I think it’s safe to say that everyone in the civilized world has seen parts or a whole movie animated by Pixar at some point. It’s amazing what impact they have had on the movie world, and they never seem to stop inspiring and amazing us with their realistic way of portraying the animated world. Pretty much every single movie they make hits the box office pole position, and it’s not unusual for them to set new records with every single movie they release. It’s a phenomenon that you could research for a long time, and it never seems to end.
However, what do we know about Pixar really? We know they had a beef with Disney not too long ago, and that they made up and are now working together again. Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion back in 2006, and it’s now their main revenue producing asset. Pixar was “founded” back in 1979 as a graphics group for LucasArts, but recently there has been a 3D video dug up in an archive somewhere that shows the founder, Ed Catmull and Fred Parke‘s first 3D animation ever, which was back in 1972. This could possibly be the first 3D movie (clip) ever made, and it’s definitely the first 3D movie ever made by the Pixar people. It’s amazing what they were able to accomplish back in the 1972 if you really think about it.
The hand that was animated was first carefully modeled in clay. Then the polygons were intricately sketched in order to make sure they were laid out in a certain way so the hand could move and animate correctly. Then it was brought into their software (I don’t have a clue what software they used) using a scanner that was custom made for this particular occasion. It’s a wonderful process that oozes retro in every sense. The technology has of course progressed greatly since 1972, but I think the base process is still the same to get their cartoons into their software. Nowadays they use motion captures of course. Back then they used pure animators to move the different parts of the hand. Amazing work indeed!