Last year, Pixar kicked off their experimental shorts division with Smash and Grab. Recently, a new film, Purl, was announced and will be directed by Kristen Lester.

The synopsis reads “Last year, SIGGRAPH ’17 featured Smash and Grab: Off the Rails Filmmaking at Pixar, kicking off the results of a new, experimental storytelling initiative at Pixar Animation Studios. This initiative enables new creative voices and explores new storytelling techniques, pipelines and workflows in production.The program’s second short film, Purl, directed by Kristen Lester, continues to raise the bar for the program, and creates another example of what’s possible when filmmakers are granted this type of creative freedom within a fully functioning studio. Purl is an eight minute short film that explores the use of “digital backlot” management, an evolution of Smash and Grab‘s motion capture application, shareable animation libraries, our real-time shading software Flow, and production practices that allow a busy feature animation studio to continue telling even more stories.”

More will be revealed at SIGGRAPH in August.

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If it turns out there's some kind of in-story reason for it then that's egg on my face, but I really don't like that design. It just looks like they made a ball of yarn and slapped generic cartoon eyes and a mouth on it. I'd think with something like yarn there'd be more creative ways to do the design, or at least actually try to integrate the eyes and mouth into it. 

I like the experimental shorts idea, I think the previous one managed to stay completely off my radar. 
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Pixar Post - T.J.
So, we were given a few more technical documents from SIGGRAPH about the speech that was happening today with Kristen Lester (Director) and we wrote a post about the details...check it out.
Pixar-Purl-Drew-Pixar-Post.jpg  Pixar-Purl-Test-Pixar-Post.jpg 

A few highlights:
  • The 8-minute short film, Purl, follows a ball of yarn trying to make her way in a male-dominated corporate world and acts as a visual metaphor for some of Kristen's personal experiences within the industry.
  • Artists in the Experimental Storytelling Group have to remain on their toes as the budgets are usually 20% of a normal short film budget and you're only given roughly six months of production time.
  • The talk will explore the use of "digital backlot" management (USD-converted assets from prior films), an evolution of Smash and Grab’s motion capture application, shareable animation libraries, Pixar's real-time shading software "Flow," and production practices.
  • What are some other fun facts? Purl's eyes were created by modifying toys from Toy Story 3 and her two-dimensional lips were sourced from Bing Bong (Inside Out).
  • Purl's storage box has some funny locations listed on it.
    • Garbage (instead of Garage)
    • Rumpus Room
    • Bedroom
    • Floor
    • Attic
    • Basement
    • Outhouse
    • Storm Cellar
    • RV/Trailer
    • Out'n Front
    • Out'n Back
Since Bonnie mentioned the look of the character, what are people's thoughts? We think it's kind of intriguing that so many assets were reused for this short and I like that it's Bing Bong's lips!
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Jackson Taylor
You know, I myself think this short should be played before Ralph Breaks the Internet. Unless you know what movie it will be played with?
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Since Smash and Grab wasn't played with any of the new Pixar films after it was made, I don't think Purl's going to be played with Ralph Breaks The Internet or any of the upcoming Pixar films. I'm pretty sure Pixar's short films in the experimental short division won't be released alongside new feature films, considering their purpose. 
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Pixar Post - T.J.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing - probably won't be released in theaters. 
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Jackson Taylor
Well, it must be played with something, that's for sure. Along with Smash and Grab.
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Ethan Partington
Oh I see
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