Emron Grover is photographed on Oct. 2, 2017 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California. Grover, a BYU grad, is the tailoring lead on “Coco,” which essentially means he and his team build computer-generated clothing for all of the characters in the film.
Deborah Coleman, Pixar
In Disney Pixar’s “Coco,” Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) finds himself magically transported to the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead where he meets his late family members, who are determined to help him find his way home.
Pixar
In Disney Pixar’s “Coco,” Miguel’s (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) love of music ultimately leads him to the Land of the Dead where he teams up with charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael GarcÍa Bernal).
Pixar
In Disney Pixar’s “Coco,” Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like the celebrated Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). But when he strums his idol’s guitar, he sets off a mysterious chain of events.
Pixar
In Disney Pixar’s “Coco,” aspiring musician Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) makes an impulsive choice that sets off a series of events that ultimately lands him in the Land of the Dead where he’s able to interact with his late family members, including TÍa Rosita (voice of Selene Luna), TÍa Victoria, PapÁ Julio (voice of Alfonso Arau), and TÍo Oscar and TÍo Felipe (both voiced by Herbert Siguenza).
Pixar
In Disney Pixar’s “Coco,” aspiring musician Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) finds himself in the Land of the Dead—a rich and vibrant community featuring bridges of marigold petals.
Pixar
Aspiring musician Miguel learns from the head clerk in the Land of the Dead's Department of Family Reunions that he’ll need a blessing from a family member to return to the Land of the Living. But Miguel’s great-great-grandmother MamÁ Imelda’s blessing comes with an unfortunate condition. Featuring Anthony Gonzalez as the voice of Miguel, Gabriel Iglesias as the voice of the clerk and Alanna Ubach as the voice of MamÁ Imelda.
Pixar
In Disney Pixar’s “Coco,” aspiring musician Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) teams up with charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael GarcÍa Bernal) on a life-changing journey through the Land of the Dead.
Pixar
When aspiring musician Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) finds himself in the Land of the Dead, all he needs to return to the Land of the Living is a blessing from a family member, a magical marigold petal and a promise he’s not sure he can make.
Pixar
An unlikely star of Disney Pixar’s “Coco,” Dante is a Xolo dog—short for Xoloitzcuintle—the national dog of Mexico. Nearly hairless and missing some teeth, Dante has trouble keeping his tongue in his mouth. But he’s a loyal companion to Miguel, an aspiring musician who hopes to follow in the footsteps of his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Featuring the voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel and Benjamin Bratt as de la Cruz.
Pixar
In Disney Pixar’s “Coco,” Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) desperately wants to prove his musical talent. But when he strums the guitar of his idol, the late Ernesto de la Cruz, Miguel sets off a mysterious chain of events and finds himself—and his loyal dog Dante—crossing into the Land of the Dead via a breathtaking bridge made of marigold petals.
Pixar

SALT LAKE CITY — When you browse through the expansive credits at the end of a film such as “Justice League,” it’s easy to picture a swarm of actors and crew scattered around a sound stage, orchestrating the technical minutiae of a massive big screen production. But when the credits roll on an animated film such as the upcoming Pixar production “Coco,” you may be tempted to lump everyone under the generic title of “animator.”

But it really isn't that simple, according to Emron Grover, who came up through Brigham Young University's animation program before moving on to work on Pixar hits including “Up” and “Brave."

“Animator is a very generic term,” he said with a laugh. “At Pixar, the animators take the character that somebody’s built, and they make it act.”

The animators are essentially puppeteers, but Grover’s job happens a little earlier in the process.

“I was in charge of all the clothing in the movie,” he said.

That may seem like an odd thing to say about an animated film, until you realize that Grover works in a virtual world. Grover is the tailoring lead on “Coco,” which essentially means he and his team build computer-generated clothing for all of the characters in the film.

“Coco” tells the story of a young Mexican boy named Miguel, who travels to the Land of the Dead during Mexico’s annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration. The film is filled with colorful visuals inspired by Mexican culture, and Grover explained how complicated it was to put realistic and authentic clothing on the characters.

“You can imagine it quite a bit like real-world tailoring,” said Grover, as he described the complex process of using 3D software to design and apply digital clothes to characters created elsewhere at the studio. “We have virtual fabric that we’ll kind of draft the patterns in, and then we’ll sew all the seams together virtually, connect all the geometry, and then we can drape it around the character. Then we give it mathematical parameters on how it should bend and fold.”

Grover explained that part of the challenge when working with digital clothing is making sure that the virtual clothes understand how to shape around the characters and not just pass right through them. Pixar has spent several years refining a technique called collision detection, whereby the digital cloth is able to sense the body inside it.

Grover has specialized in digital clothing since he started his career at Pixar 10 years ago. After developing his skills in clothing design at BYU — then considered one of the more difficult tasks in CGI — Grover landed an internship at Pixar. At the time, Grover said, “(Pixar) kind of had (its) pipeline up and running,” using early digital clothing processes on films such as “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille.” But in the time since, as Grover has worked on films including “Brave” and “Inside Out,” he’s seen a lot of change for the better.

“The advances since then have been staggering,” he said. “Especially on 'Coco.'”

The tailoring lead job is a satisfying fusion of Grover’s background in both art and computers — he originally went into computer science programming as a BYU undergrad — but his job isn’t all ones and zeroes. Since “Coco’s” visual aesthetic was inspired by Mexican culture, specifically the annual Dio de los Muertos celebration, Pixar also employed a group of Mexican culture consultants to help ensure the accuracy of “Coco’s” on-screen product. Grover and his team were able to draw on a wealth of input and research to make their work look as authentic as possible.

Grover’s hopes for the final product, which he described as “a love letter to Mexico,” are twofold. First, he hopes that seeing the film will help audiences gain “an appreciation for the Mexican culture and the holiday.”

But Grover also hopes that viewers will gain a deeper appreciation for their own ancestors, specifically “how they have shaped who you are, even though they’re not around.”