May 31, 2014

Post 134: Renderman News

Hi everyone! From "Toy Story" to "Monsters University" Pixar does wants you focus on the visuals and also on the story, and Pixar does work their hardest to make breathtaking animation and one of the reason for Pixar's step forward in animation is Renderman. Here is the scoop:

RenderMan Pro Server
"According to the official website for RenderMan, all of the last 15 Oscar winners in the Visual Effects category have used Pixar’s software, indicating its popularity and sheer power. Students, educators, and those simply interested in rendering using the software previously had to pay for a license, but Pixar is encouraging more development by giving those who are trying to learn and experiment (as opposed to attempting to make a profit) the ability to do so without opening up their wallets. Additionally, there will be no restrictions placed upon the free licenses, so no watermarking or timed limits!

Commercial users will have to fork over $495/license (not much when you consider those looking to turn a profit often earn in the millions). The software will be available for all widely used 64-bit OSs, including Mac OS 10.8 and 10.7, Windows 8, 7, and Vista, and Linux.

RenderMan

Pixar’s new RenderMan software will be available around Siggraph 2014, the annual computer graphics conference slated to take place this August! Those looking to obtain a non-commercial license for free can register here.
Check out the full press release for all the details below:
Pixar Animation Studios Announces Monumental Innovations In Film Rendering
Advanced Global Illumination, New Pricing, Free Non-Commercial Use
EMERYVILLE, CA – (May 29th, 2014) Representing years of research and development, Pixar Animation Studios today announced a series of important innovations in the latest version of its forthcoming Academy Award®-winning RenderMan software that will radically impact the way film imagery is rendered and accessed by everyone. This generational shift in RenderMan establishes an entirely new modular rendering architecture called RIS that provides highly optimized methods for simulating the transport of light through multiple state of the art algorithms, including an advanced Unidirectional Path Tracer and a Bidirectional Path Tracer with Progressive Photon Mapping (also known as VCM). Along with major feature and performance enhancements, physically-based, artist-friendly workflows, progressive re-rendering, and the established advantages of RenderMan’s traditional REYES architecture, RenderMan now offers two rendering modes within one unified environment, providing the most advanced, versatile, and flexible rendering system available.
With rendering technology constantly evolving, RIS represents a forward-looking framework through which Pixar can deploy additional rendering methodologies as they become available.  RenderMan is the conduit through which applicable advanced research from within the Walt Disney organization will be channeled into the production industry, including in the forthcoming release, Disney’s Principled BRDF shader and supporting materials.
“This truly brings the future of fully photo-realistic ray-traced rendering to RenderMan” said David Hirst, Global Head of Lighting at MPC. “We did tests with the production assets from one of our latest movies and were completely blown away by the speed and how interactively we could preview and render these assets. The RIS based integrator is going to change the way we work, with more scalable rendering and faster results.”
As a further commitment to the advancement of open standards and practices, Pixar is announcing that, in conjunction with the upcoming release, free non-commercial licenses of RenderMan will be made available without any functional limitations, watermarking, or time restrictions. Non-commercial RenderMan will be freely available for students, institutions, researchers, developers, and for personal use. Those interested in exploring RenderMan’s new capabilities are invited to register in advance on the RenderMan website to access a free license for download upon release.
Effective immediately, Pixar is also announcing that the price of the current version of RenderMan is $495 per license for commercial use, with customized peak render packages offering built-in “burst render” capability. The upcoming RenderMan release will combine the functionality of the previously separate RenderMan Pro Server and RenderMan Studio through a flexible license, providing unmatched versatility in allocating artist or batch render assets at different stages of production.
Availability
The new RenderMan is being released in the timeframe of SIGGRAPH 2014 and will be compatible with the following 64-bit operating systems, Mac OS 10.8 and 10.7, Windows 8, 7, and Vista, and Linux. Autodesk Maya compatibility is with versions 2013, 2013.5, 2014, and 2015.  Pixar’s annual maintenance program benefits customers with access to ongoing support and free upgrades. For more information please visit www.pixar.com or contact rendermansales@pixar.com.
About Pixar Animation Studios
Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award®-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative and production capabilities in the art of computer animation.  Creator of some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Cars,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL•E,” “Up,” “Toy Story 3” and “Brave,” the Northern California studio has won 30 Academy Awards® and its films have grossed more than $8.3 billion at the worldwide box office to date. “Monsters University,” Pixar’s fourteenth feature, is now available on all home entertainment platforms." -Pixar Times
What is your opinion on Pixar's Renderman? See you soon!

