The Science And Technology Behind Big Hero 6 + How To Draw Baymax

Behind every movie is a story. A story about how an idea was brought to life. A story about the people who made the movie and their journey from concept to the big screen. When Disney took me to LA last week to attend the movie premiere, I also had the privilege of going behind the scenes to learn more about the movie.

I met with the directors, some of the cast, I took a drawing lesson and I even had a chance to record my own version of one of the scenes from the movie. I want to share it all with you, but in the interest of not writing the longest post ever, today I will concentrate on the interview with directors Don Hall and Chris Williams and my drawing lesson. 

The Tech Behind Big Hero 6 From Directors Chris Williams And Don Hall

Big Hero 6 Directors Chris Williams Don Hall
Having previously met with several directors who have worked on films John Lasseter as (including Klay Hall from Planes, Peggy Holmes from The Secret Of The Wings, and others) I have learned that John Lasseter is very particular about making sure every detail is researched. Even when working in animation, everything has to make sense. (It also has to have heart, but that’s another story.) A message that was echoed by directors Don Hall and Chris Williams.

While Big Hero 6 stretches the imagination with telekinesis, teleportation, micro-bots, plasma blades and more the fantasy is build upon real robotics and science.

But everything in the movie is researched and grounded, because we tried to keep it as real as possible. And even telekinesis, which we thought we were really bending the rules there, you know come to find out that people are actually working on that. ~ Chris Williams

As I mentioned in my Big Hero 6 review, one of the valuable lessons (from a parent’s standpoint) is that Big Hero 6 makes robotics and science cool. So listening to Don and Chris talk about the robotics and science research that went into the movie really emphasized how important it was to balance real technology as the basis for some pretty cool super hero tech.

It’s a hard thing to do, to make a movie where you’re trying to deal with the latest cutting-edge technology. One of the challenges is that the actual technology is moving so quickly, we have to make sure we get our movie out ahead of it. I think we managed it. ~ Don Hall

But Big Hero 6 doesn’t just excel at technology within the story, Big Hero 6 also utilized cutting-edge technology in building a mesmerizing scene for San Fransokyo (using a 55,000-core supercomputer to render the movie). As a result Big Hero 6 doesn’t have your your standard animated background, instead they pushed the limits on traditional lighting resulting in scenery never before scene in animation. Very high-tech for an animated film, and the results are obvious.

My mom’s review last night was, “Wow. It didn’t look like a cartoon. It looked like an animated film.”I think what she meant was that when the characters went on screen it looked like a movie. I think what she meant was that it was a very cinematic look. 

And that was by design. We really wanted to push that with this movie. So we had some rules that governed our art direction, which were, simple characters on a complex background. And so we knew that we were  gonna just pack everything with — there is more detail in this movie than in the last three movies. ~ Chris Williams

For reference, the last three movies were Frozen, Wreck it Ralph and Tangled — with room to spare. 

Big Hero 6 Art
The result of this science and robotics mashup with high-tech scenery is a beautiful movie with cool tech and a lot of heart. With a story line that resonates with kids young and old, it is sure to go down as a Disney classic. 

How To Draw Baymax

After learning about the creation of the imagery for Big Hero 6 it was only fitting that we try our hand at drawing the simplest of characters – Baymax. Jin Kim, the Character Design Supervisor of Big Hero 6, walked us through illustrating Baymax. 

My Baymax turned out better than I thought, it certainly made my kids happy when I brought it home.

Baymax Drawing
But I don’t think Disney will be knocking on my door anytime soon, so I will leave the illustrations to the experts. 

Baymax Hiro Drawing
If you want to learn how to draw Baymax, you too can learn from Jin Kim.

Big Hero 6 is now in theaters, blasting past competition to be the number one movie at the box office opening weekend. Because of the detail brought to life in the visuals of this movie, this is one movie you’ve gotta see in the theater!

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