On June 17th, 2022, Lightyear, the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, premiered in theaters worldwide. Perception collaborated closely with the team at Pixar to design and animate a stunning main on end title sequence for the film.
For over a decade, Perception has been designing cinematic title sequences for films and series across multiple genres. Some of the team’s most notable title sequences include Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, Avengers: Endgame, and WandaVision, which earned Perception an Emmy nomination in Outstanding Title Design.
“Angus MacLane, Director of Lightyear, was very open to collaboration from the start,” said Eric Daly, Director of Production at Perception. “He really encouraged our team to make the sequence we wanted to make. That level of trust was invigorating for our design team.”
Perception was able to see an early cut of the film and then develop some initial concepts for what story this sequence could tell and various visual styles. After a few reviews and discussions around those concepts, Perception honed in on the idea of celebrating the iconic suit and beautifully designed technology of the Lightyear universe. The credit names would be etched into the surfaces of the suit and ships with lasers, paying homage to some classic science-fiction films, tropes, and techniques.
As Perception began designing and animating the sequence, one important aspect that their team wanted to focus on was the motion of the sequence and how the camera movements would operate. Both Pixar and Perception agreed that the sequence should feel like it was practically shot and authentic to the world of the film.
“We ran a lot of tests with several different camera movements and alternating focal lengths,” explained Doug Appleton, Chief Creative Director at Perception. “We ran simulations on how the sequence would move if the camera was being operated on a robotic arm, if it was hand-held, and if it was on a dolly. In that process, we exchanged detailed notes and feedback with Angus MacLane that helped us nail the exact direction that his team was going for.”
The teams at Pixar and Perception met regularly from the start of the project to the end, reviewing the sequence together frame by frame. Each session provided valuable insight into the details of the sequence while also fostering the spirit of collaboration that allowed both teams to express and execute their respective creative decisions.
“As huge fans of Pixar who grew up on these films, it was amazing to be part of their process,” said Eric Daly. “Having a front row seat to the boundless creativity and attention to detail was a privilege that was never lost on us.”
Through this collaboration, the Perception team produced a title sequence for Lightyear fitting with Angus MacLane’s overall vision for the film. The Perception team is honored to have collaborated on such a highly anticipated film that will resonate with audiences of all ages.
Perception is a team of design visionaries brought together to architect the future of technology for cinema, and the world’s most innovative companies. The two founders started the company in 2001 to pioneer a new era of motion graphics, becoming one of the first studios to blaze the trail of high-end visual effects all created on the desktop. In the last 21 years, Perception has evolved to break new ground in cinema and cutting-edge user experience design. The Perception team divides their days teleporting between the parallel dimensions of fantasy and reality. Whether working on the next superhero blockbuster or an intelligent and delightful experience for industries of the future, storytelling is at the very foundation of everything we do.