Computer Graphics World

Edition 1 2021

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 35

the very simple, and from a more standard rigged character to just a single line." Then, procedurally within Houdini, the team would create surfaces to the camera, and determine which of those surfaces they were using to cut out of a bigger surface, or which were shaded. It was all done per frame, with a kind of tagging on the line, Page notes. "For instance, when one of the counselors laughs, the whole body wiggles. It changes form and then pops back into shape," says Podesta, although the process was very labor-intensive. There is a model underneath the form so that animators could identify the head, the arm, the torso, and so forth. On top of the model, though, animators were manipulat- ing the lines. Podesta believes the counselors are characters unlike anything seen before in film. Nevertheless, the performance had to resonate as familiar, authentic, especially with the realistic animation outside of The Great Before. "At first, we didn't know how we were going to accomplish this, but we knew we must," he says. "All along this unique journey, the art was challenging the technology, and the technology was inspir- ing the art." Page concurs, noting that in terms of character modeling, the crew at Pixar "did things within shading and volumetrics, and within Houdini for the characters, that we had not done before. And for the counsel- ors in animation, that was an entirely new process for animation to interact with the 3D model in a kind of free-form link from a line to a character." The End, or Raer, e Beginning In Soul, Joe finds himself on an eye-opening journey – one that he didn't expect to take. "Joe Gardner is all of us," says Powers. "I think anyone can empathize with this idea of ques- tioning whether they're doing what they're meant to be doing. At what point do I give up on this thing I've been pursuing for so long?" So, for those who think Soul is about life and death, they are incorrect. "It's about finding that thing that makes life worth living," says Murray. It's also about a person's inner drive. "No matter how far we've come, we sometimes wonder about greener grass. We're always pushing," says Co-screenwriter Mike Jones. "There's always that drive in an artist to create something, to never be satisfied." As Docter points out, there's more to liv- ing than a singular passion – as expressive and fulfilling as that may be. "Sometimes the small, insignificant things are what it's really about," Docter says. "Almost any moment in our lives could be a transcendental moment that defines why we're here. This film is about broadening the idea of a singular focus to thinking more widely about what life has to offer and what we have to offer life." Karen Moltenbrey is the chief editor of CGW. Life Changes In Soul, Joe Gardner is presented with a very unexpected situation. The same can be said for the film's animators. With some shots still unfinished, COVID hit, and, just like that, the studio shut down and everyone at Pixar was sent home. Then, the technical teams jumped into action, getting most of the group online later that evening. "The next day, we were working. It is remarkable, really. And we're still working remotely. We're still making movies right now that will come out next year or the year aer," says Bobby Podesta, anima- tion supervisor. Joe serves as a temporary guide to 22, showing her Earthly delights.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Computer Graphics World - Edition 1 2021