L3 Games Design – 3D Animation – Pixar Short film

The first shorts were made while Pixar was still a computer hardware company, and were used to sell the companies hardware products. The story of Pixar’s early short films illuminates not only the evolution of the company but also the early days of computer animation, when a small group of artists and scientists shared a single computer in a hallway, and struggled to create emotionally compelling short films.


The first Pixar Short, The Adventures of André and Wally B (1984). Created as a technical demonstration to to sell Pixar’s hardware.

Pixar uses all different types of technology in their productions. Their most prominent use of technology in the production is computers of their films. When creating a production, Pixar are able to run a software on the computers, which allows them to design different concepts, different storyboards and different types of modelling. Pixar can use all different types of softwares to produce animation in their films.

Pixar also relies on powerful and specially designed computers to use for the process of rendering.

From when Pixar was first created as a hardware developer, the company’s technology has had a massive development throughout the years with the development of the computer graphics industry. Its early short films, like Luxo Jr, and its debut industry standard software for rendering, the process of generating finished two-dimensional images from the geometry, surfacing and lighting data used to create a three-dimensional animation.



When creating a production, Pixar use digital lighting to brighten up the scene and to make it clear what is happening in the animation. Every time Pixar create an animation they use the digital lighting to make it look stage lighting has been used or to make it very similar to stage lighting. Key, fill and bounce lights and room ambience are all defined and used to enhance the mood and emotion of each scene. Lighting takes its inspiration from the colour scripts created by the art department. Animators , use ambient, omnidirectional and spotlights to create depth, shadows and moods.
Rendering is the act of gathering all individual clips or files to create one final product, this will include; sets, colour and character movements. Pixar have what they call a ‘RenderMan’ which is there software that gathers all individual pixels of every image from the model, animation, shading and lighting.
Using powerful computers, all of the digital information that the animators have created is assembled into a single frame of film. For Pixar to fully render an animation it could take an average of six hours to render one frame of an animated film.  Pixar animated films are produced at a frame rate of 24 frames per second (fps). For a 90 minute film, that’s nearly 130,000 frames of animation. At Pixar an individual animator is expected to produce 100 frames of animation a week.