I recently had coffee with a friend at Pixar and he mentioned a surprising stat, which I'll phrase here in the form of a quiz:
Q: On 1995 computer hardware, the average frame of Toy Story took two hours to render. A decade later on 2005 hardware, how long did it take the average frame of Cars to render?
A: 30 minutes
B: 1 hour
C: 2 hours
D: 15 hours
Highlight the invisible text below the pictures for the answer:
Answer: D. The average Cars frame took 15 hours, despite a 300x overall increase in compute power. The artists have an essentially infinite appetite for detail and realism, and Pixar's resources have grown over the decade so it can afford to allocate more computers to the task, allowing each to run longer to achieve the artist's and animator's ambitions for the scenes.