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Pixar goes back to the future to make 'Monsters University': CNET News Video

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CNET News Video: Pixar goes back to the future to make 'Monsters University'

3:03 /

In the 12 years since "Monsters Inc." came out, Pixar has seen several tech advances that make the new "Monsters University" prequel a richer visual experience -- notice all the hairs on Sully and the hundreds of extra characters in the background. CNET'S Sumi Das goes behind the scenes at Pixar.

In Monsters University, a creature-filled campus slither as flies and dances to life. -[unk] turn. -Story supervisor, Kelsey Mann [unk] the ground work for the new Pixar movie. -A lot of ways we are kinda creating a blueprint and the way we do that or basically the first one is to draw the movie or visualize the film for the first time. -It's either live with you and laugh with you. -The prequel chronicles, Michael and Sulley's college years but also introduces a slue of new monsters. -We can never really put Mike and Sulley in a life-threatening situation for the entire film 'cause you would know like-- will they make it. They're gonna be fine. So the way that you can help that and make the film still engaging for the audience is to create other characters too-- that you don't know the outcome too. -Mann says the creative process was never limited by technology. -People are brilliant here. So if we need a character to do something crazy we have never done before, they were like, don't worry. If that's what's right for the movie, we will figure out a way to make it happen. -Its technical wizards like Sanjay Bakshi who make it happen. -We're using a proprietary animation software called Presto on this film. It had really improved to accommodate the number of characters that we have in all of the shots. -That's the departure for Monsters Inc., which really had more than a few detailed characters in each scene. -Carbon clutch. I wanna see-- -Monsters University features about 100 key characters and over 400 background characters. The scenes were so complex, the studio doubled the amount of computing power used in previous films. -In this film, we have a bunch of fury characters that may have to wear clothing so that is even more complicated-- -Individual characters have also evolved. -James P. Sullivan. -In the 12 years since the original Monsters Inc. was released, digital animation has improved by leaps and bounce and hairs. In the first film, Sulley had one million hairs. In Monsters University, he has more than 5 million. -Come on. -The first one, it was all basically the same length. And now like the hair on his face has a lot of different texture than the hair on his body. -The technical team also took advantage of technology called Global Illumination to generation lighting effects. -Previously, we would have to setup those secondary lights, which is by hands so the wall we would place a light source there and get the color of it right and the intensity of it right so it kinda felt like it was being bounced and now the computer does that work. -The technical achievements creating more engaging visual experience. But Mann hopes it's the story that resonates. -I'm most part of is that this film has something to say and has a message. -They may be monsters but their story is 100 percent human. I'm Emeryville California, I'm Sumi Das, cnet.com for CBS News.

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