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A Human Story of Computer Animation


animhist_pnl.jpgEnjoy this long (101 minutes) and lively discussion between some the industry's leading artists and directors.

Participants include:


  • Brad Bird, Writer/Director, The Incredibles, Pixar Animation Studios
  • Ed Catmull, Co-Founder and President, Pixar Animation Studios
  • Alvy Ray Smith, Co-Founder of four centers of computer graphics excellence (Altamira, Pixar, Lucasfilm, New York Tech) and a Microsoft Fellow
  • Andrew Stanton, Writer/ Director, Finding Nemo, Pixar Animation Studios
  • Michael Rubin, Moderator, Author of Droidmaker: George Lucas and the Digital Revolution


Here's the video:

There's also a hi-res version available (WMV format, 220MB).


  1. Thanks Kernon for let us know of this excelent discussion ;)
    Brad Bird is one of my favorite directors and ED catmull i only knew from the Catmull-Clark interpolation methode :P I wonder now who was Clark hehe
    Very good information in here for every movie kind maker.
    Just awesome ^_~

  2. Thanks so much for letting us know about this video, it's incredibly inspiring and interesting!! Worth every bit of the 101 minutes (well it stopped loading at about 90!!)...

  3. What I found interesting when watching this was that it appears Ratatouille is a parable of the Disney / Pixar story.

    Auguste Gusteau = Walt Disney
    He is dead he is an inspiration he was an innovator.

    Skinner + Chefs = What Disney (the company) became after the death of its founder. They produced formulaic films that copied the patterns laid down by Walt but failed to copy his innovative spirit. Disney's artists are represented as highly skilled but unimaginative. In the end their film became like the cardboard cut-outs in Skinner's office and his ready meals.

    Remy the rat = Brad Bird, he was fired from Disney but sneaked back in. He is highly creative. He knows how to cook up a great film.

    Linguini = Ed Catmull, he can't draw / can't cook but ends up controlling the kitchen / Disney. He creates a tool (Renderman) that artists can use to do whatever they want. This is depicted by the way Linguini becomes a puppet. The pulling hair is just a joke for anyone has ever tries using an handles to animate a 3D character.

    Collette = Disney employees who are happy to do things in a new way.

  4. Wow, glad I watched it as it's been taken down now (the opening titles kinda made me feel that' gonna happen). I love Brad Bird although I hate he had to replace Pinkava in Ratatouile.

  5. very very compelling.

    I completely agree with a lot of the stuff they believe in.
    I also suspected about Pixar some of what they said, it's wonderful to hear it from their own mouths.
    it makes me respect and admire them even more.

    i think its really powerful to believe that it isn't really about the computer technology but about art and telling a story.

    amazing amazing stuff I can't say enough

  6. A very interesting video about the the beginning of computer graphics and animation from a few of the people that help set the foundation for an ever growing medium. And yet they were very clear to those of the next generation look to your life for inspiration and focus on telling a good story.

  7. @Phil
    That's something I didn't think of, yet! In this context this is even a better movie (my girlfriend always said there was something strange about the storyline, but we didn't quite work it out :) )

  8. Anyone aware of a mirror for the larger video? or a torrent?

    Their server is either under a lot of pressure or they host it from a C64 - I'm getting 7 kb/sec and it stalls a lot.

    But the video is fantastic. I've actually seen this before somewhere... Google video probably.. a year or so ago. There's an audio interview with a couple of these guys on some animation site as well - I'll see if i can dig up the site... That interview focuses more on their animation training rather than the technical stuff and Brad Bird's really interesting pre-pixar career.

  9. I was searching online and I found your site on google. Just finished reading a few of some of your other posts here. I've already added your site to my Google News Reader. Thanks for your good and educative posts and please keep up the good work as I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

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