Pixar's latest movie Brave takes cloth simulation to the next level. Barbara Robertson talks to the team behind the studios FizT technology
Set in medieval Scotland, Pixars latest feature film is a testament to the ability of Pixar's scientists and artists to create a tactile world. Brave's landscape is lush, lead character Merida's long mop of curly hair is as wild as she is, and all the characters wear costumes with more layers and detail than in any previous film. Simulation is a star of the film, too.
Claudia Chung, who began her career at Pixar as an intern in 2001, was simulation supervisor on Brave. Chung attended the University of California in Berkeley and interned at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Maryland, then started work as a rendering artist and technical director on Finding Nemo. She added the role of simulation artist on Ratatouille and technical director on The Incredibles. For Up, she was the cloth lead.
"The challenge of this film was the sheer complexity and artistry," says Chung. "Fergus had eight layers of cloth draped together in his kilt. And Merida.., when we looked at the story reel three years ago, we counted the number of times she changed costumes. And then we said, ‘Oh, she just ripped her dress. And, oh, she ripped it again."