Being a part of the final chapter of the Trilogy

Posted on Tuesday 22 June 2010

The movie I spent my first 3 years at Pixar, Toy Story 3 came out this past weekend.

Critics across America rated it extremely high and the box office figure was outstanding in its debut.
Is Toy Story 3 a good movie? I think I leave that judgment up to the audience.
As makers tend to be self critical, I probably will be the worst person to ask whether the film is as good as everyone says.

But it goes without saying that I’m proud of the film I got to be a part of.
This 3 year experience at Pixar was the best production experience I have ever had in my 12 year career.
TS3 director Lee Unkrich is one of those directors who everyone will dream to have worked with in the future and I am privileged to say I worked with him.
And not to mention that so many talented people’s great efforts turned into blood of life of this film.
That includes PR people working tirelessly all around the world. I witnessed that in Japan when I went there for a week long PR tour last week.
It humbled me to realize how the success of a film couldn’t be realized only by those behind production.

Regardless of my mumbling, I would love all of you to see it because I worked on it. 🙂
I personally prefer people see it in 2D. 3D tends to kill the color of the film and I was the color and lighting art director on the film.
Disney may not like me saying it since 3D will bring more bucks! 😉


I had to do a bunch of these Toy Story drawings in Japan…

31 Comments for 'Being a part of the final chapter of the Trilogy'

    June 22, 2010 | 1:05 pm

    Dice, the film was amazingly beautiful thanks to your intuitive expertise!! It’s nice to be able to say that I’ve met the art director of TS3, but the work speaks so much more volumes.

    You’re a huge inspiration Dice!

    June 22, 2010 | 1:06 pm

    tengo muchas ganas de ver TS3!! me llevar

    June 22, 2010 | 2:10 pm

    The film simply blew me away. I have consistently been keeping up with your work, and the day my Art of TS3 arrived, I couldn’t wait to see what beautiful development lies inside… and might I add, you did NOT disappoint =) The unique use of lighting and color combination could not have been any better. Great job, Dice. Glad you were the art director of this film.

    June 22, 2010 | 2:13 pm

    I’m so excited to see it! As soon as I make it out of my dungeon I’m all over it. Cheers Dice, always an inspiration.

    June 22, 2010 | 2:37 pm

    Mr. Tsutsumi, congratulation for the great outcome after 3 years of great journey as an art director with amazing crews!! I went to disney world and I was able to see some lighting studies of yours! I can’t wait to see more from the art book, which I will get as soon as i get back to California. you are my hero! congratulation once again!!

    June 22, 2010 | 7:22 pm

    Just watched it in 3D. Am going back to watch it in 2D again.

    June 23, 2010 | 4:58 am

    Hello Dice!
    I haven

    June 26, 2010 | 2:54 am

    I just got done reading “The Art of Toy Story 3” and decided to look you up. You truly did bring us back to the roots of the first and second Toy Story films. The lighting was fantastic during the movie. I wanted to thank you for your great contribution. What I respected most about looking into your color script is your dedication to telling a story. All your work seemed to be about highlighting the characters and story. You did a amazing job.

    June 26, 2010 | 9:28 am

    Oh man you did such an excellent work for the movie! Can’t wait to see it and i wish i had one of these drawings in my TS3 artbook!

    Keep up the great and inspiring work!


    June 28, 2010 | 10:59 am

    Congratulations, Dice!

    I can’t wait to pick up the art of book. I’m already looking forward to your next projects!

    June 28, 2010 | 4:04 pm

    I watched Toy Story 3 last week and it was amazing. I got the art book the other day; the work you did on it was spectacular! Incredibly inspiring work. Congratulations!

    June 28, 2010 | 10:02 pm


    Interesting comment regarding 2D vs 3D. I agree with you. For me, in 3D, there isn’t a problem with stark contrast in light/shadow or major colors. But 3D kills subtle colors/light difference as well as the transitions between light and shadows. In the most part, I have not been impressed with 3D movies (ILM, the major animation houses). Only Avatar 3D pulled it off where you were completely immersed in the 3D world and see the subtle gradations in light/shadows and in the transitional colors.

    For me, color/light/shadow design is equally important to the story telling as the story boards. Your work, Lou Romano, Bill Cone, JLO, Ernesto N ROCK and make the Pixar movies amazing.


    June 29, 2010 | 12:29 am

    Saw the film on the weekend – and it was awesome! Congratulations on such a great film.

    July 1, 2010 | 10:00 am

    I saw the film a couple days ago 2D and the colors are still playing in my head. The lighting on that movie was so spectacular, not natural but heightened for each story moments mood. Thanks for an amazing experience. Hope to see you again at CTNX 2010

    July 5, 2010 | 8:46 am

    I saw the film last friday, and i think it’s amazing. Thanks for your advice, I watched it in 3D, so i’ll go for the 2D… Anyway the colours, the mood and the lighting are awewsome, congratulations.
    You did a great job! Thank you
    (I’ll look forward for the TS3 artbook)

    And i wanted to thank you also for posting the “horton’s colour script”, i never watched a movie the same since i saw it, its great.

    July 5, 2010 | 11:58 pm


    I saw TS3 for the second time in 2D where it is a far superior movie than 3D. In 2D, I noticed that there is quite a lot a movement where the camera shifts from foreground of the characters to background where the background becomes an just impression of color like a Monet painting just with major colors . Each movie is distinct. In Ratatouille, the production design was in the details and deliberation. In Up, the contrast of color is is unique and too the envelope. In TS3, the background is an impression of brilliant colors in contrast to the foreground with beautiful rendered lighting and shadow.



