Dreamworks and Pixar

Does anyone know what kind of 3D software that companies like Pixar and Dreamworks use? I always imagined that they did not use 3D Max, Maya etc only but rather a custom made 3D software that produces powerful results. What do you guys think?

Pixar’s animation program is called “Marionette” I think. And ofcourse they use their own renderer PRman.
Big companies do have in-house software, but they customize off-the-shell software heavily too. There’s loads of info about this on CGTalk, for example:


thanks i will have a look

I’m pretty sure that Pixar and Dreamworks and other high end 3d graphic companies use Maya, M Tool and Renderman (yes Dreamworks uses Pixar’s software too) But I remember reading that often they dont actually model their models on computers, they actually model it out of clay and use this pen thingy to scan the models in

Maybe they all use Blender and just won’t say :wink:

chutney: yeah, I’ve seen that a lot. They model the characters in clay and use a digital pen to trace vertices inside a 3D app. But of course, there are tiny details that can’t be modeled in clay (because it would have to be a very big clay model to have all the details), so they add them in whatever app they use.

Pixar uses Maya to model its characters and Marionette ( in-house) for animating.
I know Dreamworks used Maya for Sharktale, they also used Mental Ray to render Sharktale.
Blue Sky Studios (the makers of Ice Age) use Maya + a couple of Plugins they have written for Maya.
That’s about it.
I know Blender was used to Previzualise some scenes on Spiderman 2.
That’s about it.

nice to hear that blender was used for spidey. I always assumed that big companies always used custom built from start to finish