Pixar is “not really interested in motion capture,” Pixar boss and Walt Disney Feature Animation CCO John Lasseter said tonight at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “Development Of The Digital Animator” panel in the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. “We still use keyframe animation.” What Lasseter says Pixar is interested in is bringing in new blood so “this Golden Age of animation can live beyond the founders of the company.”
The event was put on by the Academy to examine and celebrate the development of computer-generated animation from its humble and simple stick-figure beginnings to Vertigo to today’s Toy Story and Brave. Taking center stage with Pixar’s boss were filmmakers and animators Rebecca Allen, Philippe Bergeron, Digital Effects NY co-founder Jeff Kleiser, animation director Bill Kroyer, David Em, Diana Walczak, How To Train Your Dragon executive producer Tim Johnson, and Star Wars and Twilight Saga visual animation director Phil Tippett,
At CinemaCon in late April, the Pixar boss had introduced several upcoming films from the studio and Disney. There’s the fantasy adventure of Brave, with Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly Macdonald voicing the lead, which is out June 22. The classic video game-based Wreck It Ralph is set to be released November 2. Monster’s University, the prequel to 2001’s Monsters Inc. with the voices of Steve Buscemi and John Goodman and more, is scheduled to come out June 21, 2013. A 3D rerelease of Finding Nemo is also out this fall. Lasseter’s team also has The Good Dinosaur, a comedy about what the world would be if the dinosaurs were never wiped out, plus an untitled look inside the human mind and an untitled film from the Toy Story 3 team about the Día de los Muertos holiday in the works.
“Every movie we do is a massive advancement,” Lasseter told the nearly full theater. “Every movie, we have something in it that we have no idea what we are doing.” Having said that, the Pixar boss warned fans of animation not to get too caught up in the technology. “What we’re taking about are tools. Amazing tools but not really different than pencils and paper. Tools do not create art,” he added to widespread agreeement from the other panelists.