Disney Infinity 2.0 Press Event Recap (Part 3 out of 4) + New Merida and Maleficient

Hi everyone! In this part of the "Disney Infinity 2.0" press event recap, we have what will be included in the Marvel Super Heroes starter pack and also as a bonus we have two new figures they have been given a sneak peek.

WHAT WILL BE INCLUDED

The Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) starter pack includes:
  • Game Disc
  • Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow figures
  • Marvel Avenger's Play Set piece
  • Disney Infinity base (2.0 Edition)
  • Two Toy Box Discs
  • Web code to play Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow in iOS & PC versions
The game will be available in Fall 2014 and will be for PlayStation 4, PlayStation3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, and iOS.
 
NEW FIGURES

Photo from D23 event courtesy of Travis Denman
"Earlier today the official Disney Infinity Twitter account hinted (yet confirming at the same time) that Merida will indeed be a character in Disney Infinity 2.0. Although we know Merida will be included in the game, it hasn't been confirmed if she will be a singular Toy Box figure or if there will be a Brave playset as well - although from what we're hearing from the D23 Maleficent pre-screening and Disney Infinity event, it appears that she will be a Toy Box figure only.

Back on April 30th, during the Disney Infinity 2.0 Press Event, we noticed a few hidden characters in the background of the trailer that was shown to the crowd. While all of the characters were centered around the Marvel franchise at the press event, it was a nice surprise to spot Merida (as well as Maleficent and Stitch), as we've been chatting about a Brave playset since the first version of Disney Infinity was released.

Tonight during a special sold out D23 event, attendees were treated to a special presentation of Disney Infinity on top of a pre-release screening of Disney's Maleficent. During the Disney Infinity portion of the event, guests were shown images of Merida and Maleficent in the toy box as well as given a limited edition (of 500) print of the Maleficent figure shown from concept to final character mold." -Pixar Post
Merida image courtesy of Aldo Ortega
Maleficent promo poster image courtesy of Chris Yeoh
Disney Infinity 2.0 Toy box images of Merida & Maleficent
courtesy of
Travis Denman

Disney Infinity 2.0
"No doubt timed to the release of Maleficent in theaters, this announcement gives us a better idea of what we can expect from some of the non-Marvel characters in the game. Merida and Maleficent figures will go on sale without Play Sets, meaning they will only be playable in the Toy Box mode. However, the interactive mode has been given incredible new features, as Disney has gone on record stating that there will be mini games present that provide more structured play. In the previous game, the Toy Box focused on gamers building their own worlds the way they wanted to – while the new game also allows this, the aforementioned mini games and provided assistance from the game will make the mode less overwhelming while also giving the characters more to do.
Merida has her trademark bow and arrows, along with a sword to engage in combat, staying true to the fiery spirit we saw in Brave. Maleficent, who seems to be modeled after Angelina Jolie’s turn as the iconic villain, unsurprisingly comes with magical powers that will make her a powerful foe when faced from a distance.
Below are the character descriptions of what the two are capable of:
    Merida
  • Merida: With her untamed fiery red locks, this headstrong Princess will definitely leave her mark in Disney Infinity. Between her sharp sword and bow combo attacks with ricocheting arrows, she can upgrade her aim with elemental freeze arrows, freezing enemies in front of her then following up with rapid shots showing off her impressive athletic skills as an archer and sword fighter.
    Maleficent
  • Maleficent: The wicked title character from the... Walt Disney Studios film employs numerous magical powers and can attack using her magic in melee and ranged combat. To defeat enemies, Maleficent has the ability to utilize projectile and area of effect attacks that affect multiple targets within a specified area, brambles that she summons from the ground and ravens that she can call on to attack targets.
Disney Infinity 2 - Merida and Others Disney Infinity 2.0
Watch the new trailer, featuring the two characters below:
Although we are not sure whether Merida and Maleficent will be available upon launch of Disney Infinity 2.0, we do know that the gaming platform will launch this Fall. Stay tuned for more from the exciting sequel to what may be Disney’s biggest game ever!" -Pixar Times

