“Tools do not create art” – John Lasseter at the Development of Digital Animation Panel

John Lasseter

The Development of the Digital Animator panel was held last night at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. John Lasseter was a part of the panel along with other great filmmakers and animators including, Rebecca Allen, Philippe Bergeron, Digital Effects NY co-founder Jeff Kleiser, animation director Bill Kroyer, David Em, Diana Walczak, How To Train Your Dragon executive producer Tim Johnson, and Star Wars and Twilight Saga visual animation director Phil Tippett.

This event was put on by the Academy to examine and celebrate the development of computer-generated animation – from where it began to where it is today.

During the panel, Pixar is “not really interested in motion capture,” stated John Lasseter, “We still use keyframe animation.” Lasseter says that Pixar is interested in bringing in new blood so “this Golden Age of animation can live beyond the founders of the company.” – as reported by Deadline.

“Every movie we do is a massive advancement,” Lasseter told the nearly full theater. “Every movie, we have something in it that we have no idea what we are doing.” Having said that, the Pixar boss warned fans of animation not to get too caught up in the technology. “What we’re talking about are tools. Amazing tools but not really different than pencils and paper. Tools do not create art,” he added to widespread agreement from the other panelists.

*Updated 5/29/12: A video clip of John Lasseter speaking at The Development of the Digital Animator panel has been posted to YouTube. The clip is only about a minute and a half long, but so informative.

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