12 Pages

[14]. Graphite and Pixels: Drawing at Pixar: Harley Jessup

Most people can talk about an idea, but only a few can show

that idea [14-1]. In the creation of a computer graphic

animated film, a team of designers and story artists illus-

trate the director’s vision long before a single frame of film

is ever rendered. Pixar Animation Studios pioneered the

medium of computer animation with a series of Academy

Award-winning short films and, in 1995, with the creation of

the first computer-graphic feature film, Toy Story. Technical

methods continue to evolve at Pixar, but the basic story-

telling process based on thousands of drawings, remains

the same. Each conference room at Pixar is supplied with

a stack of drawing pads for every creative session and the

table will invariably be littered with dozens of sketches

by the end of the meeting [14-2]. With drawings, we show

the ideas and ground the design discussion in a common

visual language. Pixar films are filled with images that

were born on the drawing board and I often remind the

artists on our team that the ability to express an idea in

a drawing is a very powerful skill.