"Disney Infinity 2.0"'s marketing in right now really all about Marvel right now, like in the press event, but with the new news it looks like they're still non-Marvel hope. In the final part of the press event recap they're be a couple more details and a new Disney Infinity segment on this site!

Are you excited about the new news or what will be in the starter pack?

May 30, 2014

Post 133: Michael Giacchino Goes "Inside Out"

Hi everyone! It seems like Michael Giacchino is doing Pixar scores every year. In fact, here is a list:
  • (2004) The Incredibles
  • (2005) One Man Band, Jack-Jack Attack
  • (2006) Lifted
  • (2007) Ratatouille
  • (2008) nothing
  • (2009) Partly Cloudy, UP, George and A.J.
  • (2010) Day and Night
  • (2011) Cars 2
  • (2012) La Luna
  • (2013) Toy Story of TERROR!
  • (2014) Ratatouille: The Adventure
  • So, it might've not surprised you that Michael in returning to Pixar movie scores with, "Inside Out"!
    "Michael Giacchino, the brilliant mastermind behind the beautiful scores of Pixar's, La Luna, Up and Ratatouille (among many others) has recently revealed that he will be scoring Inside Out for the studio as well. During a pre-concert question and answer session on May 24 for the Star Trek Into Darkness: Live to Projection session (held at the KKL Lucerne concert hall in Switzerland), the moderator asked Giacchino what he was going to be working on next. As expected, Michael is quite busy and after some initial comments mentioned that,  
    Photo courtesy Giacchino (Instagram)
    ...I'm going to go onto a film called Tomorrowland directed by Brad Bird and that has George Clooney in it. And then after that I go onto a film called Inside Out which is directed by Pete Docter, who did the movie Up for Pixar and then after that I go right onto Jurassic World, so basically I'm working from now until next May. 
    The entire Q&A session can be viewed on YouTube (courtesy of Stefan Schuler), although the mention of his upcoming projects doesn't start until 20:29 into the interview. Additionally, there are some interesting questions from the audience as well where they ask if there is a difference between scoring live-action and animation. Michael mentions that there's really not a difference and in both instances he says that it's "all made up" and noted that Superman is no more real than a rat that wants to cook. (Video posted below.)

    Michael had previously alluded to the fact that he was working on an unannounced Pixar project and now that it is confirmed, it's another exciting piece of news as we eagerly await a trailer for Pixar's though-provoking film, Inside Out." -Pixar Post
     
    Well it seems Pixar just can't get enough of Michael's scores. Anyways, see you soon!
     
    Are you excited about Michael's score for "Inside Out"?

    May 29, 2014

    Pixar Review: 'UP'

    Hi everyone with the movie UP now on it's 5th Birthday, let's review the movie now!

    Plot:
    Carl still lives in the house when he accidentally injures a construction worker over damage to his mailbox, and a court orders him to move to a retirement house. However, Carl comes up with a scheme to keep his promise to Ellie: he turns his house into a air balloon, using thousands of helium balloons. Russell, a young Wilderness Explorer becomes an accidental passenger in his effort to earn his final Explorer badge for assisting the elderly.

    Cast Highlights:
    • Ed Asner as Carl
    • Bob Peterson as Dug and Alpha
    • And of course, John Ratzenberger as Tom, the construction worker.