    PS. I saw 2D at the Balboa Theater where Teddy Newton gave a talk on Day and Night. It was great seeing this amazing artist speak.

    Keiko in Tokyo
    July 7, 2010 | 4:33 am


    You are on Japanese TV now!!!!!
    I know, I know, it was two weeks ago,right!? But you look great!
    Please stay as you are and keep showing us your beautiful artworks.
    Good Luck to Toy Story3. Of course, I will watch it in 2D AND 3D to enjoy your work!

    Kako Nakayama
    July 7, 2010 | 6:26 am

    I’m so sorry.
    My name is Kako Nakayama.
    upside comment is mine.

    I wish your happiness.

    Kako Nakayama
    July 7, 2010 | 6:36 am


    This is the second time to send a message.
    Upside comment is my mistake. I’m so sorry.
    I’m excited to see this page!!!
    Because I have a objective that I want to work at the PIXAR studio.
    And I really want to take contact with you.
    I’m18 now.i wanna dreams come true.

    I’ve not had a chance to watch TS3 yet. But I watch it absolutely.
    I love your art work.

    Thank you very much.


    July 7, 2010 | 6:58 am

    I watched your documentary on Japanese TV today! Your work was so amazing that reminded me of my time in US–the time I worked so hard to make my dream come true.

    Ouen shite imasu! Otagai ganbarimashou!

    Viva Japanese, Viva Dice to the world.

    July 7, 2010 | 5:21 pm


    I’m excited I watched Japanese TV program “Waratte koraete” in Japan.

    I have ever been a fan of your art works. I always enjoy this site.
    I love your picture book “I can hear” so much also.

    Best wishes for your future success.


    July 8, 2010 | 5:46 am


    July 9, 2010 | 2:31 am

    Not to rave too much, but I saw the movie last week and the color and lighting might have been the best part of the whole production. As a whole, Toy Story 3 was entertaining, but those rich palettes and color mood shifts really swept me away. You’ll be happy to know I saw it in 2D. Great work!

    July 9, 2010 | 10:34 am


    TV?warattekoraete?SPde anata no irasuto wo haiken saseteitadakimashita.

    hokano e wo dousitemo mitemitakunari kono saito wo mitukemashita.

    dono e mo yuni-ku de natukasiku te omowazu fan ni nattesimaimasita.

    korekara mo okarada ni kiwotukete katudou ganbatte kudasai.

    nihonngo de ututo mojibake sitesimautame konoyouna katati de siturei itasimasu.



    July 14, 2010 | 11:04 am

    thanks everyone for all your support.
    It is really unreal to see the success and the response of the movie.

    Thank you! Hope you are doing well. Keep up the great sketches!

    Espero que tuvo la opotunidad ver TS3 por ahora! (es mi espaniol correcto?)

    wow! I love your colorstudies on your blog. Beautiful work Arther!
    And thanks again for your comment!

    Thanks buddy! Let me know once you saw it! And we should hang out soon. i still owe your robot book

    thank you Eusong. Say hello to Yang Tae!

    Thanks Nat. Be sure to see it in 2D!


    Thanks Jacob!
    By the way, beautiful website! I like the layout of your blog very much

    thans Andry. If you bring your book to maybe CTNX in november, maybe I’ll do a drawing!

    Thanks a lot
    cool sketches on your blog!

    Thank you so much. YOur flying shark is really cute

    thanks a lot. YOu are always an observer of light and color!

    Thank you Michael.
    I”ll keep my eye on your blog too

    Thanks David. Yeah, see you in november!

    Muchas Gracias!

    phew… ok, I’ll write replies to the rest again later

    July 16, 2010 | 11:57 am

    Hi Dice,
    sorry, obviously my comment above got messed up.
    i just wanted to congratulate you on your great work for TS3 and I wanted to ask when you will be in Europe next time, cause I understood that you´re planning a show of your work in paris? Id would really be nice if i could attend it.
    kind regards,
    all the best from germany

    July 19, 2010 | 3:01 pm

    my response continues on..

    I agree with you on that!

    thank you very much! I will try my best but of course, I will have a long way to go!

    No Problem!


    love your paintings on your photo album too! thanks for the message!


    Thanks David. It’s nice to hear you liked the color and lighting of the film but also, if your focus was there, I probably didn’t do the job right. Color and lighting needs to be in the back stage of the story.
    Still, very nice of you to leave a message here!


    Thanks a lot!
    UNfortunately, my show in Paris got canceled.
    It’s a long story but there will be on in the future but it wasn’t the right timing.
    Hope to see you in the future Mattias!

    July 19, 2010 | 7:26 pm

    great film, and the “art of book” is equally amazing well done!

    August 3, 2010 | 11:46 am

    The good thing is it will be preserved in 2D on dvd/bluray for all time!

    al mayo
    August 24, 2010 | 1:32 pm

    what up dice it me al mayo i figure i’d say hello hows every thing i hope your doing well

    Jeanni Cahill
    January 24, 2011 | 8:02 am

    Hey Dice. It’s Jeanni from Blue Sky! Awesome work on TS3! I had actually never seen the first two and then my son wanted me to take him. I was so surprised to see your name! I saw the post about your dad. Sorry to hear that. I can remember back when we worked together that I felt privileged to work with you guys. Your artwork always inspired me. I will continue to check this site to see what you’re up to-I think your work gets better and better as time goes on. I only wish I had some of it for my house! I’ll have to find that Japanese calendar somewhere-it looks gorgeous! Continued blessings to you!

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