca team put the director’s vision ahead of realism. So things are fiddled with and adjusted to ensure the film looks artistic and not simply a recreation of real life.

This meant developing a post lighting shading using lighting filters, says Dylan. This enabled the film to have a warm, dappled approach to lighting shadows. 

This was expensive, says Dylan, so used sparingly. It looks great.

RenderMan treats animations as if they are live action sets. The team can light and set up a scene as if it were a film set or photo studio. “It’s a truly cinematic approach to lighting,” says Dylan.

Those stylised oval water wakes are fantastic. Nice to see how they were adapted from the book’s illustration.

There’s a photorealism to Pixar’s current animations, but they’ve not left the stylised cartoon look behind. A really interesting balancing act of technology versus artistry.

Is it wrong we want a Woody Statue too. Guess we need to put in 20 years at Pixar.

Ooh, the future of RenderMan. Can’t wait to see what is coming from Pixar.

We start Vertex Day 5, our animation special, and we begin with a look behind the lens with Pixar’s Dylan Sisson. Let’s begin…