    Final Thoughts and Rating:
    While I didn't think it was good as other Pixar films, I still think it's still a good movie and Pete Docter's master film making skills gives this movie an 9/10!

    I hope you liked this review and I know I don't do these a lot but wanted to do one of UP because it was the next one up and it's the movie's 5th birthday. Anyways, see you soon!

    What is your opinion on UP?

    May 26, 2014

    Post 132: New Short Has Drove Into "Disney Movies Anywhere"!

    If you have already signed in the new "Disney Movies Anywhere" which you can go to here, you can drive right in and watch an all new Cars Toon! Which I think might be released in Pixar Shorts Vol. 3! 

    Radiator Springs 500 and a Half Logo
    "SYNOPSIS
    As a reminder, the short takes place during a Founders Day celebration on the streets of Radiator Springs.
    A “leisurely drive” planned in honor of Radiator Springs’ town founder, Stanley, turns precarious as Baja pros descend on the town and challenge Lightning McQueen to an off-road race. Meanwhile, the townsfolk, led by a Stanley-costumed Mater, enjoy the planned “leisurely drive” to retrace Stanley’s original frontier route. Thinking they’re on the same course, a wrong turn sends McQueen and the Baja pros on a treacherously wild bid for survival. The misunderstanding leaves the racing professionals in awe of the “legend” of Stanley: the Original Off-Road Racer. 

    CAST OF CHARACTERS & SOME NEW PAINT

    With any short featuring the fun-loving Mater, you can expect a lot of "costume changes" for his character, but it also seems that Radiator Springs 500½ will find a few more of our favorite characters in new paint as well. It seems that Luigi and Guido have a slight green tint while Sheriff has a really cool paint job showcasing a white hood and new enlarged sheriff star (as well as a re-positioning of his search lights...now mounted above his headlights instead of his roof).

    

    

    
    

    
    Coconuts Mater & the hilarious Rimshot Pitty
    Classed-up Sally

    Ramone with his Radiator Springs skyline paint job
    Fillmore with his jugs of fuel
    A gold-clad Red
    Lizzie, Sarge and Sheriff all dressed up
    The green-tinted Luigi and Guido
    Lightning McQueen as Stanley
    Mater as Stanley - also with the Rimshot Pitty as mater exclaims,
    "I'm beside myself!"
    
    DIE CAST CHARACTERS
    While we can't be 100% certain that any of the final die cast cars will in fact look exactly like the images below, the folks at Take Five a Day posted these images of the toys a few months ago and I can't wait to get a closer look when they hit store shelves (no word on a release date yet)." -Pixar Post
    If you seen this short, How do you feel about this short? See you soon! Also, you can watch this short by simply watch this short by signing up for free for "Disney Movies Anywhere"!

    Post 131: Parties and TERROR Are Coming in Book Form!


    Hi everybody! If you are working on a good 3-7 year old books and if your family likes Pixar then you can consider these books! 
    Toy Story of TERROR Party Central Book Cover Random House Depken"Moments ago we had posted about Toy Story of TERROR! being available for preorder on Blu Ray and DVD, but today we have also learned about two books (published by Random House) which will be released on July 22, 2014 - Toy Story of TERROR!  and Party Central. Both books are 24 pages and are geared towards kids age 3-7. From the image of the cover, it appears that the Toy Story of TERROR! book will contain over 30 stickers - we're not sure if the Party Central book will have any extras at this point.

    July of 2013 also saw the release of the book, Three Toy Toons, which was a 3D compilation of "Hawaiian Vacation", "Small Fry" and "Partysaurus Rex". Additionally, the Partysaurus Rex short also received a digital-only release of a separate book." -Pixar Post
    What short do you like more, "Party Central" or "Toy Story of TERROR!"? Anyways, see you soon!

