Monsters University will most likely shape up to be one of the most anticipated prequels that Pixar has released... oh wait, it's the first prequel Pixar has released (subtle attempt at humor). In any sense, some new screenshots of Monsters University have popped up in a white paper release from Pixar's research group (we first saw this on Pixar Times). The white paper is titled (get ready for it), "Multiresolution Radiosity Caching for Efficient Preview and Final Quality Global Illumination in Movies". As much as that is a mouthful, if you read the article and watch the two accompanying videos (one with Buzz Lightyear), you can get a real sense for what that title means. I'm sure there are others who are much more technical that could describe it better, but in my opinion, it is an overview of a new method that allows for a more simplified workflow to achieve more accurate color bleeding and lighting effects in less time.
You may have noticed some red boxes in the above screenshot - what are those for? Further in the article, those areas are blown up in more detail to show the differences between direct and global illumination.
Overall, it's fascinating stuff and while most of it was much more technical than I could absorb, it still provides great insight into Pixar and their technical strengths.
Pixar Post - T.J.