How did Pixar Create the Incredibles 2 movie?
If you missed it you definitely want to read our post on the Art, Math and Technology Behind Pixar Animation Studios Costumes – it’s FASCINATING! This post will take you even deeper into the world of Pixar and the many layers of creation that goes into making an action scene in the Incredibles 2 movie (coming to theaters June 15, 2018!). A Pixar team of 55 artists worked on Model, Set Dress, Shading, Skies & Set Extras, and Sets Tech. Below are various aspects hand picked out of the film to give you a closer look into the details created and obstacles overcome for the Incredibles 2 movie.
Pixar Animation Studios Artists We Met:
Ralph Eggleston – Product Designer
Philip Metschan – Visual Designer
Bryn Imagire – Shading Art Director
Nathan Fariss – Sets Supervisor
Ted Mathot – Story Supervisor
Mahyar Abousaeedi – Layout Supervisor
Kureha Yokoo – Animator
Amit Baadkar – Effects Artist
Deanna Marsigliese – Character Artist
These Pixar artists did an outstanding job to create the world of the film. They pushed the film from the original Incredibles movie set in the 50’s to the new Incredibles 2 film set in the 60s. Careful tedious detail was given to the visual content of the characters, environment, props, dressing, costumes, texture & lighting.
FUN FACT: The world of the Incredibles is not made of small details except for the characters.
The Parr (Incredibles) Family House:
If you remember in the first Incredibles movie, the Parr family has exploded, so in the new film they need a house to live in! Temporarily the family of 5 moved into the Safari Motel until eventually moving into an architectural wonder created by Pixar artists (seen above).
Parr House Sizes:
Original Parr house (1st Incredibles film) – 1300-1500 ft2
Original 2nd house created in Incredibles 2 was 2300 ft2 but was scrapped and recycled.
Final New Parr House – 23,000 ft2
Time to Design Parr Houses:
First 2300 ft2 house for film: took 6 months to create then the idea was scrapped and recycled and used as a different house in the movie.
Second (final) 23,000 ft2 house for film: 2.5 weeks to design – Pixar time crunch! They visited 30+ houses for reference and inspiration. Compared photos of fabric close up, lamps, plants, tables, halls, chairs, phone styles, rock details. Inspired by James Mason’s house in North by Northest. This house was 100% built from scratch by Pixar artists!
FUN FACT: If you look closely in the new Parr home in the movie you'll notice that the bottom of the pool is the ceiling!
Speed of the Train vs. the Elasticycle:
Creating the Pixar Incredibles 2 scene where Elastigirl is trying to “outrun” the train on her Elasticycle was especially difficult. After all the train is moving at a speed of up to 150 mph! The Pixar team had to carefully construct new plausible stunts and remap how Elastigirl uses her abilities in such an intense situation. They also gave a nod back to the original film by having her parachute out with her stretchy body.
Special Effects Work on the Train Action Scene:
These scene in particular took an incredible amount of work! The sheer destruction of a high speed chase and ultimate explosion is intense! Check out just some of these effects below:
Glass size, sharpness, and light reflection were specifically on the special effects list.
An important addition to support, but not draw attention to, the action scene.
Individually hand drawn. Sparks were created on a static train and then added post production.
The plan here was to start simple and then slowly add details at every layer of the scene adding an effect of intense heat and a near miss danger.
More on the Elasticycle:
Special details were given to Elastigirl’s Elasticycle. Some of these special effects were ribbing on the tire with embedded specs of rock to give it a realistic look. Highlights on the fender with texture to show wear was also special detail to note.
4 Details the Elasticycle Needed:
2. Be functional!
3. Fit Helen!
4. Follow Helen’s strengths! (be an extension of her abilities)
One Example of Lighting:
I wish I could play back all of the Incredibles 2 presentations for you because even the shading team had their work cut out for them! They had to research and learn how different surfaces react to light and shade them accordingly. How does light bounce off of a marble floor? A textured couch cushion? It’s these tiny details you don’t give a second thought to as you’re enjoying a film! I made the above graphic so you could see the basic steps used JUST to make terrazzo flooring in the movie!
FUN FACT: The city you see in the background from the new Parr home is a COMPLETE 3D city with hand drawn houses, streets, and everything in place and scaled down to make it look realistic!
BASIC STEPS to Create a Pixar Film:
Previsualization – This is essentially prototyping. It’s something QUICK!
Why? Quick overview collaboration with the artistry team to get everyone on the same page. When working on such a large project you want to make sure everyone is looking at the same world and on the same page.
After script: The Storyboards are drawn by different artists different ways. There are endless amount of maps, camera angles, scale models – all looking and talking about the same thing but seen in different ways. It helps to give a visual look at possibilities as ideas are formed.
Layout: This step helps to fill in the details inside the house. Can you imagine if you have this great big house and a tiny dining room table that is too small to fit the characters? Or an oversized table too large to fit in your smaller house? Every single detail is important!
Extraordinary Detail: I alluded to this in my post about the Art, Math and Technology Behind Pixar Costumes but EVERY SINGLE object and shape in the Incredibles 2 film had to be hand drawn first. Imagine! Every single couch cushion had to be rippled and textured. Every dirty dish, silverware, pot, bike, pipe, and leaf – hand drawn! They basically had to design a warehouse full of stuff for this film!
Storyboard Progression of the Incredibles Family:
Fun Facts about the Pixar Easter Eggs in Incredibles 2:
*Each Easter egg in Pixar films are placed by different people in different departments!
*A113 was placed by the graphics & director. (A113 = classroom used by graphic design and character animation students at the California Institute of the Arts)
*The Pizza Planet truck is IN mid century period true to the film and placed by Sets Supervisor Nathan Fariss. (He also placed the Pizza Planet truck in Finding Dory.)
*Pixar Easter eggs are ALWAYS themed to their time period. For example, the Pizza Planet truck in the Good Dinosaur was carved from rocks!