Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I also went to Milan, Verona, Parma and Treviso to see family and friends. I stopped and gave a seminar at BigRock training center. BigRock is located in the bucolic countryside of Treviso, in a large farmhouse, within an area starred with startups, that is quickly developing to become a technological hotspot in Italy, under the protection of, among others, venture capital firm H-Farm.

After visiting the school, and seeing the students work, I have to say I was very impressed with the improvements in CG training in Italy, which unfortunately used to be very hard to come by when I approached the subject about a decade ago. If most of these promising students should end up sticking in Italy, I think good things might happen there too.

An Italian Break

It has been a long and engaging year working on an undisclosed project, for an undisclosed Pixar short  - I know that's not very informative is it? Ok I can say it will be screening in theatres before Monsters University. More news to come soon.

So now that the project has wrapped, I took some time off to spend in my dear home town of Torino. I did not stop there all the time though. With my dad, we took some time to go up to the top of the Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Western Europe. The weather did not seem to agree with us though, so we settled with travelling under the tallest mountain in Western Europe, and go to France instead. The french border patrol seemed less than eager to let us pass, perhaps because of my Californian driving license... but eventually gave in.

So we could enjoy the snow and the wonders of Savoiarde cuisine: Charbonnade (grilled meats), Raclette (French cheese molten by coals and served over potatoes) and Vin Chaud (mulled wine).

Back in Italy, on my way to an interview for a local radio, I found that street signs are either getting more graphic, or our cycling habits have been affected by Carmageddon

It's good to find that some things have not changed though. I filled up with what I consider our staples, such as espresso, or polenta with sausages, all the way to some of our specialties, like donkey salami and gnocchi alla bava (drowling gnocchi, served with a Fontina cheese and nutmeg sauce).

Our cuisine keeps surprising me with things I didn't know even as a local. Note to self: try making ravioli with walnut cream, or veal escalopes with hazelnut gravy. Also, check if in San Francisco you can get fresh hops, to cook in omelettes. Mmmm I am getting hungry as I am typing, at 2am.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Get your kids a proper education

The Documentary department at Pixar came up with this website. It is a full-on homepage for the Monster University, where most of the movie named after it takes place.

I worked on the movie for almost two years and seeing this site made me feel like it's becoming real. So exciting!


P.s. If you are wondering if the four arm-ed shirts and sweaters at the university store are going to be available at some point, the answer is: YES! And I want one.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Siggraph 2012

Yes, it is indeed that time again.
This year I am not presenting anything myself, but a lot of good friends and colleagues will so I will try to attend many tech talks. Do not miss Inigo Quilez's presentation on real time visuals. A lot of that stuff was used, one way or another, on our procedural vegetation and dressing for Brave, it is breathtaking to see a demoscene artist bring this genius into a feature film.  

Otherwise, you will find me in the Renderman or Pixar Recruiting booth, or handing out posters and teapots, or in the open standards courses and Birds of a Feather.

I hope to see you there!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another princess movie

or is it?

One of the most interesting reviews I have read so far.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

After so much inspiring work, we are starting to see the end approach. Brave is coming out this Summer, and it seems like the end of an era. People are starting to wrap, and the new projects are ramping up and taking on a lot of technical directors and artists.

I am one of the few here at Pixar, it feels like, who have never worked on this project directly. After Toy Story 3, I moved on almost directly onto La Luna and then Monsters University. Now I am working in the Tools department, where the software the artists use day by day is made. 

Hence, I have carefully avoided spoiling the story by seeing the reels in a long time. I want to see the movie in all its splendor, with untainted eyes. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

La Luna is nominated by the Academy

Congratulations to Enrico Casarosa, and the whole Luna team for this nomination!
I couldn't be more proud of our work or more fond of the time I had working on it.

Now... no pressure Enrico, but it looks like Pixar rests on your shoulders this year!