Originally Posted by Abaddon
This is picking nits, but surely they re-rendered it in 3D, rather than converting it? That's not to say that re-rendering a movie with modern technology when it was originally rendered a decade ago is easy...
Fair point. So I did some searching and found this:
Quote in part:
The 3D team begins the effort by pulling the original assets, which according to Hollander, must be converted to today’s technology and copied to preserve the original film. Then they do what’s called triage, in which each shot is evaluated and made to look like the original. Like opening an old word processing document with new software, today’s technology—while superior—can’t translate every aspect of the original. “Many problems can occur as a result of changes in software or systems infrastructure, location of files or missing files, and that sort of thing. Not everything matches the original or even renders correctly. A big part of our job is to sweep through the film and fix these sorts of issues,” says Hollander.
That’s when the shots are rendered, assembling the components of the animation. “We’ve re-rendered the entire film at a higher resolution,” says Whitehill. “And because in 3D, you see a slightly different view for your left eye than your right eye, you get a brand new, bigger and clearer image to each eye.”
Whitehill, who evaluates every shot and determines where each object and character should exist in 3D space, says that while the process might be arduous—it took about nine months to complete—there is a distinct advantage in creating a 3D version of “Finding Nemo” versus a live-action film. “Imagine if you were recreating a movie ten years after it was filmed—getting all the actors back, putting them in the exact same position in an identical set and having them deliver their lines exactly as they did before with the cameras positioned just so—it’d be impossible. But we can do that here because our films are computer generated. It’s really not a conversion—we initially filmed ‘Finding Nemo’ in 2D. This time, we filmed the exact same movie in 3D.”
The result? Spectacular—though filmmakers are hard-pressed to pick just one scene that best illustrates the power of 3D. Says Whitehill, “During a sequence we call ‘First Day of School’ when Marlin brings Nemo out to the reef, you travel along with Mr. Ray and it almost feels like you’re scuba diving—you feel like you can reach out and touch the fish swimming by. Seeing it in 3D just heightens that connection to the environment and makes it more powerful.”
I think the FN wikipedia page claimed this "re-rendering/conversion" cost Pixar ~$5 million. That's alot of human hours at even $200 an hour (like 25,000 hours worth!).