Saturday, June 28, 2008

WALL-E and Presto Opening this Weekend!

(publicity image from Disney/Pixar)

It's an exciting weekend as the third Feature film and second Short I've worked on with Pixar make their wide release in the US. Both of these offer very unique stories, visuals, and sounds that truly push the boundaries of animation... I hope you'll check them out!

Here are some quick notes on where I contributed:


Working with absurdly talented director/animator Doug Sweetland, this was a great opportunity to switch gears with a fantastic small team in creating what is - in my opinion - easily one of the best Pixar shorts to date. The smaller crew experience implied making more calls and interacting with the director much more, which made for a very rewarding process. I was responsible for: Head/Facial articulation of Alec the Rabbit, an extremely loose, pliable character by Pixar standards (body articulation inventively done by a minefield-navigating Mark Piretti)... Full articulation of Presto the magician. Modeling topology design/advisement roles on both models (final modeling carried out by Modo guru Rich Hurrey). As a bonus, if you listen reaaaaaaally carefully maybe you can hear me among the audience sounds. I'm toward the back ;)


I was "only" on this show for something like 6-7 months since I was on Ratatouille for so long, so I took on a number of relatively small assignments before jettisoning to Presto. My role generally focused on modeling/articulating secondary robot characters, modeling a number of background humans, and spinning off a rig and support scripts for the background human pipeline. Among the recognizable robots I worked on are the VacuumBot, NannyBot (teaching the babies), and the Big Gulp-ish Cups with accompanying Cup Holder Bots. Please don't suppress any inner screams of joy if you catch Vacuum Bot unfolding from a collapsed form, since it took a lot of planning and rigging to make that happen! The background human bodies were initially modeled and (extremely) rough rigged by me, and were designed by the very talented Jason Deamer.

Meanwhile, back in the quiet residential community of Oakland, present day:

My drawing time has been minimal lately as I've been focusing more on Animation side projects and a handful of weekend trips (Vegas, Karen & Joey's wedding). Keep subscribed to this feed and I'll pick it up again when I can!


LeDidole said...

Always visiting your blog, hoping for some new posts. Keep them coming, especially those sketches...
But I am curious, are you still in Pixar? The way you speak about it seems to indicate that this is not the case. Please don't answer if you think this is too personal.

Thank you

Ian said...

Absolutely - I'm currently a character modeler/articulator on Toy Story 3. Thanks for reading; I'll try to get some drawings up in July!

crylic said...

Congrats man, Wall-e and Presto both were an achievement to behold.

LeDidole said...

Next week I may be in Burbanks to meet some of your colleagues to speak about next year stuff...for licence development... Too bad it is not in Pixar. Such a nice place to be ( being there last year ). Pixar really reminds me a lot of my Fine Arts school in France... You are a lucky man...

Ian said...

Thanks guys!

griftr said...

Ian, pretty cool job!

Do you know if there's any toy licencing for the Presto characters? Specifically that rabbit? :) I saw it with a friend and she loves that rabbit!

Ian said...

Hey, I was hoping for an Alec the Rabbit plush, too!

Unfortunately I'm not aware of anything being released to market... bummer, I know. Glad your friend liked the short, though.