During our tour at Pixar Animation Studios, we got a behind the scenes look at how animation dailies are done at Pixar. They took us to a small movie theater that seats probably 50 people or so, that had a swivel chair and computer with a large monitor at the center of the seats. There Supervising Animators Shawn Krause & Victor Navone, Directing Animator Jamie Roe, and Story Artist Tony Fucile walked us through a mock animation dailies session.
What are dailies?
Before a scene gets to dailies it must first come out of the story department in storyboard form, it then goes to layout. Layout places the digital camera and puts the characters where they need to be to hit their marks in the scene. Then the animators come in to start animating within that layout. They focus on the motion, body, and the face of the characters. Before they get to the final animation, they will show their work in progress to the director and the other animators of the film where they all share ideas on how the shot can be improved. This is called dailies.
These dailies are typically at 9 am everyday. It helps get the day going and everyone gets to see what everyone’s working on. The director and animators look at these shots and talk about what changes can be made. The director then either approves the shot, or make notes on shot.
Once the daily session is over, the animator will collect all the thoughts and new ideas and goes back to their desk and works on it to get it closer to what the director wants. Once the animator has finished working on their shot, they do a second pass in dailies. The shot is again looked at by the other animators and directors. It is subtle and picky process, but each note matters because each frame helps bring the character to life and tell the story. More notes are taken by the animator and then they get the shot ready for the final pass in dailies.
Once they hear the director say, “Let’s final it” that means that their animation shot is approved and it is ready to move on to the simulation and effects department.
Animation Dailies Facts
- During an hour of dailies, they get through about 15-20 shots.
- A 5 second clip takes the animators about 3 weeks to complete.
Can you imagine working on the same 5 seconds of something for 3 weeks?!
Inside Out is in theaters everywhere June 19th!