All Pixar technical memos and papers may be found here. The visuals offered in most of them may be immediately tied to the movie in which they were created or utilised. Several of their papers have been published in SIGGRAPH, another of the world’s largest conferences/journals on computer graphics and animation. So they’re always coming up with fresh and unique ideas, even if some of them aren’t specifically for a movie. It appears that some individuals are working on rendering and simulation tools in general, whereas others are attempting to accomplish specialised effects for a certain film.
I believe they didn’t publish that much for their initial films because they needed to establish a firm foothold in the industry. Furthermore, it takes time to develop new material. They also refine their methods with each film (see for example the rendering of hair). As a result, while this list is somewhat inadequate, it does provide a useful summary of the innovations that have been released for each film.
RenderMan Lighting – Ray differentials and Complex lighting Rendering tooling
Fluid – Effective modelling of massive fluid bodies
Key Point: Soft Body Animation Soft Caching and Subspace Acceleration
Volume-conserving FEM on deformable models for deformable bodies
Techniques in filmmaking
Monster Inc – Untangling Cloth (short film) – Subdivision Surfaces in Character Animation
The Incredibles – Hair Cars Simulation and Rendering – Lighting engine, Animated Global Illumination Acceleration, Interactive Depth of Field, and Ray Tracing
If provided as that of an industry-wide example of computer graphics advancement, none of the claims is valid.
If these comments are referring to Pixar’s actual use of certain technology, they may be accurate. Monster’s Inc was the first time Pixar employed fur significantly with one of its own films, however, fur was being used in computer graphics for many years through this point. This milestone would be credited to them as the biggest use of fur in a feature picture to that point.
While I believe that Pixar established numerous benchmarks in terms of computer graphics quality, They weren’t the only studio to establish new benchmarks.