How Pixar Revolutionized Computer Animation

Pixar just celebrated the 30th anniversary of its RenderMan software, which has been the backbone of every one of its films, and core part of the visual effects industry. CNBC interviewed Ed Catmull, one of Pixar's founders, as well as other employees to get an inside look at the technology of RenderMan and what it takes to make an animated film.

"Toy Story," "The Incredibles 2" and other Pixar movies are not only commercially successful, having grossed more than $10 billion worldwide. They also ushered in a new generation of computer-generated animation.

The Disney-owned animation studio is largely responsible for some of the most significant developments in computer graphics history.

In the mid 1980s, an inspired and inspiring trio of innovators combined their gifts in art, science and business to launch a new way to make 3-D animated films and changed the face of filmmaking forever.

Ed Catmull, John Lasseter and Steve Jobs overcame years of creative struggle and financial loss to launch an entirely new animation industry. Starting with the first full-length CG film Toy Story, Pixar has entertained millions of people worldwide, and established an unprecedented and as yet unparalleled record of box-office success.

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