from the Art of VFX article:
What is your background?
I have a Computer Science degree from University of California Berkeley. I came to Pixar as a Render TD, transitioned to Simulation on THE INCREDIBLES. On RATATOUILLE, I started tailoring and taking on more artistic aspects of Simulation. Initially I was terrible at tailoring so my lead at the time put me in a sewing class. I was Cloth Lead on Up and finally Simulation Supervisor on BRAVE.
How did you collaborates with the directors?
As the supervisor, I’m constantly working with the directors, art and animation departments to figure out what the creative hope and direction is. I can then translate this to the team and work with individual artists in hitting the goals of the director. When a story element is introduced to the film before the shots enter our department, for example Merida falling into the river, we’ll work with the director to understand his vision of what Merida looks like wet and how her hair and clothes should behave. We have 2-3 reviews with the director every week, showing models or shot work.
Merida hair are just amazing. Can you explain to us in detail how did you create these?
The groomer, Lena Petrovic, and the art director, Steve Pilcher, worked closely together to give Merida’s hair the personality it has. As Lena was grooming, she realized she needed a faster way to create curls. Thinking how she would do this in real life, Lena created essentially a curling iron in the computer so she could quickly create uniform curls. That would leave time for the more important aspect of hand sculpting these uniform curls to what Art and the director wanted.
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