– by Rob Young

Have you ever wondered how Pixar animators are able to stay current on animation trends despite working on one project over a long period of time with increasingly outdated software?

If so, you can wonder no more!

Pixar actually has its own in-house training facility, called Pixar University, where animators can brush up on their skills and/or learn new techniques.

We recently spoke to Deanna Marsigliese, Character Artist on Incredibles 2 about this program, and the system of support that exists within the company:

We have a group here called Pixar University that offers classes on new software and so even if you’re cast on a show, you can still take those courses and train up on the new software that’s coming out. And we are all constantly in communication with each other about, “How are you doing this?” “This is broken, can you help me out with this?” One of the things that I love about working here is we feel open about learning skills and sharing it with other people so it feels like here, everyone really does believe that a high tide floats all ships. It’s so collaborative that I feel like no one ever really gets left behind. If you wanna find out how to use the new thing, there’s someone to teach you, give you a course, or let you try it.

It sounds like Pixar has a vested interest in the professional development of its animators, which is great to know, given how quickly the field is growing and evolving. Who knows, maybe someday, Pixar University will become an actual institution of higher education, with 12-foot tall statues of Steve Jobs and Brad Bird flanking the entrance.

What are your thoughts about this program? Have you had any experience with a similar one? What about my choice in statues? Should one of them be replaced by one of Ed Catmull?

Keep an eye out for our full interview! Incredibles 2 hits theaters this weekend!

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