Pixar 3 started off a bit slow. Admittedly, it had to. We had to do all sorts of pre-production before we could start production. And the pre-production was fun for a while. It was great to see character designs finalize, the set gradually build up and the layout start to get locked down. Last week though, it felt like the energy had kind of died off as we got to the point of really minor changes and tweaks.
Fortunately, it came crashing back tonight. We finally got our shots kicked off and assigned and I think it’s safe to say everyone is really excited with what they’re going to be working on. In the words of my teachers, all of these shots are A or B quality shots that we’re simply lucky to have in a college-level course. All of the acting and animation in this short is really really juicy stuff. Grade A juice I would say. In my shot alone, I get a whole chunk of everything. I get some great close-up facial stuff, some great pantomime acting, and even some great physically based stuff, it’s brilliant. I’m excited.
As for pre-production, I did a bunch of research and focused in on visual development. The short is set in a spaceship that we decided should have more of a retro feel than a futuristic one so I was finally able to use a bunch of Googie stuff that I love for visual inspiration to pass along to the sets and character designers. As that part finished up, I took on the task of animating a bunch of the lights and console panels that one of the characters is at for the better part of the short. One of the sets designers had laid out the coolest control panel ever that had all these static textures. I immediately had to dork it out even further. It’s pretty tedious animating text and whatnot but the final result is pretty nice and honestly, I was having a good time with it. :)
Below is a collage of some of the stuff that inspired the look of our short. Click it to see the full version…