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December 01, 2006


JS Bangs

Which was a waste, because Cars was by far the worst Pixar film to date.


It doesn't surprise me because (disagreeing with the first comment), when my son brought the DVD home, I was startled by how detailed the animation is, even on my 10-year old Trinitron. He's made us all watch it about 10x now, but I still don't mind because I can't get over how realistic it is.


Interestingly, it's not just the render times that remain constant.

A few years back, a little while after after Toy Story 2 was released, I went to a talk by Tony De Rose at the University of Washington. He'd been a prof there, and was returning to talk about his new work at Pixar, and, no doubt, to recruit some UW grads.

If I remember right, his first project at Pixar was to work on a system to simplify/accelerate the "rigging" of control points for facial features in 3d models. What he found was that every improvement he made in simplifying facial animation was being used by the animators to adding more precision and detail, rather than to reduce the amount of time required to do the facial animation.

It's not really all that different from all the time people started spending noodling the way their everyday documents looked when WYSIWYG wordprocessors became widespread (or standards of home cleanliness with the advent of the vacuum cleaner).

It seems a common motif that potential productivity improvements are often diverted to quality improvements, at least until some quality threshold is reached.

It occurs to me that this is somehow related to the idea of "reverse salients," that Nick Carr wrote about recently.

Jason Crawford

I've also heard that the time to get from midtown to downtown Manhattan has remained constant (~45 minutes) for the last one or two hundred years. The increases in transportation technology just allow the city to pack in more density.

Get over it, you don't need to know

JS Bangs. I have one thing to say...

" You can say what you want, but you can say it round here, cause they'll catch you and give you a whippin."

Cars was a great movie, possibly one of Pixar's greatest, it's not stupid, just the people who think it is.

So without further to say.

" I believe i was right, when i said you were wrong. You didn't like the sound of that. Now did ya."


Sure, Cars was kind of mediocre...but on the other hand, even Pixar's mediocre movies are better than many studios' best.

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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

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