It really helped me shift my mind during some difficult projects where I felt like I was working against impossible odds.
Also, he never covered why Cars was so awful. (or Cars 2) which I believe both came out before the book? Maybe you disagree they were bad but rottentomatoes and metacritic has them near the bottom of the list along with The Good Dinosaur, Brave, and Monsters University.
I'd love to know what he thinks changed.
What I liked most about that book was how much he acknowledged luck. Examples: Luck they didn't get sold/disbanded before Jobs bought them from Lucas. Luck that Jobs was willing to blow 70 million on them as a computer company before they switched to being an animation company. And he acknowledges lots of other luck.
The good dinosaur, Brave and Monsters university all still good but not quite Pixar.
Cars two is an absolute disaster though and it's a shame it wasn't covered in the book. Something clearly went very wrong with this movie and they redid most of it in ten weeks or so I read, it seems to go against all the values and things they talk about and it does feel as if the story they tell about themselves is perhaps worked as much as the stories they make.
I see Cars as a film that appeals to children primarily, while the others are "family" movies in the best sense.
It always seemed to me that Cars was intended to be a more child-oriented movie, but I don't know that it should suffer for that critically.
Maybe it w as hoped to be a film on the same level as those others, but I can't imagine anybody read the script and thought it would be.
They're not family movies, they're movies that parents want their kids to be interested in but the reality is kids prefer Cars, Frozen, Shrek and Minions.
Finally went and saw Brave. And, I have to say, I was disappointed :(
Oh, the movie certainly had its good points. It was technically gorgeous - both the artwork and the character animation were Pixar at the top of their very considerable game. And despite complaints of the story being overly Disneyfied it was satisfyingly subversive of many of the tired tropes it referenced. I didn't even mind that it was predictable - fairytale movies tend to be, and that is often part of their charm.
No, what ruined it for me was that it was a fundamentally boring movie. The dialogue was bland, the humour was slapsticky (which tends to fall flat for me), the moralising was heavy handed, and there was no real tension other than that required for the linear development of the plot. Even the "jokes for the adults" that have practically become de rigueur for big-budget animated movies weren't all that funny (though I did blink a bit at the Wicker Man reference).
All in all, not one of Pixar's best.
 it was nice that it ended with her going her own way rather than finding a nice boy to marry, but it wasn't really what I'd call a plot twist
So I guess it's subjective then :)
I still admire his determination and dedication towards the animation industry, but I'll be more reserved with my praise.
Such agreements are standard practice in many industries, and if they're actually illegal, it's due to a technicality in a law with which few are familiar (anti-trust legislation), not due to some naturally-apparent moral imperative. It's obvious that the executives involved did not conduct their actions with the intent of hamstringing employee growth, but rather with the intent of maintaining stable operations and keeping turnover low. It's completely reasonable to understand this as a normal part of running a business, especially considering that such agreements are common across industries.
Don't fall for the hyperbolic narrative from artist's trade outlets who are trying to manufacture rage to serve their own interests.
I wish web devs would stop reinventing the wheel and just steal these UIs from animation software that are proven to work well for animators.
Check out how After Effects solves this, keyframed and scripted animation shares the same timeline and can reference each other.
Look and feel may not be copyrightable but this would make a lot of people very uncomfortable in terms of possible liability (UI's can be covered under design patents, etc).
Keep on being terribly naive about legal matters HN, never change.
I was disappointed that the landing page says practically nothing, and you have to go looking around to get a good overview.
Check it out:
Voronoi partition, Poisson disk process, Make your own dinosaur skin, Perlin noise.
Very fun. My daughter really enjoyed this when it first came out. She was surprised to see the applications for math she had learned at school!
My goal is to make characters for games, and I have been watching this video series https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFt_AvWsXl0eTHFZ2XPkM... - I recommend the 5 Blender Character Animation videos. Tremendously helpful.
In my opinion the key is, like learning most things, a little bit every day.
My starting point was http://www.blenderguru.com/ (for general tips and tricks), reading about ray tracing(for understanding why my renders were not up to the mark), anatomy of physical shapes(for sculpting) and watching a lot of behind the scene VFX breakdown videos(to understand their construction). Frankly, my humble computer back then was not capable of running 3DS Max or Maya.
Apart from this, a lot of articles regarding photography helped. A keen attention to detail and huge amounts of patience is required(while watching your renders take hours if you have the wrong graphics card).
It also has a fairly high learning curve at first, but there's a huge community built around it. Andrew price has some very high quality tutorials
What sucks is they got rid of the Personal Learning Edition of Maya, so getting a legit copy just to learn isn't as simple. They do have a 30 day trial. Maya's documentation is still pretty solid for reference, just not for learning, so if you're curious what a menu or button does you can find out easily.
I think for learning anything new it's best to have a project like that "web-dev to 3d post" mentioned in another comment and focus on what you need to accomplish. I've also heard Cinema4d is a lot less intimidating to learn and has most of the basic things you'd want.
The blender communities my sibling mentioned are a great kicking off point with some high quality tutorials and resources. The blender wiki is also decent, but unless it has been updated recently, I tend to find it out if date. There are also tons of tutorials for learning the basics on YouTube.
Without having taken a 3D modeling course, I would say that following tutorials that teach both using the tool (blender, 3DS, Maya) and making basic models is a good place to start. From there, find tutorials to accomplish tasks that interest you: animation, texturing, organic modeling, rendering, etc.
I used AutoCAD in university and that is the extent of my knowledge on these matters.
I've since switched to Modo (affordable indie licenses via Steam) but find both programs to be more modern and adaptive to my workflow than Maya and Max -- however, if industry standards are important to you, there is no avoiding the Autodesk Twins...
