The NY Times peers into the magic behind converting a pair of animated movies from their original 2 dimensional state into a 3-D state. As it turns out, Pixar keeps all their previous films backed up somewhere. So the trick was to write software that would insert a second camera into each scene and give the illusion of depth on the big screen.
One person charged with that task was Bob Whitehill, the lead stereographer. And his role was not just technical; emotional impact also informed some of the changes. “When I would look at the films as a whole, I would search for story reasons to use 3-D in different ways,” he said. “In ‘Toy Story,’ for instance, when the toys were alone in their world, I wanted it to feel consistent to a safer world. And when they went out to the human world, that’s when I really blew out the 3-D to make it feel dangerous and deep and overwhelming.”
The 3D versions of Toy Story 1 & 2 are in theaters now. They’re supposed to be running with an exclusive trailer for Toy Story 3. However, there have been some reports of theaters not showing the trailer. So call ahead to make sure your theater has it.