Pixar has revealed a clip from their latest short film The Blue Umbrella, directed by Saschka Unseld, and the big selling point is the photorealistic nature that's intended. That is, outside of the fact all the objects in the world will be given the simplest of facial features to help bring them to life.
The short will play in front of Monsters University on June 21 and is said to run six minutes long and follows a blue umbrella that takes a fancy to a red umbrella and, in trying to follow that fancy, gets weather-beaten and wind-blown during a rainstorm.
The attempt at photorealism resulted in frames of film that could take anywhere from 20 to 30 hours to render. Pixar's chief technology officer Steve May discussed the process with the Wall Street Journal saying, "We try to simulate those things in computer animation, but the truth is, until just recently, we didn't have the computational power or clever enough algorithms to actually do the more realistic kind of computations."
Over at Pixar Times, they have actually been tracking the project via the Tumblr blog Rainy City Tales 332, which features a behind the scenes look at the making of the short over the past year. The brief posts include pictures, glimpses at what they've been working on such as the image you see embedded in this post, which we now realize is a CG image and not an actual photo, foley test videos and films they watched for inspiration such as Won Kar Wai's Chungking Express.
You can check out much more from the site by clicking here, but first check out the clip below to get a better idea of what's in store.