This was it. I had been looking forward to visiting Pixar ever since the animation trip was announced months ago. Working there would be a dream come true, and visiting the studio had me welling up with tears to my embarrassment.
While the tour at Pixar was relatively formal and picturesque, I had an incredible time. We didn't get to see any workstations or offices, but we were able to peek behind the curtain ever-so-slightly and see some beautiful concept art for some of my favorite Pixar films.
Inside Out is the next Pixar movie coming out in a couple weeks, so the main entrance was flooded with images, sculptures, and animations of the characters for the sake of publicity. We were able to see so many aspects of the animation process with Inside Out, and it was inspiring to recognize some of the 3D design processes and feel like I would fit right in.
After Pixar we took a bus to Double Fine Productions and toured their intimate studio. Seeing a studio of this size right after Pixar was important because it reminded us that there isn't one way to work in the industry. Double Fine operates as a family with a handful of animators and designers working together on pieces of games, and the open studio space reflected this mindset. My classmates completely geeked out over a few of their games, taking photos with their favorite game developer and gasping at every piece of concept art they saw.
After class was done for the day, a few of us met up with my friend from my hometown and explored the Japanese district downtown. Most of the shops were closed, but we were able to snag seats at a sushi bar on the third floor of a shopping mall.
We walked through Mission and peered into all of the fun stores, even though they were closed for the evening. There were so many awesome pieces of furniture, wayfinders, lights, and other designs every way we looked. I took a lot of creepy photos peeking into store windows.
We ended the night on a street called Ames, the name of our hometown. A few of us went to a local improv show, laughed, took pictures, and went on our separate ways for the night. Darcy and I took Uber back to the hostel and ran into our friends. We had a ton of late nights just sitting and talking with each other. It was a full day, and we were ready to sleep so that we could explore the great outdoors in the morning.