Answer:- In the early days, Pixar used Presto software. He developed this software for himself. This software was not for sale and could only be used by Pixar Animation Studios.
As 3d animators, we are all really interested in big animation studios like which software they use for their animation. did they use only one software or a bunch of software or are this software also available for us or not? There are many questions, right? but today I have all the answers.
so when we talk about big animation studios then there are many studios that come into our minds like Pixar, Disney, and illumination. but today we will talk about Pixar animation studio. I know you have definitely watched Pixar movies in your childhood or in recent times. the most renowned movies of Pixar are the toy story series, finding dory, up and many more.
But as time passed, Pixar developed much new software to ease the workflow of its animators further. So let’s know which software Pixar uses in today’s time.
What Software Does Pixar Use?
Pixar started in 1979 as part of a Lucasfilm computer division that Disney bought in 2006. At that time, Pixar was known as a graphics conglomerate, but today it is a much larger animation studio, commonly known as Pixar.
Pixar has produced about 26 films today, and Toy Story (1995) was Pixar’s first computer-animated film. Its most recent films are Lightyear, Turning Red and Luca. Incredibles 2 (2018), Toy Story 4 & 3 and Finding Dory & Nemo are among the highest-grossing films of all time. In addition, Pixar Studios has also produced dozens of short films.
Now you may be wondering how a studio can make all these fantastic animation movies, but more importantly, what software does Pixar use?
1. Menv ( Pronounced as “men-vee”)
This is Pixar Animation Studios’ first software, later renamed Presto. Presto is proprietary software developed by Pixar Animation Studios and is used to create short films.
Brave, released in 2012, was the first feature animated film to be made in Presto. Interestingly, Menvi was referred to in the press as Marionette for many years, although that name was only used inside the studio. But there is a possibility that Pixar artists still refer to Presto as Menvi. That’s because it’s the name he used for most of his career while working for Pixar.
As a result, little is known about the detailed workings of this software outside of Pixar. But Pixar claims that Presto is designed to be intuitive and familiar to animators who have experience with traditional cell animation. Presto is named after the 2008 animated short film Presto, about the titular wizard character himself.
Pixar chooses to use a proprietary system instead of using animation software that is available and used by other companies, for another very important reason, is that they can edit the software code to fit their needs.
To meet the needs of its animators, Pixar designed Presto’s interface to be similar to other software available in the market, such as Maya, 3ds Max and Blender. What’s more striking about Presto is that it allows artists to interactively work with full-resolution geometric models in a real-time visual context that can access millions of polygons in addition to sophisticated rig controls. and it has significantly increased the productivity of character animators at Pixar.”
2. Universal Scene Description (USD)
After Presto, our second software is Pixar USD, which has Full Form Universal Scene Description as you read about Presto above.
Presto was the perfect software for Pixar in its early stages. But over time, Pixar decided to bring this functionality into their workflow because Presto had some limitations, including its inability to handle collaborative work.
It is a type of open-source 3D scene description and file format developed by Pixar for content creation and interchange between different tools. Pixar’s first publicly available software to be widely adopted in large-scale architecture, design, construction, and other disciplines.
The software provides Pixar artists with a collaborative interface, which allows artists to work on the same scene or model. This includes animation, cinematography, lighting, environment etc.
OpenSubdiv is a kind of API and a set of open source libraries. It is not an application nor a tool that can be used to create digital assets directly.
Pixar has designed it to be integrated into third-party digital content creation tools that implement high-performance subdivision surface (SubDiv) evaluation on massively parallel CPU and GPU architectures.
Its code path is optimized for drawing deformable surfaces with static topologies at interactive framerates. OpenSubdiv is covered by the Apache License and is free for commercial or non-commercial use. This is the same code that Pixar uses internally for animated film production.
4. Pixar RenderMan (formerly PhotoRealistic RenderMan)
RenderMan, created by Pixar Animation Studio, is the best software because it is a photorealistic 3D rendering software, which Pixar uses to render all of its in-house 3D animated movie productions.
RenderMan is available as a commercial product licensed to third parties and a free non-commercial version of it became available in 2015. Of course, we can’t talk about Pixar without talking about Pixar RenderMan (formerly Photorealistic RenderMan) because it allowed the big studios to use RenderMan on big-budget movies. For them, it turned out to be a great render engine.
Using the RenderMan interface specification, RenderMan defines cameras, geometry, materials, and lights. This specification facilitates communication between 3D modelling and animation applications and the render engine that generates the final high-quality images. In addition, RenderMan supports the Open Shading Language for defining texture patterns.
Even though Pixar Animation Studio has shown and explained some of Presto’s features and tools which show how powerful it is. But who knows maybe one day they will make it commercial software! And until then, we can just guess. We can’t say for sure whether it’s better than animation 3D packages like Maya and Blender, but it probably is from what we’ve seen over the years.
so these are all the software used by Pixar Animation Studios to make awesome Animation movies.