1. The Making of "Toy Story"

Full Day / Beginning

An inside look into the production of "Toy Story," the world's first feature-length computer-animated film. Presentations by members of the crew take the audience through each stage of the production pipeline: art and design, modeling, shading, layout, animation, lighting, and effects.

Who Should Attend
Anyone with an interest in traditional filmmaking/animation or computer graphics/animation who would like to know more about the thought processes and techniques involved in the making of a computer-animated feature film.

Graham Walters

Tia Kratter
Galyn Susman
Eben Ostby
Joe Ranft
Rick Sayre
Eliot Smyrl
Craig Good
Pete Docter
Sharon Calahan
Oren Jacob


The course syllabus consists of seven separate presentations by members of the "Toy Story" production crew. To make it easier for less experienced members of the audience to understand how each of the various pieces fit together, these presentations will be given in roughly the same order as the actual production of the film.

Noon: Introduction - Graham Walters

Format/overview of course
History of events leading to production of "Toy Story"
Overview of production pipeline/organization

12:15 pm: Story - Joe Ranft

12:45 pm: Art - Galyn Susman/Tia Kratter

Role of Art Department in design and implementation
Art Department/Technical Staff collaboration
Art Department tools/environment

Modeling packets
Review/interaction during modeling

Use of drawings, materials as motivation and reference
Use of digital painting, scanned art, illustrator art, 3D painting

Pastels as lighting motivation
Painting as cookies and slides for lights
Matte paintings in rendered frames
Matte paintings as composited elements

Render Imagery
Paint fixes
Paint enhancements

1:15 pm: Q&A

1:30 pm: Break

1:45 pm: Modeling - Eben Ostby

Start from storyboards as motivation for character
Storyboard -> Model packet
Supporting materials: books, sculpture

Analyze model and choose technique
Alias (turn-key modeler)
pet/pat (proprietary deformation tools)
Pure mdl (proprietary procedural scripting language)
C code (UNIX based software development language)
psys (proprietary particle system generator)

Case study: Buzz Lightyear
Combines several techniques
Alias for basic body
mdl code for custom controls: stomach, lynx
pet/pat for face
Surface shader application

2:15 pm: Shading - Rick Sayre/Eliot Smyrl

Art Department issues

Props and sets
Moving truck

Natural environment
Mud, trees, grass

Theatrical cheats
Flats, house at end

Decision to give them simple shaders (not skin)
Toys (story points, dirt/bugs/etc)
Mutant toys (consistent story/look to them)

Hair (shaders vs. geometry)
Clothing (jeans -> blacklight)

2:45 pm: Q&A

3:00 pm: Break

3:15 pm: Layout - Craig Good

Role of layout
Like a DP without the lights: composition, camera moves
Implementing Editorial decisions: blocking, stage/sight lines
Last step of modeling/first step of animation
First step into the 3D world

Research and inspiration
"Twins" case study
"Apocalypse Now"
Toy commercials

Film grammar
Perspective and lens choices: tripods, cranes, zooms
Moves: why we don't fly the camera around all the time
The camera move as an homage: Mann cam, Brannagh cam, Spielberg cam

Anatomy of an homage
t14 and "Raiders of the Lost Ark"

3:45 pm: Animation - Pete Docter

Movement = meaning (nothing moves without a meaning)

The shot in its context
The controlling idea; what is the shot about?
Relate to the emotion; creating audience empathy
Approaching a shot; the thought process

Plan: listen to the sound track, thumbnail sketches
Animate: animate the body, mouth

4:15 pm: Q&A

4:30 pm: Break

4:45 pm: Lighting - Sharon Calahan

1600+ shots to light; where to start?
Lighting scenarios; the why and how
Using lighting/color palette for emotional impact
Reinforcing story points with lighting
Good character lighting
The process; keeping it flexible

5:15 pm: Effects - Oren Jacob

Case study: rocket contrails

5:45 pm: Wrapup - Graham Walters

6:00 pm: Q&A

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