Toy Story 4, in theaters now, brings back familiar characters like Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and Jessie (Joan Cusack) alongside new toys like Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), Forky (Tony Hale), Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele). Picking up where Toy Story 3 left off, Andy has passed his beloved toys to Bonnie, who’s getting ready to start kindergarten. She’s nervous about school, and Woody wants to help by tagging along, even though toys aren’t allowed. His decision ultimately leads the gang on a journey far from home as Woody does everything he can to keep Bonnie happy.Over the last two decades, advancements in Pixar’s animation tools have allowed it to create scenes and characters that wouldn’t have been possible in earlier films, such as Hank the octopus’ intricate movements in 2016’s Finding Dory and that opening rain scene in Toy Story 4. Still, Pixar has made sure to stay true to the look and feel of characters in each sequel. That’s no simple task. Because software evolves from movie to movie, filmmakers have to rebuild the characters every time.”If we try to use Toy Story 2 Woody, it’s like putting a CD-ROM into a Blu-ray player,” director Josh Cooley says. “It just wouldn’t work.”We’re introduced to new characters like Forky in Toy Story 4. Disney/Pixar After re-creating the characters, animators enhance them and add far more detail. In Toy Story 4, for example, they added fibers and weave to Woody’s clothing, and characters like Andy have a more smooth, realistic appearance. Filmmakers reference previous films to ensure visual consistency and check that characters animate the same way they always have. “We’ve created this world,” says production designer Bob Pauley. “We don’t want to mess with it.”Raising the barToy Story 4, which lands in US theaters June 21, opens with a flashback scene from nine years ago showing pouring rain outside Andy’s house. The incredibly realistic storm scene wouldn’t have been possible in earlier films, Pauley says. In fact, in the first Toy Story movie, filmmakers wanted to create a rainstorm in the scene where Woody and Buzz are trapped in Sid’s room. But they were limited by both the technology and experience on the team.So they came up with a compromise. Instead of showing pouring rain outside, they created shots showing rain dripping on the window from inside the bedroom. That way, they could more vaguely illustrate that it was raining outside without having to create the droplets.”It was every bit as emotional and important to the storytelling, but we just used a creative way to not have to do rain,” Pauley says.The antique shop features millions of objects. Disney/Pixar More advanced effects tools available today allowed Pixar to create realistic rain droplets in Toy Story 4’s opening sequence. Dust can also be added for atmosphere on floors, cabinets and rafters, and cobwebs add an ominous touch to darkened nooks and crannies. Shots of an antique mall were also an opportunity for Pixar to push its limits by creating millions of objects such as lamps, dishes and toys to create a realistic image of a crowded shop. 2 More Toy Story 1:49 Pixar’s Toy Story 4 brings new characters, cutting-edge… 2019 movies to geek out over Comments Now playing: Watch this: TV and Movies Tags Perhaps the biggest development since the first Toy Story is how images involving light are rendered. In the first film, creating a simple reflection off a mirror took about half a day to set up, says global technology supervisor Bill Reeves. Today, it’s essentially automated. A mirror simply has to be modeled with a reflective surface and tagged in the right way. Whereas before the work was in adding the reflections, the difficulty now lies in removing them if they’re distracting in a scene.Producer Jonas Rivera says they’ve pushed the bar on Toy Story 4, but they’ve also maintained visual consistency. “Our hope is that if you watched all [the movies] back to back, they would still have a continuity,” Rivera says. “You would definitely see the progression, but we worked hard in the art department in the way we shot the film to maintain that connectivity.”End of an era?Many critics and viewers thought Toy Story 3 was a perfect (albeit heartbreaking) ending to the film franchise. Which is why it came as a surprise to some people — including the filmmakers — that there would be a fourth installment. Enlarge ImageThe toys are back for another adventure — and maybe the last. Disney/Pixar “All of us have felt that each of these Toy Story movies were the end when they happened, so all of us are a little surprised even that we were making 4,” says producer Mark Nielsen. Still, Rivera, Nielsen and Cooley say this could in fact be the final Toy Story film. Even Tom Hanks, who voices Woody, has said Toy Story 4’s ending is “a moment in history.” (In other words: Get your tissues ready.) And, whatever it’s worth, he’s also said he could see there being a fifth film.”You never know,” Nielsen says. “But our focus has really been on making Toy Story 4 a complete film that falls in line with the others.” Share your voice Toy Story 4 review: Hilarious jokes barely save a story lacking stakes Toy Story 5 isn’t planned, but it ‘wouldn’t surprise’ star Tom Hanks Originally published June 18. Toy Story 4 hits theaters in the US on June 21. Disney/Pixar In 1995, when Pixar released Toy Story, the first feature-length computer animated film, the studio pushed the limits of what was possible when it illustrated rain with smudges on a window rather than individual droplets. Fast forward 24 years to Toy Story 4, and viewers will see a remarkably life-like, detailed storm that shows the impact of raindrops on objects and water gushing in the street. Pixar’s technology has come a long way in two decades. 77 Photos Pixar
Shab-e-BaratThe National Moon Sighting Committee has reiterated that Shab-e-Barat will be observed in the country on 21 April.State minister for religious affairs Sheikh Abdullah announced the decision on Tuesday as the Shaban moon was not sighted in Bangladesh on 6 April.Shab-e-Barat is observed on the 15th night of the Arabic month of Shaban. Muslims offer special prayers, recite the Quran, take part in other religious rituals.The National Moon Sighting Committee on 6 April announced that Shab-e-Barat will be observed on 21 April in Bangladesh.But there were claims that the moon had been sighted. To resolve the confusion, the government formed an 11-member sub-committee.However, no witness turned up at the sub-committee’s meetings, prompting the National Moon Sighting Committee to uphold its previous decision.
