The Good Dinosaur is the first Pixar film without matte painted skies; all 800 shots with visible skies were fully modeled, dressed, lit and volume rendered.
In the film, the environment served as an adversary for Arlo to struggle against. Early concept art made it clear there would be multiple sequences during thunderstorms as well as others taking place above the clouds. Volumes were well suited to those set- tings, but even in quieter moments we wanted to capture constantly changing weather with the perspective and parallax of a true di- mensional sky. Finally, 3D clouds enabled the lighting department to treat the environment as a single whole, from foreground all the way to the horizon.