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Graphics Movies Technology

Interview With Head of Pixar Animation Ed Catmull 85

CowboyRobot writes "Stanford professor Pat Hanrahan discusses graphics with Pixar Animation Studios President Ed Catmull. Hanrahan and Catmull share an Oscar award for developing RenderMan. 'Among the many things that are inspiring about Pixar, and one way you've had a huge impact on the world, is that you changed many people's views of what computing is all about. A lot of people think of computing as number crunching whose main application is business and engineering. Pixar added an artistic side to computing. I've talked to many students who realize that art can be part of computing; that creativity can be part of computing; that they can merge their interests in art and science. They think of computing as a very fulfilling pursuit.'" I liked this, and not just because I spent the last week watching Toy Story 3 multiple times with my kid. Catmull talks a lot about the intersection of science & art and the time before Pixar. Anyone else think Pixar might be the geek Mecca? Do they do tours?
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Interview With Head of Pixar Animation Ed Catmull

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  • Always been there (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anvilmark ( 259376 ) on Monday November 15, 2010 @11:07AM (#34230806)

    Old programmers can tell you that software has always been a type of art. An esoteric form of art perhaps, but a piece of well written code is a thing of beauty.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Monday November 15, 2010 @11:12AM (#34230860) Journal
    Toy Story 3 is a masterstroke in timing. TS1 exploited all the nostalgia the parents were having seeing their trusted old toys brought back in vivid color and life. The kids who watched TS1 are going to college now and TS3 exploits the nostalgia of these teenagers. I heard teenage boys unabashedly admit they cried in the last scene. In fact one of the walking backwards college tour guides (Amherst, MA) proudly declared he cried too.

    As for science intersecting with arts, it has always been the case. Statues and sculpting advanced metallurgy as much as canons and swords.

  • Re:geek mecca? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by robthebloke ( 1308483 ) on Monday November 15, 2010 @11:25AM (#34230996)
    I completely agree with you. Personally (as someone involved in the CG industry), I'd say that the computer graphics lab at NYIT, and ILM have a higher geek status than Pixar (which would not have existed if not for Lucas and NYIT).....
  • Re:Adult movie (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pete_norm ( 150498 ) on Monday November 15, 2010 @11:44AM (#34231178)

    Ratatouille was great, and not necessarily a children movie. Last time i took a plane, it was the in-flight movie, and everyone listened to it, from grandfathers to children. Nobody had anything to say about the fact that it's supposed to be children movie, and, by the reactions during th movie, i guess everyone liked it. The same could be said of The Incredibles which is a really good Super Hero movie in itself.

  • Re:Adult movie (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Monday November 15, 2010 @01:17PM (#34232276)

    I would really, really love to see them produce a movie specifically for adults!

    I would argue that Up! was largely a movie for adults. The segment showing Carl and Ellie's married life together (in four minutes, with no dialogue), complete their being told they can't have children, their economic pressures and Elle's death (blah blah blah spoiler alert, live with it) is not a segment for kids... It rings very true for any 'married' grownups. I remember watching it (again) on a flight, and all the adults in my row were crying. []

  • Re:Adult movie (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nizo ( 81281 ) * on Monday November 15, 2010 @01:50PM (#34232734) Homepage Journal

    Huh, I was under the impression that the only reason the robots on the Axiom didn't become sentient is because they were "fixed" when they started showing aberrant behavior, which in Wall-e's case led to him becoming sentient.

    Then again there are plenty of things to nitpick about the movie reality-wise (I mean seriously, the Axiom just jettisoned trash into space instead of recycling?) but at least for me the heart of the story overcame all that. And IMO the "dancing in space" scene was one of the most beautiful scenes I've ever seen in a movie.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"