Computing That Serves

"Re-shade this!": production focus on changes to character shading pipeline in pixar's 'finding dory'


Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 11:00am


Masha Ellsworth


Seth Holladay

Colloquium presented by Masha Ellsworth, Technical Director of the Characters Department at Pixar
Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 11:00 A.M.
Location: 1170 TMCB

Several months after production had begun on Finding Dory, the decision was made to take a leap of faith and switch to a new illumination and rendering pipeline. Our production engineers rushed into developing all shading models, lights and integrators for the new architecture. Artists were naturally impacted by this switch, and had to work hand in hand with them, while quickly learning the new tools. In this talk we would like to highlight some of the technical challenges we faced, and the solutions we came up with that helped us to succeed, solutions that are now bundled officially with RenderMan 21.


Masha Ellsworth is a technical director in characters department at Pixar Animation Studios focusing on shading and grooming where she recently finished working as a character shading lead on "Finding Dory" (2016). Masha started her career in electronic media arts in 2007 when she became an intern on "Ratatouille" working in sets and lighting departments. Later she transitioned into characters working on feature films like "UP", "Toy Story 3", "Brave", "Cars 2", "Inside Out", "Cars 3", and "Coco". Masha Ellsworth graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah with a double degree in Computer Science and Visual Art in 2007.