You may think yourself quite the animation buff. But did you know that Disney left a notable Easter egg in the Big Hero 6 dialogue for hardcore animation enthusiasts and professionals? Yes, if you aren't an animator or programmer, you may just have missed this one!
When Hiro Hamada first meets Robert Callaghan, he goes into a little bit of a fangirl mode:
"Robert Callaghan? As in, Callaghan's law of robotics? The Catmull-Callaghan Spline?"
Did you catch that last bit? The first name might sound a little familiar to you!
This is a sneaky (and awesome!) reference to the Catmull-Clark subdivision surface, developed in 1978 by Ed Catmull, the then-future cofounder and president of Pixar, and fellow computer scientist Jim Clark.
"Wait a minute!" You might say. Hiro mentioned a "spline", not a "subdivision surface." True, but a spline is just another way of drawing 3D curves. It's the same concept!
This technology was developed in order to provide a new way to approximate the appearance of smooth surfaces in 3D (in other words, making objects appear less jagged). This was the first step in achieving lifelike, smooth-skinned characters in early 3D animation projects such as Pixar's Tin Toy.
I only caught this reference because I'm an animator, so hats off to Disney for an awesome inside joke!
Because all tech has to start somewhere!
And for the fellow tech enthusiasts out there, take a look at this super long video if you are interested in soaking up a bit more of that animation techy goodness! Impress your friends with your knowledge!