One subject that I’m very interested in is art and animation so while I attend Monster’s University I took extra notes when it came to the animation department. My class schedule was quite intense with a morning full of classes. I took English 101, Sociology 203, Anthropology 152, Dramatic Arts and Physics and there was a little art and science in all of them.
- ENGLISH 101: How to Tell a Great Story
Learn about the story process and how to draw a character from MU.
Instructor: Kelsey Mann (Story Supervisor)
At Pixar when they create a movie like Monsters University it’s all about the story. They don’t move at all until there is a story and it took a while to get to this story line because in Monsters Incorporated Mike talks about how he’s known Sully since Kindergarten but you’ll find that fact changed. They decided that they had a stronger story by having them meet in college. Which is why Monsters University takes place where it does and the story is what it is. Then we learned how to draw Mike. There is still research involved as well, with the story taking place at a college they had to visit many different colleges. So Story moves into Sociology and Anthropology and Dramatic Arts and Physics that hardest part of all.
Learn about the design of college-age Mike & Sulley, and creation & design of new characters in the film.
Instructors: Ricky Nierva (Production Designer), Jason Deamer (Character Art Director) & Daniela Strijleva (Character Designer)
So you have a story, and with every good story you have to have characters. However, we know Mike, Sully, and Randall as adults. (yep Randall makes an appearance in Monsters University) The animators had to take years off the characters and faced a quandary. How do you make a blue hairy monster and a green eye ball look younger?
It takes trial and error and lots of it. Plus you have to be willing to take criticism. I’m not sure I could work at Pixar because I have a hard time when people ask me to change my writing. The animators at Pixar are amazing and I feel they did a fantastic job making a young Sully and Mike. Here is an early concept of Sully young:
- ANTHROPOLOGY 152: Monsterizing the World
Learn about creating and “monsterizing” the world of MU.
Instructors: Dice Tsutsumi (Shading/Lighting Art Director) & Robert Kondo (Sets Art Director)
We have monsters in Monsters University and well monsters live in a monster world. What should a monster world look like, I mean should it look like our world or not? The animators at Pixar decided that the world should look like a monster world and they used the monstrous theme in all the buildings and trees and in all the details. I love watching and learning about all of the details and seeing them come together on the big screen.
- DRAMATIC ARTS: Bringing a Character to Life
Learn how the animation process works, and view an animation demo on a linux machine.
Instructor: Scott Clark (Supervising Animator)
My favorite class the animation of a character. I’ve taken this class before and loved it both times. Pixar and Disney both have amazing ways to manipulate art from drawing by hand then directly on the computer and then using vectors and paths and being able to move each limb, it’s AH-mazing.
- PHYSICS 250: Global Illumination
View a presentation on the use of Global Illumination in MU and The Blue Umbrella.
Instructors: Jean-Claude (JC) Kalache (DP-Lighting), Sanjay Bakshi (Supervising Technical Director) & Christine Waggoner (Simulation Supervisor)
Physics was by far the hardest class but if you think about it you can’t create a 3D world without it. Lighting and the math of art is the only way to give it dimension. Giving an object a shadow provides a direction of light and it’s hard to describe without pictures but they have to consider so many directions for the light including all of the ways light bounces off of objects and then changes directions. Have you ever considered how many different light sources there are? Let’s take the sun, it hits a mirror, then it reflects, it reflect again off of a piece of metal but which way does it bounce? It depends on the shape of the metal and the angle the piece of metal exists in it’s plane. Art and animation and 3D is a complex world so if you want to go down this line of education you need to stay in school