Purl

The first look at Purl, the latest from from Pixar’s experimental short film program, is here. Pixar previously announced they would begin releasing experimental short films, and kicked things off with Smash and Grab, directed by Brian Larsen. Now Kristen Lester‘s Purl is next. See the first images from Purl below.

The images above are from Purl, Pixar’s new experimental short. At Pixar’s SIGGRAPH panel last year, the animation company announced the launch of new experimental shorts, in which filmmakers are given creative freedom (but limited resources) to create something new. Here’s the original announcement:

“Pixar launched an internal, experimental storytelling initiative to create short films without executive oversight, to explore new creative visions and increase studio opportunities. This talk shares Pixar’s six-month journey of creating seven-minute shorts, with limited resources, amidst the backdrop of a busy studio, juggling multiple feature productions.”

And here’s the announcement that accompanied Pixar’s first experimental short, Smash and Grab:

In 2016, Pixar launched an internal, experimental storytelling initiative to enable new creative voices and explore alternative storytelling techniques, pipelines, and workflows in production. Within the new program, filmmakers are granted total creative freedom to develop a story, design a world, and produce a short film, within six months, and without any executive supervision. Smash and Grab is a seven minute short film that explores the use of a comic book development process, virtual production, performance/camera capture, and procedural shading and lighting techniques. With the backdrop of a busy feature film studio, limited resources, and a minimal crew, this talk is the story of our journey.

Now Pixar is will keep the ball rolling, unveiling Purl at this year’s SIGGRAPH. The film comes from Pixar storyboard artist Kristen Lester. “This certainly doesn’t feel like a fluke. I worked really, really hard to get here,” Lester said of her path to work at Pixar. “I loved animation more than anything. It’s work done with joy…For me, it was in my soul. It was something innately in me. I was always the kid drawing and watching cartoons and years later, at 36, I’m still watching cartoons and drawing.”

Here’s a description of Purl:

Last year, SIGGRAPH ’17 featured Smash and Grab: Off the Rails Filmmaking at Pixar, kicking off the results of a new, experimental storytelling initiative at Pixar Animation Studios. This initiative enables new creative voices and explores new storytelling techniques, pipelines and workflows in production.The program’s second short film, Purl, directed by Kristen Lester, continues to raise the bar for the program, and creates another example of what’s possible when filmmakers are granted this type of creative freedom within a fully functioning studio. Purl is an eight minute short film that explores the use of “digital backlot” management, an evolution of Smash and Grab‘s motion capture application, shareable animation libraries, our real-time shading software Flow, and production practices that allow a busy feature animation studio to continue telling even more stories.

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