Monday, June 29, 2009

The Pixar Touch: Book Review

This past winter, while I was in Singapore for SIGGRAPH Asia, I bought a book called "The Pixar Touch" by David A. Price. It is an extremely detailed history of the company of Pixar, how it came to be, explaining the perseverance of a talented and determined group of individuals. From chapter 1-11, I was consumed by the story. Even though it took me a while to finish, when I started reading, I never wanted to stop.

This would be the reason that this book is my absolute favorite out of all the books I've read thus far. For me, the inspiration alone was worth the read. When I finished this book, all I could think about was the company I wanted to start and how I should go about setting the tracks for it to take off, like Pixar.

I learned about the backgrounds of the major players who really made Pixar what it is, from Steve Jobs, John Lasseter, Ed Catmull, Brad Bird, Pete Doctor, to Andrew Stanton. These accomplished men will always and forever be complete inspiration and motivation for me. It's absolutely crazy how many hours and how much effort was put into the making of this company.

The organization of the book is great because it starts from the very beginning and ends as far as the book could go (considering when it was released: 2008). David Price chose to start the book with a quote from John Lasseter, which I believe is spot on:
Character animation isn't the fact that an object looks like a character or has a face and hands. Character animation is when an object mover like it is alive, when it moves like it is thinking and all of its movements are generated by its own thought processes... It is the thinking that gives the illusion of life. It is the life that gives meaning to the expression. As {Antoine de} Saint-Exepery wrote, "It's not the eyes, but the glance - not the lips, but the smile."
That quote alone tells so much about his character and the mindset of Pixar in general. I encourage anyone who is at all devoted to animation, the world of computer graphics, or just starting their own company to read this book and take every word in because it will truly inspire you to become something even more than you imagined.

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