MAKING WALL•E

Brain Springs: Fast Physics for Large Crowds in WALL•E

by Paul Kanyuk | Pixar Animation Studios

Subscribe to IEEE Computer Graphics and ApplicationsThe following videos are short clips from the making of the feature animated film WALL•E and demonstrate aspects of technology used to create its crowd animation. Many images are rough previews of work in progress, although the later videos include some finished work.

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Videos 1-6     |     Videos 7-12     |     Videos 13-18

Video 13. To see how our physics-based acting workflow looks in action, we present a rough shot progression for the scene in WALL•E where the Axiom tilts back and the passengers slide across the deck. This video shows the noisy sim with a subset of the final agents with acting layered on top.

Video 15. To see how our physics-based acting workflow looks in action, we present a rough shot progression for the scene in WALL•E where the Axiom tilts back and the passengers slide across the deck. This video shows the unlit shot with final animation and cleanup.

Video 17. This video shows a short demonstration of our crowd robots in flight. Clearly, the robots aren’t just following a path but hovering, anticipating their turns, and reacting to physical forces in a spring-like manner.

Video 14. To see how our physics-based acting workflow looks in action, we present a rough shot progression for the scene in WALL•E where the Axiom tilts back and the passengers slide across the deck. This video shows the agent positions after filtering and smoothing.

Video 16. To see how our physics-based acting workflow looks in action, we present a rough shot progression for the scene in WALL•E where the Axiom tilts back and the passengers slide across the deck. This video shows the final result with lighting.

Video 18. This video shows a group of crowd robots that come to a complete stop and bounce, yet begin their bounce before the stop for exaggeration. This would be impossible for a traditional physics simulation because the desired result isn’t physically plausible; however, with brain springs, this is a small modification.