Sunday, November 15, 2015

David Price (2008): The Pixar Touch

What is it about?

The book basically tells the story of Pixar animation studio (or what eventually became the animation studio) up to the point when the book was published. What is more, the book nicely describes the early development of the underlying computer and software technology.

Was it good?

The book is good, and written quite appealingly around the main characters (human, not animated) of the story. While the narrative is therefore enjoyable to read, I particularly appreciated the discussion concerning how computer animation came into existence in late 1970s and early 1980s, to a significant degree as a result of quite innovative academic research.

The main take-away for me?

One of the central eye-openers for me was the (of course, expected) amount of devoted round-the-clock work of some early pioneers of the 'industry', who had a tremendous belief in computer animation in the era (1980s) when the results were a far cry from the current quality of animated feature films such as Monsters Inc. Moreover, the hilarious and eye-pleasing animated films of today don't really hint at the amount of boardroom politics (e.g. Pixar vs. Disney, or Steve Jobs vs. Disney top brass) and even court cases behind the production and distribution of the end products. As a bottom line, according to the book, there is significantly less magic behind the films as in the films themselves.

Who should read the book?

I think that the book can be enjoyed by nearly everyone, especially those who, like me, appreciate contemporary animated films. Indeed, when one learns about the amount of work and even scientific research that goes into modelling the movement of hairs of a furry creature, one is bound to enjoy the films even more. I, at least, plan to watch the Pixar animations once again after having read the book.

The book on The Pixar Touch

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