The average Disney Pixar film takes between three to four years to make. From hand-drawn storyboards to the final renderings, the company's artists work tirelessly to create some of the most beautiful animated films ever made. The process takes multiple steps from pen to film, but now, through their Facebook page, they are giving fans an inside look as to how one of their movies develops.
In a series of five pictures posted in a photo album, the company shows how one frame looks through different points in production. Starting with simple black outlines and finishing with the final product, it becomes clear how dedicated the animators are to every detail. Be careful, though--looking at the pictures too much may result in empathizing so much with the artists who had to work on Lotso's fur that you may find yourself crying into a pillow.
Check out the photos below along with their captions and, for extra fun, save them to your computer and sort through them quickly. It's like a flip book!
"1. This storyboard was drawn by Toy Story 3 story artist Jeff Pidgeon and is one of approximately 500 drawings done by various story artists in the final storyreel of Sequence # 300 - Warm Welcome, where the toys are welcomed by Lotso and tour the Butterfly room at Sunnyside Daycare."
"2. This concept art piece was done by Toy Story 3 Art Director Dice Tsutsumi, showcasing the exploration of color and design of new characters and new environments."
"3. This frame shows the camera and staging phase which precedes character animation, known as Layout. The set is not fully built at this point and is finalized once layout is finished. Some background toys are still not present. Set dressing is also not final and will be refined once animation is completed."
"4. Final character animation poses. The primary and secondary characters are animated by keyframe. Hundreds of background toys are populating Sunnyside Daycare."
"5. Final animation of the characters' clothes, which is animated by dynamic simulation. In this shot, Barbie and Ken clothes are simulated. This final frame shows the final shading (material textures) for the set and all of the surfaces have texture, color, patterns, and material properties that will respond appropriately when lit by the Lighting Department.
Final lighting. The Lighting Department is responsible for integrating all of the elements (characters, set pieces, cloth animation, etc.) to create the final imagery. The lighting is achieved by placing virtual light sources in the scene which illuminate on the characters and the set. Many dozens of lights are often required as well as lighting effects such as the shafts of sunlight seen in this shot. Lotso was a particularly challenging character for the Shading and Lighting Departments because he is completely covered with fur."