The Art behind Pixar

Art of Cars - Front Cover for Book of Concept ArtI just got back from seeing Cars 2 from Pixar Studios. I’m not a big fan of sequels but I heard that John Lasseter was the director.  While in graduate school, I attended a John Lasseter lecture at the Smithsonian Institution. I remember him talking about the importance of story but I also remember an animation from school he shared . It was what we would describe as an Animatic or Pencil Test. The drawing was raw but the emotions of the story came through. I remember sketches of a boy and a monster in his bedroom. While I can’t remember if the boy or the monster won, I still liked it.

I was glad that I put my bias about sequels aside and went today. The film charmed and engaged.  Pixar has an uncanny way of making  you connect with characters and to care about what happens to them.

When I got back from the film, I checked out the Pixar website which was refreshly understated.

To learn about their creative process, check out this page called the Pixar Process.

It’s a simple slide show with text and images that takes you through an overview of their production process.

One phase of development  that Pixar has shared in an additional way is the conceptual art that is a part of their creative process. When Pixar is developing their stories, they do a great deal of drawing. Both at the storyboard ideation phase and and at the look and feel stage of development. They do mounds and mounds of drawings.  The drawings are in a number of different mediums. Some times they are very detailed and sometimes not. In addition, they work both digitally and non-digitally.

They have been releasing the concept art for each of their films as books for a number of years . I think I have six of them and will look into the next book, The Art of Cars 2.  If you have an interest in the creative process, film and animation, check these books out. They will become treasured possessions and sources of creative inspiration.

Thanks for your attention! Have a good week.


The Art of Cars

The Art of Cars 2