The New Technology Used in ‘Finding Dory’ and Their Incredible Effects to the Movie Revealed

Animated films nowadays are unlike the ones from the past. Naturally, with the quick advancement of technology, studios have managed to capture characters' stories better on the big screen. Among the studios that have created remarkable films using animated technology in recent years is Disney, and they are doing it again with Pixar's Finding Dory.

According to Geek Tyrant, Disney and Pixar have employed incredibly advanced technology to bring Dory's story to life in theaters. The site reveals that Pixar's Chief Technology Officer, Steve May, shared some pretty exciting Finding Dory details to journalists a few months ago in Monterey, California. To be specific, May explained that the highly anticipated movie has "an unprecedented amount of new technology" like the programs called Katana and an updated version of RenderMan.

Turns out, while Finding Nemo certainly seemed realistic enough, most of the lighting in the prequel were faked by animators. However, with these new technologies the studios are using for Finding Dory makes everything automated, thus helping animators create organic effects underwater and thereby making the movie much more incredible.

As pointed out by Geek Tyrant, May said:

[There are] two kinds of light: direct and indirect. Imagine you're sitting at home on a sunny day. Direct light, May said, is the light you see when the sun streams through an open window. Indirect light is basically all of the other visible light in the room — it's not as bright as pure sunlight because it doesn't come purely from the source, but bounces off the floor and fills the rest of the area with less powerful light.
Back in theNemodays, Pixar could only afford to create direct light and had to have animators fake all of the indirect light by placing less powerful lights just out of frame, but with this new version of RenderMan, the process is automated, leaving the lighters and animators much more time to think about how to make the film better from an artistic standpoint instead of a sheerly practical one.

As minute as these details sound, it actually plays a big part in creating remarkable images on screen. The site also adds May as saying:

OnFinding Nemo, making things look like water had to be faked because they couldn't actually afford to calculate all of those things in the renderer. So there [was] a lot of work by hand. But onDory, the new RenderMan can basically calculate all of those things automatically.

As for creating fish tank effects, it was apparently horrendous to create for animators back in Finding Nemo days. May said:

We had three or four people work for six months to figure out how to fake reflections on the tank for Finding Nemo. The result was we had to make three of these special texture maps for each wall of the tank and the water's surface, and they had to be done by hand, and those had to be created for every single frame of animation. So it was a ton of work. Now on Finding Dory, a lot of that — the reflections of the walls, the water — is largely done automatically.

Clearly, with these new upgrades in the process of making the effects for the movie, animators are able to finish faster, thereby giving them more time to make adjustments and improvements. This would then result to an exceptionally-detailed and realistic rendering of the real world.

This kind of technology in Disney was also mentioned by The Jungle Book director Jon Favreauback in early April while speaking about directing Magic Kingdom.

I'm sure this makes fans super excited. I can only imagine what Finding Dory looks like in 3D. With these improvements in Disney cinematic technology, I'm excited for future films from the studio.

Movie Synopsis:

Pixar's Finding Dory reunites everyone's favorite forgetful blue tang, Dory, with her friends Nemo and Marlin on a search for answers about her past. What can she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak Whale? Directed by Andrew Stanton ("Finding Nemo," "WALL•E") and produced by Lindsey Collins (co-producer "WALL•E").

Finding Dory hits theaters on June 17.

Watch: What Finding Nemo Looks Like When Told In Emoji

Read: First Lesbian Couple in a Disney film to be featured in Finding Dory?

Read: Finding Dory Petition Asks Disney Pixar to Help Protect ‘Dory's' Species

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