Danielle Feinberg: The magic ingredient that brings Pixar movies to life
At Pixar, Danielle Feinberg delights in bending the rules of light to her every whim. Full bio
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what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Picasso dreams were crushed.
the next Albert Einstein.
computer programming in college.
showed us these wonderful short films.
any of us had ever seen.
in wonder, transfixed,
I want to do with my life."
and code I had been learning
these worlds and characters
Pixar Animation Studios.
we actually execute those films.
world inside the computer.
a line that makes a face
that eventually become a forest.
a three-dimensional world,
around inside that world.
inside this three-dimensional world.
I move around in there.
of lighting in our software,
look like in real life,
artistically and for the story.
that made me fall utterly in love with it.
all the pieces come together,
girl that wanted to be an artist.
to help tell story,
inside the computer.
ourselves with science.
relatable and recognizable.
example of this.
takes place underwater.
and recreated it in the computer.
that underwater look.
through the water.
that mimics this physics --
have their full, rich colors.
two other important elements.
around in the water.
on the bottom of a pool,
bends through the crests
on the ocean's surface.
see the water surface.
you can see here
only with the caustics,
of those ribbons of light,
sparkle to the underwater.
light and movement --
to suit the story and the mood.
was one we had some leeway with.
and push it fairly green
we see deep into the underwater,
the East Australian Current is,
and going on this roller coaster ride.
ever see in real life.
the scientifically correct real world,
themselves in to experience the story.
to get us to a place of wonder.
example of that.
we knew we had a big problem.
WALL-E this convincing robot,
practically optically perfect.
critical acting devices he has.
traditional dialogue, for that matter.
dependent on the binoculars
were a mess of reflections.
is a fundamentally awful thing
to convince an audience
and he's capable of falling in love.
maintain his true robot materials
reflected in his eyes --
abstract image on the lenses.
that accidentally leaks into his eyes.
these gray aperture blades.
are poking through that reflection
with emotion inside.
that glassy-eyed look.
WALL-E comes back to life.
the aperture blades back,
soulful robot we've come to love.
in these unexpected moments --
to unlocking a robot's soul,
what you want to do with your life.
was one of those moments for me.
that struggle to come together.
of jellyfish in the South Pacific.
about numbers and percentages.
something in real life,
our brain without our eyes,
was strangling the scene.
the blues and the pinks,
on the jellyfish bells,
the previous night's work.
to the lighting director
in a dark room full of 50 people.
and fixes, generally.
the jellyfish scene.
for an uncomfortably long amount of time.
designer started clapping.
that I live for in lighting.
to create these amazing worlds.
to bring them to life.
to a place of wonder,
you imagine can become real --
ABOUT THE SPEAKERDanielle Feinberg - Director of photography, Pixar
At Pixar, Danielle Feinberg delights in bending the rules of light to her every whim.
Why you should listen
Danielle Feinberg began her career at Pixar Animation Studios in 1997 on the feature film A Bug's Life. She quickly discovered her love for lighting and went on to light on many of Pixar's feature films including Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., the Academy Award®-winning Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Feinberg was the director of photography for lighting on Pixar’s Academy Award®-winning films WALL-E and Brave and is now working on Pixar's upcoming film, Coco.
Feinberg's love of combining computers and art began when she was eight years old and first programmed a Logo turtle to create images. This eventually led her to a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Harvard University. Now, in addition to her Pixar work, she mentors teenage girls, encouraging them to pursue code, math and science.
Danielle Feinberg | Speaker | TED.com