Pixar’s virtual tools help bring imaginary worlds to life

Matthew Panzarino, for TechCrunch:

For Inside Out, there were a couple of unique issues because the worlds inside and outside Riley’s head had to be significantly different. They looked and felt different from art direction and design viewpoints, of course. But they also had to feel different to the viewer. So different virtual camera techniques were used to film the two worlds.

In addition, as the story progresses, the camera techniques move from a swooping, 30’s-style mechanical camera into a much more modern hand operated camera style.


[They] had human operators walk around a physical space, allowing all of the subtle details of a camera operator’s ‘performance’ to inform the scene.

Things like an ever-so-slightly ‘missed’ focus that makes a scene feel more energetic as a character moves quickly. Or the very human flex of a knee stepping down off of a curb to follow the action.

I’ve long been fascinated by the work that goes on to make things look imperfect and based in the physical world. The more powerful the tools become, the better they are at being worse. (Okay, I jest, but it’s funny to say.)