The Story Behind Creating Pixar’s New Short – Piper

If you’ve watched Finding Dory in the past few weekends (seeing that colossal box-office result, you surely must have), you have surely watched the short Piper that played before it.

Variety caught up with the director to find out how difficult the animation process was. Turns out, quite a lot. Alan Barillaro had previously worked on multiple projects for Pixar in the animation department for movies like Brave, WALL-E and Monsters University. Unlike the normal process, where a person pitches his idea to various studio heads to get a film made, Piper grew out of an experimentation.

Video Courtesy : Variety via YouTube

“I wasn’t planning on making a short,” says Barillaro, who repurposed a crow from “Brave” and digitally whittled it down to the character he wanted. “This would have stopped as a test,” he says, except he showed colleague (and “Finding Dory” director) Andrew Stanton — a key member of the studio’s so-called “Brain Trust” — his work, and Stanton encouraged his protégé to pursue it further.

Barillaro and his team worked hard rigging from anywhere between  4.5 and 7 million feathers on bird models. They also spent more time and effort on making the water effects more realistic and dramatic. Tech Supervisor Brent Levin, suggested attaching eyebrows for the added dramatic effect. So the water edge is literally 40 or 50 eyebrows moving back and forth.

Video Courtesy : Variety via YouTube

You can check out the preview of the short here.

Read the full story on Variety.

Piper Pixar
Pixar via Collider.com
Piper 3
Pixar via Collider.com

Kenneth Sequeira

A self confessed Nolanite, Batfan and a young cinephile.