If you haven’t already voted for your favourite Pixar character, click here to do so! Cars 2 is released in the UK 22nd July, is directed by John Lasseter and has a voice cast which includes Tony Shalhoub, John Ratzenberger, Owen Wilson, Cheech Marin, Larry The Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Michael Caine and Michael Keaton.
Synopsis: T Star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) take their friendship to exciting new places in “Cars 2” when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world’s fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours and hilarious surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. Torn between assisting Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race and towing the line in a top-secret spy mission, Mater’s action-packed journey leads him on an explosive chase through the streets of Japan and Europe, trailed by his friends and watched by the whole world. Adding to the fast-paced fun is a colourful new all-car cast that includes secret agents, menacing villains and international racing competitors.
Check out the image below which you can click to enlarge.
THAT’S AMORE – Pixar reimagines the signature casinos of the European Riviera in Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 2” with the fictional Porto Corsa Casino in Italy. Concept art created in July 2010 showcases the “carified” elements – instead of lion statues on the building corners, Pixar artists created car statuary details.
THE ROYAL TREATMENT – Pixar reimagines London’s New House of Parliament and Big Ben in Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 2.” Concept art created in July 2010 showcases the “carified” elements. Big Ben is transformed into Big Bentley, with spark plug towers, car grill arches and classic Bentley hood ornaments. The rest of the Parliament has car grills and headlights built into the façade with spark plugs on the spires.
LE VROOM – Pixar reimagines Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower in Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 2.” While the real Eiffel Tower was built in 1889, artists from Pixar Animation Studios began “carifying” it in June 2009. Concept art showcases the “carified” elements—the arches at its base take the form of wheels topped by car grill facades; the Tower’s top sports a modified spark plug and car antenna.
STEP 1: Tokyo is the first stop in the World Grand Prix where Lighting McQueen, Mater and the Radiator Springs gang experience many new wonders of their global adventure – a Kabuki performance, Sumo wrestling, the glow of neon on the streets, and the glamorous race kickoff party. It is here that Mater is mistaken for an American secret agent, and is propelled into the world of global espionage. The Tokyo race sequence alone took over 1400 storyboards to portray the action involved.
STEP 2: This frame shows the camera and character staging that precedes animation, known as Layout. The set models and dressing are still in progress and will be finalized once animation is completed.
STEP 3: This frame shows the final character animation poses. The primary and secondary characters are keyframe animated. Background cars that populate the road are added procedurally using a crowds software system.
STEP 4: The character and set shading encompasses the color, texture and material attributes of every surface, and determines how surfaces will respond to lights. In the world of Cars, graphics play a big role in the shaded scene, especially with the many neon signs in Tokyo.
STEP 5: Virtual lights provide illumination from thousands of light sources such as street lamps, headlights and neon signs. The reflective car bodies and wet street require a computationally intensive technique called Raytracing. Additional visual details such as lens flare from headlights and coloured fog around the signs are added. The final rendered image is computed on a Renderfarm and has to be free of any visual artifacts.
Check out the entire collection of concept art below. It really is an amazing collection! Click any image to enlarge.