Luxo, Jr. commentary with Director John Lasseter, Animator Eben Ostby and Producer/Animator Bill Reeves.
- LASSETER: Pixar was created in February of 1986 when Steve Jobs bought our group, the Lucasfilm Computer Division, from Lucasfilm. And we formed Pixar. I was working with Bill. Bill was teaching me how to model. And I was trying to figure out what to model and on my drawing table I had a architect's lamp, a Luxo lamp. And it was simple geometric shapes so I started modeling that. And then I started moving it around in the animation system like it was alive. Ed Catmull came to us and said, "Hey, let's do a SIGGRAPH film that, that shows off our, our new company." And that's when I started looking at sort of this lamp I was modeling and, you know, started talking to you about the shadow algorithm. And that's when we decided to bring them together, you know, to, to make this film.
- REEVES: Do you remember what the hardest part to animate in that, in that piece...
- LASSETER: Yes.
- REEVES: ...was?
- LASSETER: Trust me.
- (REEVES LAUGHS)
- LASSETER: I will never forget. It was the cord. The cord was so hard. Remember? And actually, you know what it was? It was the rolling of the ball too.
- REEVES: Yeah, that's true.
- LASSETER: The rolling of the ball was so, such a pain. And I went to Eben and I... You have to understand, I'm sitting there in front of these very expensive computers with a hand calculator trying to figure out... It's simple. Using my simple, you know, art school math, trying to figure how if, if a ball is this size and it's moving this fast, how far would it move? And, and I... What's wrong with this picture? And so I went to Eben and I said, "Eben, please, can there... Do something with the computer to help me with this?" And that was the beginning of our procedural animations.
- OSTBY: Right. I... I was working on QP at the time and I was able to use that as a way of giving you something that would read what animation you would done and make, drive the ball the way it should have been driven.
- LASSETER: Right. So I animated the path of the ball and then this amazing program Eben developed made it so the ball rotated accurately. (BREATHING) But there was no such help for the...
- (REEVES LAUGHS)
- LASSETER: ...for the cord.
- REEVES: No.
- LASSETER: The ripples in the cord were done by hand, and it was painful.
- (music playing)