LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : What is PIXAR Marionette ?

07-04-2005, 03:49 PM
I've heard very little about this very proprietary animation tool, I've always believed that Pixar uses Maya for animation in Toy story, Antz, Nemo, Incredibles etc. until I noticed this at the end credits:

"Animated on Marionette"

So I have to understand that PIXAR uses Maya only for modelling, layout and texturing?

Does anybody know something about this capable animation tool, why PIXAR keep it only for them ? Where can I find more about it ?

07-04-2005, 04:15 PM
of course they keep it for themselves, if u were pixar, wouldn't u like to have an upperhand in the industry?
and u wouldn't want it anyway, as its customized for each and every movie in a pixar fashion, and so are most of the proprietary anim systems.
Pixar models with anything from maya and lightwave to Gepetto (which is also their scene assembly soft).
Marionette is based upon alias structure but its a different thing whatsoever
so is ILM's Cari (short for carricature), pdi's Emo, Rythm And Hues's Voodoo , and so on
each of those are proprietary systems based upon their own needs and pipelines and u would probably get to see them only working there.
and like i said, even if u had them, they would be very useless to you as an individual artist :)

vad ca ti-o plakut Immortel moshule, sau e doar coincidentza?

take kare

07-04-2005, 04:22 PM
Marionette is Pixar's proprietary animation software that they use for modeling, animating and lighting. And they use their own Renderman software for rendering. As far as I know they don't use Maya for any of their main production work.

(see the Technology section of their Corporate Overview

07-04-2005, 09:00 PM
As far as I know they don't use Maya for any of their main production work.

yes they do, but they also used max and other product.
They use maya for modeling for exemple, for creating clothe in incredibles, for a lot of dynamics..but like I said they also use max and some other soft for dynamics too and matte painting..well actually they don't care that mush as mush as it's beautifull at the end.:)


07-04-2005, 11:53 PM
....and just on a side note, Pixar didn't make Antz.....PDI did :)
you must be thinking of A Bug's Life :)

...back to work

07-05-2005, 01:45 AM
Companies like Pixar will not let software dictate their workflow. If it's available they will use it, if not, they will create it. The only thing that matters to them is getting the job done on time and under budget without compromising quality. Software brand loyalty is an afterthought.

07-05-2005, 07:13 AM
it's not their software which make them number one in industry..
Believe me, they would do the same work with any software...
What i heard is, Marionette is not a great software. Is just a homemade software for modelling, animating, lighting...See, they also use Maya for modelling, cloth etc...perhaps they are more comfortable with it..
It is the talent and patience that what we see in all that great movies...and it is the quality of renderman perhaps...

07-06-2005, 08:44 AM
you can be happy with Maya, its much better for animation from what i have heard.

07-06-2005, 08:54 AM
you can be happy with Maya, its much better for animation from what i have heard.

so why do they use Marionette? :shrug:

07-06-2005, 08:58 AM
because they can change the software to suit the pipeline. They have the source they can anything they want to it. It probably pays off in the end because they dont have to buy/upgrade a hundred liscenses for software that they cannot change.

07-06-2005, 09:10 AM
And I can only imagine the headaches they would have for selling it...considering all of the customers support and bug testing and other nonsense when they would rather be making movies.

07-06-2005, 09:51 AM
I once spoke with Kyle Balda (ex Pixar) about Marionette and he told me it was about the size of Maya but everything concentrated on animation.

07-06-2005, 02:55 PM

if Marionette is about the size of Maya, but this for Animation only, then this must be a top notch software package with secret possiblities that only insiders know... Maya as a lot to learn...


07-06-2005, 03:37 PM
i dont understand that logic....bigger means better?? It doesnt hold up when even renderman was real late in introducing raytraced rendering.

07-06-2005, 07:23 PM
On that note, here's an interesting article about Maya being used by big studios:

"ILM made a significant change to its animation pipeline between Star Wars: Episode II and Episode III when it adopted Maya. "It was a little scary, the idea of moving over to a whole new software," says veteran ILM animator, Shawn Kelly, "but Maya is actually much easier to use than what we were using in the past. It's so easy and so intuitive I've never wanted to go back." During the peak production period for Episode III, Kelly was one of over 45 animators using Maya."

07-07-2005, 08:35 AM
it would be nice for someone that actually used Marionette or found a descriptive article to post something...considering everything else is hearsay.

the hearsay that i have heard was:

Marionette was slider based for other words no control objects that you could select and move

It does not use you would have to create custom attributes with expressions

07-07-2005, 08:38 AM
Could you not ask in the 'Meet The Artist' forum? Victor Navone is in there and he's a pretty helpful chap!

07-07-2005, 08:38 AM
Didnt they say something on the Incredibles commentary how they could now 'easily' constrain joints and body parts. They mentioned specifically about constraining body parts to other body parts etc.


07-07-2005, 08:40 AM
i would presume that Marionette has contraints NOW....but imagine animating Toy Story 2 without...

07-07-2005, 08:57 AM
the topic has already been beaten to death...and there is an NDA on the topic anyways

07-07-2005, 02:24 PM
the topic has already been beaten to death...and there is an NDA on the topic anyways

That's most certainly one of the crappiest threads I've ever read here on CGTalk.

CGTalk Moderation
07-07-2005, 02:24 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.