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Pixar and the iPad Pro: Big CG Studio Finds Perfect Palm Rejection

( [email protected] ) Sep 30, 2015 07:07 PM EDT
When it comes to creativity with computer graphics, Pixar is still on top in that department, as can be seen in the latest and possibly greatest Pixar film with Inside Out.  So what could be better than combining the latest and soon to be released Apple products with the creative people at Pixar?  This is exactly what has happened, and the results were pretty much what were expected.
Pixar and the iPad Pro: A Match made by Apple Instagram

When it comes to creativity with computer graphics, Pixar is still on top in that department, as can be seen in the latest and possibly greatest Pixar film with Inside Out.  So what could be better than combining the latest and soon to be released Apple products with the creative people at Pixar?  This is exactly what has happened, and the results were pretty much what were expected. 

According to Gotta Be Mobile, some of the artists at Pixar got to try out the new iPad Pro, and the results were good.  Apple dropped by the animation studio and they had a chance to draw on the new version of the iPad and use the Pencil, Apple's newest stylus. 

Since Pixar is known for using the latest of computer technology to create innovative stories, it is no surprise that such a partnership has occurred.  It is somewhat rare that a company gets an unreleased product, but Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, did have a huge part to play in Pixar's creation.  Technology companies and creative people also have worked together with the Dreamcolor displays, which was a partnership between Dreamworks and HP. 

Michael B. Johnson, who runs the department at Pixar responsible for creating the tools that their artists use, has shared that the iPad Pro features "perfect palm rejection".  This means that the device will ignore an accidental input in favor of what a user is trying to accomplish, like when a palm is resting on a touchscreen while writing or drawing with a stylus. 

Pixar artist Don Shank was equally enthusiastic about the device, and "most definitely" classified it as a pro tool for artists. Michael Yates, another Story artist at Pixar, compared the iPad Pro to Wacom's Cintiq drawing tablets.  If you are not familiar with Wacom, they make a lot of tablet computer accessories that are good for artists to draw on using a stylus and other tech tools. 

In case you are wondering how a tablet fits in with Pixar's 3D animation, keep in mind that there are a lot of phases when it comes to computer animation.  Much of what is seen on the screen is usually the product of thousands and thousands of sketches from artists of the characters and settings.  In other words, things appear as 2D drawings before they appear in 3D, but any technological instrument that can create a 2D drawing as good as a pencil and paper is invaluable in the world of computers and companies like Pixar. 

The iPad Pro is going to face a lot of stiff competition before its initial release in November.  Microsoft is planning their Surface Pro 4, which is said to have a bigger screen, as well as a stylus.  There is also the new Android Pixel C tablet that was teased at the big Google event on September 29th.  Perhaps Pixar people should have a crack at those tablets.