Real-Time Graphics in Pixar Productions & Is This Lightning McQueen’s ‘Cars 3’ Design? [Video & Images]

Pixar’s Real-Time Graphics presentation at SIGGRAPH 2016 gave us a glimpse at Lightning McQueen’s design for Cars 3.
Cars 3 new Lightning McQueen design

During the 2016 SIGGRAPH Conference (July 24-28), Pixar Senior Software Engineer, Dirk Van Gelder, presented a Real-Time Live! session surrounding real-time graphics for film production at Pixar.

Just a few days ago, Pixar summarized the almost two-hour session into a 5-minute demo centering around the recently open-sourced, Universal Scene Description (USD) which will blow your mind even if you don’t know a lot about the technical background. The sheer speed with which the scenes are able to generate is jaw-dropping when you consider, as Dirk notes, that the system is drawing 52 million polygons in just a few seconds.

Cars 3 Lightning McQueen Wrap Design

What also caught our eye though as we watched through the 5-minute demo (as well as the full hour-long session) was the fantastic and fresh paint job and design on Lightning McQueen.

The new-yet-classic flame pattern perfectly blends McQueen’s Cars and Cars 2 designs and definitely feels as if Ramone personally designed the updated look. It immediately made us wonder if this may, in fact, be McQueen’s new look in the upcoming, Cars 3 film. (What supports our assumption further is that the title of the McQueen portion of the demo contained the word “Cars 3”.)

So, what have McQueen’s designs looked like through the years, and how does this new design compare? We compiled a look at some of Lightning’s most common looks from the feature films for comparison purposes.

Do you like the updated flames and larger Rust-eze logo near the rear panels (among other changes)? Leave a comment below or chat about the design with other fans in the Pixar Post Forum.

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