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Creating a world where monsters live and work might seem like a fanciful assignment, but for production designers Harley Jessup and Bob Pauley, it had more to do with research and reality than in using their unbridled imaginations. Harley Jessup, who, early in his career, worked on designs for SESAME STREET, was a visual effects art director at ILM for many years, until he departed to work on Henry Selicks stop-motion extravaganza, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. For the last five years, Jessup toiled on various concepts and set designs for MONSTERS, INC. He started on the project when Pete Docter and Jeff Pidgeon were first conceiving the story. "I had a lot to learn about CGI," said Jessup, "but it was really fun, and there were a lot of similarities with stop-motion animation. Like we did on JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, we drew up plans for every single prop in the movie, and I had to learn about the CGI process, and how all the different departments needed to be served." For his first effort in CGI, Jessup was pleased that he and Bob Pauley proved to be such a good match. "Bob had worked on TOY STORY and A BUGS LIFE before," explained Jessup, "so he had great insight about the CGI world. Theres a whole believability factor about CGI that he was really good at. Bob worked on the character designs and the environments that had mechanical parts to them, while I was doing environment designs and the look of each set." In MONSTERS, INC., because the situations and monsters themselves were already so fanciful, the idea took hold to root the world they lived in on reality. To that end, Harley Jessup and Bob Pauley did research in northeastern factory towns, the details of which would become the model for "Monstropolis," the city where all the monsters dwelled. "Theres this rich sense of history in all those kinds of industry towns," noted executive producer John Lasseter. "The design guys all went back to Pittsburgh to do research. They visited the steel mills and the surrounding towns in that area to get the feel of what an eastern industrial city is like."

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