Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pixar Character Design- Nate Wragg

While thinking about the many fields that hold work for an illustrator, I have often times come back to the idea of working closely with movies, and more specifically, animated movies. To me, the ultimate dream job in this field is to work for Pixar, being a production designer. These designers create the overall look and appearance for all artistic elements in a movie. In animation, the production is practically all art so their job is crucial for nailing the personality of the characters and the emotion of the scenes. Pixar has such a consistent visual aesthetic that is bright, quirky, and fun. One of the people who works closely in this department is Nate Wragg, an artist who helped to create the new characters seen in Toy Story 3.
Shown above are some sketches done of the pony, Buttercup. Although the final result is a beautiful computer animation, the first steps are very simple in order to get the look just right. Wragg went through a couple stages with this character (one including a long flowing mane instead of a short, chopped one) but this sketch shows the final sketching stage for this character. Wragg also studied the movements of a real horse in order to translate that into how a plush horse would move.
The second image is a painting of the clown featured in Toy Story 3 named Chuckles. This image is a lot more developed than that of Buttercup's sketch. This just shows me how important this stage of the process is. Every little detail is cared for in these characters, even before they are made to move.
Here is a link to Nate Wragg's blog, where he posts his continual work with Pixar and other projects:


  1. In those Buttercup sketches you can really see the way the character would move, even in a still drawing. Every one of those images has its own flow and sense of movement, which is impressive. I haven't seen the movie but both the Buttercup image and the Chuckles painting give a real sense of personality for both characters.

  2. im kind of interested in this field aswell so its gd to see the kind of work tht goes ito designing these characters nd bringing them to life. thx

  3. I think Pixar is most creative in the Pixar Shorts. Have you ever seen the one with the jackalope and she lamb? it's pretty amazing from a creative standpoint.

    Also the one that ran before Toy Story 3 was pretty sweet.

  4. Thanks for the post. You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the webanimated intro