Pixar Lights Joy from Inside Out

There might not be any holy grails left for Pixar to conquer but there are still major tech hurdles. A new kind of lighting approach was needed for  Pete Docter’s Inside Out given the nature of the five key emotions personified by energy particles, particularly Joy (Amy Poehler). She’s not only the main character but also the shining light. Indeed, she’s a direct source of light. As a result,  Angelique Reisch, the character lighting lead, had to create a special model to illuminate Joy, who’s comprised of glowing particles and possesses her very own luminescence.

But how do you light a light bulb?

“Joy is too bright to have the typical value range, so she was shaped with color, which we discovered was actually in Ralph Eggleston’s pastel of Joy,” Reisch explained. “We built a light rig with a series of lights to create that range of color across her face. This also provided a consistent look . We didn’t want the light from the sets affecting her. There was the Glow light, which is a base level of illumination; a desaturated Kick Light; a neutral Soft Key light; a warm Off Key Kick light with a saturated pink; and a cool and desaturated Key light. It might not seem intuitive to put blue light on a yellow character, but it worked really well in this case.”

Still, there were interesting tweaks: “Fear [Bill Hader] has that little hair on the top of his head and it was getting hard to read that hair against dark backgrounds. So we ended up adding another light to his rig just for that hair. So we learned those things as we were lighting shots. On Disgust [Mindy Kaling], she had this spark and it was going flat so I added an extra light to bring out some detail there.”

But they also needed Joy to cast light around her that was full of detail. If she picked up a frog, for example, they wanted to see the light between her fingers.

Read the rest at Animation Scoop/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Crafts, How They Did It, Movies, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

Add a Comment