Answer by Gaurav Dutta:
One of the things I love about Pixar is the fact that they go to extreme lengths to achieve perfection. Here are a few examples which proves their insanity for attention to detail.
- They've created a fully functional website for Monsters University, complete with admissions, academic and campus life info and a campus store to purchase MU apparel just to promote their upcoming movie. The site (link below) lists courses such as 'Monster History' (in the school of Liberal Arts and Monstrosities) and modules in 'Hiding and Disappearing' and 'Guttural Affectations', and features pages on the university football team, societies and events. There's even a special MU.net section with a Monsters Univ ID card and login. The site says alumni “will soon have the option to generate their own username and password” meaning there's more cool stuff to be discovered over the next year.
Warning: You'll be on it for hours
- For the film Brave, they modeled every single thread for a piece of fabric. Yes. Every. Single. Thread. They developed a technique to model a cloth that was woven of "billions of little fibers," so it would have the same texture as actual cloth. And then they created individual threads, representing each thread in the tapestry, and then wrote a computer program to weave them together.
- For Brave, the team at Pixar came up with a computer simulator named Taz (after the wild Looney Tunes character) to make Merida's curly hair look real which is extremely difficult because of the sheer number of curls that have to move naturally in every frame. It took six Pixar research engineers and artists more than three years to bring the groundbreaking strands to life onscreen.
It (Taz) forms individual coils around computer-generated cylinders of varying lengths and diameters. The resulting locks stretch out when Merida runs but snap back into place as soon as she stops. Each strand is also strung through with a flexible “core curve,” like the string of a beaded necklace, that lets the coils bounce and brush against one another without unwinding.
Pixar developed and internally released a new simulator, which is multi-threaded. The new code does computation before it sends hair off to the simulator to determine how other hairs would relate. This means that a cluster of hairs would all be dealt with as one group, and the Hair simulation could be multi-threaded. In one sequence Merida flicks her hair from one side of her face to the other, but even such high level gross spatial changes were able to be automatically accommodated.
- The studio’s artists usually take research field trips while developing new films. For Cars, they traveled across America on Route 66. For Ratatouille, they took a trip to Paris to study the city and eat in some of the fine restaurants. For Up, they took a trip to South America to study the the strange wilderness of the region. For Monsters University the team took tours of Ivy league college campuses because most of the Pixar artists and animators went to art school and didn't have any idea what real college was like.