This week we a re continuing to share about Pixar’s new movie sensation Inside Out! It seems the closer and closer we get to the opening day June 19th I get more excited. This past week while at Disney Social Media Moms Conference we were able as a family to screen about 55 minutes of the movie. So we are all eager to see how it ends and share with our friends.

Behind the Camera – Pixar Inside Out

During our #InsideOutEvent trip, our group of 25 bloggers had a chance to meet with the crew that helped bring the characters from Inside Out to life.

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In animation, you want the visual progression to support the story, and in Inside Out, it needs to support Joy’s emotions. The Photography Department did their own mapping of the intensity. An Intensity Scale was used with 0 being the lowest and 10 being the most intense. Following Joy’s emotion, the intensity of the camera for each scene is mapped out. Because this film covers two contrasting worlds, Riley’s intensity is also mapped out. When you put the two together you start to see the visual progressions.

  • Act I: The worlds are synchronized in the beginning, then start to be driven apart. Intensity is low and the camera used is a 30 style mechanical style camera with graceful tracking and craning, and straight tracks similar to Casablanca and King & I. The “Outside World” camera is a steady cam with side way rolling so it’s not as structured.
  • Act II: The worlds are completely opposite. The “Inside World” camera has more agile movements. It is still on track but the pan and tilt is more active in following actions for the intensity. is still on a track, but The “Outside World” camera is now on tripod, but the head is unlocked so it is moving a bit.
  • Act III: The worlds seem synchronized and visual intensity is at its highest. The “Outside World” camera is now handheld.


“We use extensive camera capture to add to the realism of the film. More than any other film at Pixar, even Blue Umbrella. A gear box is used to capture the motion of life, just like a live action set. ” – Patrick Lin

 Adding Life One Color at a Time – Inside Out

All the lights are in the computer for a computer animated film. Within the software, all the lights, shadows, and components are made from scratch. If you think about the fact that the “Dream Productions Movie Stage” shot has over 175 lights…..and that one lighter is tracking them all, and knows how they all add up to make the final image….well that’s pretty impressive!

When shots come into the lighting department they have final cameras, sets, and mostly final animation. In an unlit scene there is a lot of visual complexity, your eye bounces around, and there is a lot going on. With some really beautiful lighting, the image is simplified and visually appealing. The Animators concern is how the characters move and making the character act to tell the story’s point. The lighters reinforce that story point through lighting.


“The shot is still pretty uninteresting without lighting, in my opinion. I think we have the best job at Pixar, because we really get to bring their work to life” – Lighting Artist Angelique Reisch



Here is a quick run down of Inside Out:

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

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INSIDE OUT opens in theaters everywhere on June 19th!

 Are You Planing a Trip to the Movies to See Disney Pixar Inside Out?