Blizzard is the "mirror image" of Pixar

Animation studio's tech director believes that games can cross the Uncanny Valley - one day

Pixar's technical director, Andrew Payton, has told that he sees World of Warcraft developer Blizzard the "mirror image" of the Toy Story and Finding Nemo studio.

"We've met quite a few of the Blizzard people actually - some of the cinematics team," he said in an interview ahead of his session at next week's Develop Conference. "Blizzard and Pixar almost seem like mirror images of one another: The same sort of philosophy; the same sort of work ethic; the same attention to detail.

"They're basically the biggest company in the games industry, and we're the biggest company in the 3D film industry - it's interesting talking to them, because we always come across the same sort of problems and it just comes down to the philosophy of what you're trying to do.

"Their philosophy has always been trying to make the greatest game they can make, and for Pixar it's about trying to make the greatest film we can make. It's never an easy process - every film has its own slew of nightmares and production problems, and it is almost like giving birth with tonnes of complications in the process.

"Nothing is guaranteed, or goes as planned, but if you keep yourself grounded in what you're trying to do - which is make a piece of artwork that people would love to watch, it touches them. And that's the same thing that Blizzard and Bioware do - they're making games that, when you turn the computer off, you're still thinking about the game. There's an important place for that."

Dayton also believes that while the games and animation film industries are similar, there are certain things they can still learn from each other - while Pixar is particularly interested in how games utilise the GPU for real-time grapics.

But he does believes that in time videogames will be able to cross the Uncanny Valley - the term given to the gap between photo-realism and visuals approaching that point, in which images seem less palatable to the human eye than more simplistic versions.

"This technology is something that's available for us now, but it might be available for gaming further down the road," he said, referring to Pixar's rendering software that was used in the Avatar movie.

"It might not be something that you can render in real-time yet, but it's possible that there are ways of getting the processors there - it's all a matter of number-crunching at this point. We've proven we can do it, it's just who's going to be the one that comes up and has the Avatar-like game, that completely changes the rules."

The full interview with Andrew Dayton is available now.

More stories

Call of Duty QA workers vote to unionize

78% of Raven Software testers vote to form union, ask Activision Blizzard to voluntarily recognize a group of 34 members

By Brendan Sinclair

How do you learn from failures that succeed? | This Week in Business

Lego Star Wars is a complicated build, ex-BioWare developers dispel the notion of BioWare Magic, and we sift through the chatter around Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal

By Brendan Sinclair

Latest comments (5)

Except for the fact that Pixar release new content regularly and Blizzard take a decade to release anything. (Expansions donít count)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Luis Morales Public relations, Med Mercs11 years ago
I agree Mark....It's time for Blizzard to come up with new stuff.

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jake Clayton11 years ago
Blizzard has also allowed the leaking of peoples details via its new idea RealID, its something ment for only your friends and allows them to know where you are constantly across games and factions, it also has your name linked to it.

Well the most common add-on in WoW can read this data from strangers, finding out their details, and their friends details.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (5)
Brent Eaves Studying Digital Gaming, Bellevue College11 years ago
Actually, I'm not sure said information is currently leak able, unless you download an add-on that specifically does it. I saw a screen shot that supposedly showed how GearScore could read people's RealIDs, but it turns out that someone just decided to Photoshop that up. Probably for what trolls call 'the lulz'.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jake Clayton11 years ago
Sorry Brent but you should of researched it better, its the new beta version of the gearscore add-on which can read people's RealIDs.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.