KOLKATA/Darjeeling: A ten member Chinese delegation visited Headquarter Eastern Command, Kolkata, on Thursday. The delegation was led by Lt Gen Liu Xiaowu, Deputy Commander of Western Theatre Command of PLA. Before arriving at Kolkata, the team has visited New Delhi, Agra and Sukna.The visit is a positive step towards enhancing the bilateral defence cooperation mechanism between the two countries, which would help in maintaining peace and stability along the LAC. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe delegation visited Headquarters, Eastern Command (HQ EC) at Fort William, where they interacted with Lt Gen Sunil Srivastava, Chief of Staff, EC and other officers. The delegation was conducted around in Fort William and later taken on a visit to Victoria Memorial, prior to their departure from Kolkata.The PLA delegation had departed for Kolkata from Sukna earlier on Thursday.They had arrived at Sukna on July 3. On arrival at the headquarters of the 33 Corps, Lt Gen Xiaowu had a meeting with Lt Gen. Pradeep M Bali, GOC, 33 Corps. This was followed by a delegation level meeting on Wednesday. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPThe meetings had ended on a positive note and both the Chinese and the Indian sides had expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the interactions. “The interactions will contribute towards maintaining peace and tranquility on the borders” stated a release. A cultural show and a banquet had been held in Sukna in honour of the visiting Chinese delegation. The visit of the PLA delegation is being seen as of great importance to the armies of the two nations, with the objective of enhancing bilateral defence cooperation, increasing interactions at military commander’s level and implementation of various agreements to maintain peace and tranquility at the borders. Incidentally, the Sukna meet is being seen as the result of meetings between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan and Qingdao in the recent past. In both the meetings, the two heads had resolved to strengthen bilateral ties between the nations.The last delegation level meeting had taken place at the Headquarters of the Eastern Command at Kolkata in February 2017.Defence Observers opine that the meetings between the two armies are of immense importance, especially after the Doklam standoff.
4 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. For small businesses, the new millennium has arrived about a decade late. The big year for innovation was supposed to be 2001, when things like artificial intelligence and a worldwide-networked office were said to be to coming to market. But it has taken an extra 10 years of digital toiling to make some of these tools a reality.In 2011, small-business owners will face a staggering array of new technologies and services. These won’t be for-geeks-only stuff. These are mainstream business systems from the tech giants — tools you may want to consider adopting or you could get left behind.Here are my thoughts on the top business technology trends for 2011. You’ll need to be familiar with these if you want to stay on the cutting edge of your market.1. The Web on your phone might be as fast the Web in your office. The biggest game-changing tool for 2011 is a new generation of fast wireless cellular standards known as 4G. By midyear, most mobile consumers will be able to receive service that’s similar to the robust, plugged-in Web access found in an office. All the major phone carriers will be offering it, including Verizon Communications Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp., AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA Inc. Look also for offerings from start-ups, such as Antelecom Inc., Clearwire Corp., Xanadoo Co. and Towerstream Corp., and from cable companies like Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc.However, coverage is likely to be spotty and comparing plans could be a struggle, at least in the early days. The cost may be as high as $60 a month per employee and sharing a Web connection won’t be an option. But those willing to brave the trials of moving to a technology early may not only be able to say goodbye to their existing data provider but they may never again need a hard-wired Web connection. The mobile business race really begins in 2011.2. Day planners won’t just track your schedule. Starting next year, smart Web-based business-automation tools will find their way into business software and begin offering opinions on everything from how you should manage tasks to how you arrange meetings and budget projects. Already, Google is adding a sophisticated feature to its Gmail Priority Inbox email services that is designed to help users sort emails in order of their importance. Companies such as Intuit Inc. are adding financial modeling tools to QuickBooks and Mint.com that are so sophisticated that they can guess when you will lose money.Startups are also offering tools to help firms write documents and create content. The leader now is StatSheet Inc., a Durham, N.C.-based technology company that specializes in sports content. In October, it introduced a Web-based service that automatically creates legible articles, analysis and data with nearly no direct human involvement. What does that mean to you? For better or worse, you may soon face the daunting prospect of managing memos and business correspondence that, in some ways, write themselves.3. Work life might be controlled by the touch of a finger. Call it the iPhone effect for businesses. A new generation of Apple Inc.’s iPad-inspired, touch-controlled work tools will go mainstream in 2011.A range of office standbys from printers to desktop PCs will add iPhone-like touch-pad controls. A slew of touch-enabled kiosks, displays and machine controls will be cheap and widely available.The effects are likely to be profound. Touch-enabled screens, just like on iPhones, will allow for a wide swath of new features and functions to be built into just about any business device. Printers will not only connect to the Web but will also produce custom news feeds. Touch-enabled PCs will support both traditional office software and sophisticated inventory and business-management tools that once required pricey custom hardware.Aggressive first movers are already making an impact. For example, San Francisco-based Touch Revolution is developing a line of mobile-phone savvy touch-enabled control modules that are being adapted to everything to office systems to kitchen appliances.By this time next year, your fingers may not only do the walking around the office. They may do the talking as well. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » December 29, 2010