Stochastic Cinema: The Intersection of Randomness and Design"

Mike Ravella '16, Technical Director, Pixar Animation Studios

Monday, November 19, 2018 at 12:00 Noon

Room 368 (CIT 3rd Floor)

This talk will examine two case studies on the use of random numbers to not only influence, but enhance design in feature film production. The first will be a geometric application of probability from Incredibles 2, followed by a stochastic illumination strategy employed on Coco.

Designing cities is implicitly a task of tremendous scale. But how can we keep design nimble as story and art direction are changing every day? In this part of the talk, we will start by looking at the artistic inspiration for Municiberg and New Urbem, and the design challenges involved in creating two distinct cities. Then we will see how this influenced the creation of the city generation tool, and learn about how probability can allow both rapid prototyping of large scale sets, as well as achieve a polished, final look.

In the second half, we will move towards illumination. On Coco, there were many glowing creatures, called alebrije, added to the magical Land of the Dead. Similar to before, we will start by looking at some of the artistic exploration for what the alebrije would look like in our world. Then we will examine the social implications of what happens when we try to let a department that isn't lighting control something on the screen that lights up. And finally we will see how a novel stochastic rendering technique was employed to keep everyone happy.

This talk is designed to be enjoyable even with no previous knowledge (or interest) of probability or computer science.

Host: Professor Barbara Meier