animation process

Went to a really interesesting alumni event last night. The first speaker was Rob Cook, VP of Advanced Technology at Pixar. He gave an overview of Pixar's animation process that I want to see impact how we approach our animation process for interactive projects. Pixar starts with a script and then pencils out storyboards. So far, just like us. Then they go into the studio and do a voiceover session. What they do next however, is really interesting. It's an extra step, but saves an enormous amount of time later. They have an editorial version where they sync the VO to scans of the handdrawn pencils. This lets them review the story flow (which we would do with our clients) before animation ever begins. What this will do for us is reduce the number of changes we see once we start animating—drastically. Then they design keyframes, lay them out, animate and render. A pick-up session in the voiceover studio may be inevitable this way, but that's relatively cheap compared to making major story flow changes once production has begun.

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