    May 17, 2014

    Post 130: Infinity 2.0 Press Event!!! (Part 2 of 4)

    Hi everyone! Welcome to part 2 of the "Disney Infinity 2.0" press event recap. In this part we look at the first of the 2.0 Power Discs with 6 circle discs, 4 paint job discs, and 5 toy discs with a total of 15 2.0 Power Discs as of now. Here is look at them all!

    MARVEL TEAM-UPS AND COSTUMES
    • Sentinel of Liberty - Captain America's World War II costume and original shield.
    • Stark Arc Reactor - Iron Man's black and white special edition Guardians of the Galaxy armor with added boom!
    • Gamma Rays - Hulk's original grey costume with added smash!
    • Marvel Team Up: Winter Soldier - Team up with the Winter Soldier and catch your enemies in the crossfire.
    • Marvel Team Up: Iron Patriot - Iron Patriot reporting for duty.
    • S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier Strike - Send down a missile strike from above.

    MARVEL SKIES AND TEXTURES

    • Stark Tech - Unlock the Stark Industries theme with upgraded Hologram Readout Tech ability.
    • View from the Suit - Get a view from inside Iron Man's suit.
    • World War Hulk - Landscape looks like Hulk went on a smashing rampage.
    • World War Hulk Sky - Turns the blue skies green in honor of Hulk.

    MARVEL VEHICLES/MOUNTS

    • Falcon's Wings
    • The Avenjet
    • Hydra Motorcycle - sidecar included
    • Lola - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hover car
    • S.H.I.E.L.D. Containment Truck - Contain enemies
    All power discs pictures are owned by Disney and all collected by Pixar Post and Pixar Post also gave caption for all power discs.

    Are you pumped for the new power discs?

    Next on the press event recap:

    WHAT FIGURES ARE COMING!

    Post 129: PBS- Pixar Broadcasting Services [NOT REALLY]

    On April 26th I talked about some Ed Catmull interviews [As seen here] and now for some more!

    Go here for the video talked about: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365225945/

    "Disney Animation and Pixar President, Ed Catmull, recently sat down with Tavis Smiley for a 14-minute interview during the late-night PBS talk show. The discussion touches on several moments from Pixar's history (the relative ease with with Toy Story 3 was created) and even touched on the recent successes of Disney's Frozen. But the real power of the interview comes when Ed talks about bolstering a team, seeking creativity and what happens if the team synergy isn't clicking like it should.

    Additionally, we really appreciated the honest discussion surrounding failure in an organization. Ed mentioned that although failure may be a hot-topic in today's business world, we may not be able to be truly honest about tackling failure due to our earlier life lessons. Of course, many of these lessons, insights and talking points are also discussed in Catmull's new book, Creativity, Inc." -Pixar Post

    What did you think about the "Ugly Baby" talk?

    Post 128: The Return of the Star Cars!

    With all the talk about the next "Star Wars" movies what do you think Disney would do?

    "Last year in conjunction with the annual Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios, collectors of Pixar's die cast Cars characters were excited to find out that a new series of characters based on the Star Wars franchise would be released. Well, this year is no different as five new sets of Cars characters are hitting shelves starting today, May 16:
    • Chick Hicks as Boba Fett
    • Red as Chewbacca
    • Ramone as Han Solo
    • 3-pack featuring Luigi as C-3PO and 2 Pitties as Jawas
    • Click to Enlarge - Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
    • 2-pack featuring Mater as Darth Vader and Doc as Obi-Wan Kenobi

    Much like last year's characters, they will be available at shops throughout Hollywood Studios, but if you can't make it to the parks be sure to give the Disney Theme Parks ordering line a call at (877) 560-6477 and you should be able to order them at the regular retail price starting next Friday (May 23 - the first weekend is exclusive to the parks). If you would like to order any of the characters from the 2013 Star Wars Weekends, you can most likely order those still as well.


    2013 Star Wars Weekends Characters - Click to Enlarge

    To preview some of the additional merchandise for sale at Star Wars Weekends visit the Disney Park official Blog." -Pixar Post

    What do you think about the return of these die casts? See you soon!