Technological Advances in Animation | Part Two

For the second installment in this two-part series we take a look at some of innovations that have come from the Walt Disney Animation Studios. These innovations in technology can be explored in more details in Disney: The Magic of Animation now on at Queensland Museum.

PART TWO: Recent Innovations

The Walt Disney Animation Studios continue to innovate and create new tools and technologies to push the boundaries of the filmmaking process. This blog looks at recent innovations that continue to drive creativity at the studio.

Beauty and the Beast 1991

Beauty and the Beast is not only the first-ever animated film nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Picture, it also marked the first use of 3D CG technology to render an environment in which the animated characters interact.  This new technique allowed additional freedom to move about in space via more liberated camerawork, seamlessly creating scenes of depth and beauty.

Copyright: Beauty and the Beast, 1991, Glen Keane, Concept art, graphite on paper © Disney Enterprises Inc

The Lion King 1994

The latest computer graphics techniques were used within The Lion King. This technology took one wildebeest drawn by hand and used it as the basis for rendering a herd of several thousand wildebeests. And while this stampede scene lasts for around two and a half minutes on-screen – it took around 18 months to create.

Tangled 2010

Tangled is not only the 50th animated Disney feature film, it also represents a shift from traditional animation to using 3D computer graphics to tell an age-old fairy tale. In this film, new technologies were introduced to combine the movement and feel of traditional hand-drawn animation with the latest computer graphics.

Frozen 2013

For Frozen, Disney developed new systems to portray different types of snow. Models were created for around 2000 different types of snowflakes, which were then harnessed through the film’s computer graphics.

Big Hero 6 2014

Were you in awe of the realistic use of light in Big Hero 6? This was made possible by Hyperion, the rendering software created in-house at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Zootopia 2016

To create more realistic images of animal fur for the movie Zootopia, Walt Disney Animation technologists, working with the artistic teams developed the software iGroom, making it possible for the fur of each individual animal to be rendered in a different way.

Learn more about the technological advances in your favourite animations at Disney: The Magic of Animation – don’t miss out – book your tickets today.