There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes when Pixar is making a movie. We wanted you to get a glimpse of what they do. So let’s check out how Pixar gets into production with Cars 3.
Getting into Production with Pixar and Cars 3
There’s so many nuances that goes into making Cars 3 come to the big screen. Things that we don’t even think about. Things like making sure the Cars eyes aren’t always looking at the sky. That was something that they actually had to make sure didn’t happen. Things we just do not even have any idea. What goes into Pixar productions are amazing months of planning, drawing and going back to the drawing board again.
Here’s what Jay Schuster (production designer) has to say about it.
What would a racer car design in McQueen’s league look like 20 years into the future. Enter Jackson Storm. I think you’ve probably seen him up on the Internet recently. He is the next generation. For a design like his, we start with a blank sheet of paper and the goal is to use shape, paint and graphic to create a character that contradicts McQueen in every possible way. At Pixar we have this interim design process. So in the art department we are just drawing. We are drawing as many ideas and getting them up on the wall every week so Brian McFee can react and give us further direction to the designs he likes.
We do 100s of these sketches. McQueen is round and flowing so therefore Storm had to be angular and sharp.
The artists are constantly reminding themselves that they’re characters first and vehicles second.
About Cruz Ramirez in Cars 3
Our next big character design for the film is Cruz Ramirez of course. She is Lightening’s high tech trainer and she was a very different design challenge all together. Again we started with a blank sheet of paper but we also paid close attention to what they were doing in the story department. A character’s actions and mannerisms can spark design direction for us in the art department. We wanted Cruz to be as American muscle as possible, based in that world, but informed also by a European sports coupe esthetic. She was a unique design challenge. She’s not a racecar but she’s a strong female character who has to meet the NexGen racecars at their level. We moved quickly from sketches into clay to solidify the direction and while sculpt evolved we did these overlays to push the designs forward all in the name of perfecting design and it allows multiple people to contribute to the evolution of the design as well. Keeping an eye on that eye mouth relationship all-important, the overlays get tighter and more refined and finally we have a clean set of drawings that we will ultimately hand off to the people building this in the computer. When we’re in the computer, we’re printing those out and sketching over that very traditionally, to give the folks modeling these characters even more notes. It’s a constant process of tearing down and building up to perfect these designs.
What’s great about this is that we make it in such a way that you don’t notice all we do. That’s the way we want it. You don’t know about the time and layering it takes to put the mud on the cars and then we take it all off when they’re outside the racetrack again. That’s our job. To bring life to Storm we actually decided that he needed to move less. He’s over confident and egotistical and to bring that to life we had him less but we see how he really feels in his eyes more. So he may say a compliment to Lightening McQueen but you can read in his eyes that he didn’t mean it. With Cruz we did a lot with her eyeliner. Her eyes tell the story and how we drew her eyeliner on shows you what she’s feeling. We hope you don’t notice all these things we do to give our characters life!