Not sure I feel great about that but I treated it the way I treated Photoshop and friends for years: cracked copies while learning and then at some point I was using it enough that I bought a legit copy of CS6 through work at a discount.
If I ever do more than fiddle around with C4D I'll look into buying a copy. It's just hard to come up with $1000 for the minimum version that supports global illumination (which I was trying to learn about).
Moral and legal issues aside, though, I found it a lot easier to learn than others I'd tried and it even made some other programs like Unreal Engine easier to learn.
It has a reputation of being difficult or long to learn, but I disagree. I find it way more intuitive, as you can see step by step what is happening. Their doc also has loads of examples and there are nice forums to ask for help (http://odforce.net and http://www.sidefx.com/forum).
If you have a logical mind, it should appear straightforward.
From my little window in the industry it's indispensable for FX and simulation (water, fire, destruction), but the tools for modelling, texturing, and animation just aren't worth the time. I don't know anyone who uses it for that or would reccomend it for those things.
I've gone through their basic tutorials. It's really nice to make procedural reusable things (a ladder that will create rungs based on the height), but I can't even imagine trying to model something organic.
I did commercials where animators where taught to use it, and that was a success in my opinion. They were happy because the animation tools are basically the same and the rigs were updated faster than they would be on other packages.
And it is true I've rarely seen models being done in Houdini. The only time I did one was for this commercial (https://vimeo.com/17808406), where the character is quite procedural. Had it been a more classical character, a Maya modeller would have done it.
(Suzanne is Blender's monkey mesh primitive and logo. Blender uses it where other programs would use the Utah teapot. You see it in the character modeling icon on that page. Wikipedia about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blender_(software)#Suzanne)
What, really? I was under the impression that pixar had a render farm large enough to render frames in minutes or even seconds.
Higher resolution, and stereo (3D), are also to blame. Toy Story was rendered at less that 1080 HD resolution!
With MC path tracing, the noise you get is pretty difficult to resolve, and a lot of companies are using denoisers afterwards to clean up the renders, as it's just not cost-effective to keep them rendering to that extent as denoising is faster.
I'm in the industry, and . Four hours is not remotely typical for a final render frame, especially now that path tracers are the de facto standard.
> Renderman, what we use at Pixar, is also fast but for the quality we strive to achieve is very high, so we we squeeze as much as we can into it until it just becomes too slow.
So if the renderer became faster, we would just add more quality, and make it "slow" again.
Okay, but reality only has so much quality. There has to be a limit somewhere.
Regarding model complexity - that doesn't really matter these days - if you want to raytrace a scene, unless you want to do full-on deferred raybatching and geo paging (like Disney's Hyperion does), you need to fit the scene into memory, so other than at startup/ingestion time, model complexity doesn't really matter in terms of IO. Also, Pixar's base level subd meshes are really rough (compared to what you see in VFX in general - for VFX base levels are probably subdivided down 2/3 times more), so the geo given in in Pixar's case isn't actually that bad.
I guess that you don't want to page in full models (as you either need a very large amount of memory per thread, which means smaller ray batches, or you need to have a shared cache, which means waiting on other threads). So you'll probably need something similar to Toro (as described by Pharr et al.), which just doesn't seem very efficient to me (as grids have improved little compared to BVHs).
Easiest way is to have a two-level BVH, where the lower level just has overall AABBs of every object in the scene which contains a "geometryInstance", each of which then contain another object-space BVH of the triangles (or other primitives).
This is trivial to do, but you take a pretty big penalty for not being able to look down to the primitive (microtriangle, microcurve) level for the lower level BVH, so the quality of it isn't as good. So for stuff with hair on skin, you've pretty much got two objects overlapping which sucks for traversal performance. There is a way around this, but it involves storing a pointer to each primitive in the BVH which is expensive and mixed transforms / motion blur get complicated with this.
The more complex way of doing it would just be to use the single level BVH and partially build it - given the lengths Disney are going to in order to sort and batch the rays, it sounds like they can constrain stuff such as all rays they send in a batch are going in a similar direction anyway, so you can cull a lot of stuff.
These days in VFX we're pretty much just fitting stuff into memory anyway - there's no other option. PRMan does support geometry paging in theory, although Arnold doesn't and VRay only partially does (with VRay meshes), but performance absolutely sucks doing it, so buying more RAM is just the easiest/cheapest solution all round.
Disney are only really doing deferring / reordering to such an extent because of their love of PTex which sucks with random access IO, so...
They do mention some tests with "out-of-core rendering of scenes with massive amounts of geometry" in the paper, but there isn't much info on it. AFAIK their patents mention streaming in geometry too.
I know that buying more RAM is probably easier, but it would be interesting to render very large scenes on commodity hardware. I guess paging in geometry is just too much of a hassle, you constantly have to stream in geometry to memory; to compute surface derivates, to do subsurface scattering, to sample arbitrary geometry lights, etc.
But unless you batch and re-order rays (and I'm not convinced doing this is worth it if you're doing more than 3/4 bounces, as the incoherence just makes things a nightmare), there's no point really doing this (unless you're happy with very slow performance - even mmapping stuff is slow).
Ray re-ordering is indeed a nightmare, but sorting very large ray batches (millions of rays) into coherent ray streams is less of a hassle, and it should enable coherent geometry access (which amortizes the cost of those reads, not sure to what extent).
For stuff like hair where you need loads of scattering events or for SSS doing that (paging subsections of shapes) is just going to thrash any geometry cache you have unless they're quite big.
And I'm still not convinced by ray sorting: it means your light integration is extremely segmented into artificial progressions as you expand down the ray tree, and makes anything regarding manifold exploration (MLT or MNEE) close to impossible to do well.
There are about 150,000 frames in a movie. Not bad.