Digital Media Concepts/Science Behind Pixar
|Attraction Type||Tour Exhibition, Science, Technology, Entertainment|
|Audience||Children, Teen, Adults, Researchers, Educators|
|First Opening Date||June 28, 2015|
|First Opening Location||The Museum of Science(Boston, MA)|
Science Behind Pixar[edit | edit source]
The Science Behind Pixar is a tour exhibition that features activities, videos and images showing math, science, computer techniques, concepts and theories behind computer animated films released by Pixar Animation Studio. It was first opened at a 13,000 square foot exhibition, Museum of Science, Boston by film makers of Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar Animation Studio is an Academy Award-winning studio releasing high-grossing computer animationfilms such as Toy Story, Cars, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and many others.  Science Behind Pixar exhibition shows a production pipeline of Pixar with varieties of activities and experiences at science centers and museums from different regions.
Shows and Museums[edit | edit source]
A list of museums and science centers where Science Behind Pixar tour visited or will be visited is as follows.
Past Shows[edit | edit source]
The Museum of Science( Boston, MA) June 28, 2015- January 10, 2016
The Franklin Institute( Philadelphia, PA) March 12, 2016 - September 5, 2016
California Science Center( Los Angeles, CA ) October 15, 2016 - April 16, 2017
Science Museum Of Minnesota ( St.Paul, MN ) June 9, 2017 - September 4, 2017
Telus World Of Science( Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) July 1, 2017 - January 7, 2018
The Henry Ford Museum( Dearborn, MI ) October 14, 2017 - March 18, 2018
Current Shows[edit | edit source]
Telus World Of Science( Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada ) May 19, 2018 - January 6, 2019
Museum Of Science And Industry( Chicago, IL )May 24, 2018 - January 6, 2019
Steps of Production Process[edit | edit source]
Pixar Animation Studio production consists of story and art, modeling, rigging, surfaces, sets and cameras, animation, simulation, lighting and rendering.
Story And Art[edit | edit source]
Storyboards are sketches that describes the story of a whole movie. The storyboard is like a comic showing a story with character and environment. Sketches of storyboards can illustrate character's appearance, background and environment, how character will act and color palette for lighting ideas of scenes. 
Modeling[edit | edit source]
Modeling is shaping characters and things. It is a sculpt with a virtual wire-frame of points and edges to edit a shape. Digital modelers use 3D modeling software such as Autodesk Maya, 3Ds Max, and ZBrush to create models of characters. They also have to understand a basic anatomy of a character in order to create a right character. Artists create sketches and clay sculptures to get a right character. Digital modelers then design virtual 3D models based on references such as sketches and clay sculptures.
Rigging[edit | edit source]
Rigging is the step of joining virtual bones, joints and muscles to a model. It functions as the strings on a marionette. The systematic rig can give a right amount of flexibility and a perfect control of a model. Riggers create hundreds of control points which will allow animators to create pose they need.
Surfaces[edit | edit source]
Surfaces are the appearances of virtual 3D model shape.  It can show the quality and types of different materials such as iron, steel, glass, clothes, rocks and ice.This surfacing technique is also known as texturing. Surfacing artist control the color, pattern, bump map pattern, transparency and reflective in order to convert models into reality.
Sets and Cameras[edit | edit source]
Sets are virtual environments for all scenes and cameras are used to frame each image that will make stories into films. Set designers are architects who build virtual environments using references from storyboards while camera artists master the composition, camera movement and lens type to shoot each frame for films.
Animation[edit | edit source]
Animation is the step of posing characters and bringing them to life. Animators from Pixar use virtual 3D models and sets to create individual images and then animate it to become an illusion of motion.  Riggers make control points for characters while animators use them to act out in each scene. Animators then set up key-frames to control actions of characters and objects. 
Simulation[edit | edit source]
Simulation is a motion to convert scenes into realistic and believable.  It enhances the motion of hair, fur, clothing, fire and water. Simulation technical directors construct effects of hair and clothing simulation as characters moves. 
Lighting[edit | edit source]
Lighting is the essential creation to enhance mood and believably.  It also enhances feel of emotions, feel of being in a location and at a time of a scene. Lighting technical designers program different effects of lighting by controlling shadows, reflections and brightness effects.
Rendering[edit | edit source]
Rendering is the final step of a production pipeline. Rendering is the process of turning virtual set, shaded and posed characters, lights and camera sets into final 2D images. Rendering technical directors from Pixar optimize rendering process and finalize the whole project using Renderman as their core rendering technology for over 25 years.
Tour Attractions[edit | edit source]
The exhibition is divided into eight sections such as modeling, rigging, surfaces, sets and cameras, animation, simulation, lighting and rendering with 40 individual interactive elements. There is also an 5- minute introductory video before entering the exhibition.
Characters[edit | edit source]
Activities For Visitors[edit | edit source]
Visitors can discover and experience eight sections of production process along with individual interactive workstations. In modeling section, visitors can discover how digital sculptures are designed based on artists' sketches along with virtual modeling workstation. In rigging section, virtual skeleton with models are given with arm-rigging workstation. In surface section, visitors can edit color, texture, bump and transparency with surface appearance workstation. In sets and cameras section, visitors can view a camera set-up for a scene from A Bug's Life. In animation section, computer animation workstation is set up with Mike from Monsters Inc. In simulation section, visitors can simulate the motion of a school of fish and experience the effects behind Finding Nemo. In lighting section, visitors can solve challenges what Pixar artists faced in creating virtual light with animated underwater behind Finding Nemo. In rendering section, visitors can balance render time and image quality of an image from Ratatouille with a rendering workstation.
Resources For Educators[edit | edit source]
Science Behind Pixar tour exhibition also provides books and activities cards for educators. Books suggested by Pixar are "The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company by David A. Price", "The Art of Pixar Short Films by Amid Amidi" and "Funny! Twenty-Five Years of Laughter from the Pixar Story Room (introduction by Jason Katz, foreword by John Lasseter)". Science Behind Pixar creates class materials such as exhibition introduction, activity sheets and activity cards to help a class-visit. Science Behind Pixar also gives online free resources such as Pixar in a Box and Scratch and Scratch Jr. to interact and learn more about computer animation behind Pixar.
External Links[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- "The Science Behind Pixar". sciencebehindpixar.org. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
- "Pixar". Pixar Animation Studios. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "The Science Behind Pixar". Pixar Animation Studios. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
- "Story and Art". sciencebehindpixar.org. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "Modeling". sciencebehindpixar.org. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "Rigging". sciencebehindpixar.org. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "Surfaces". sciencebehindpixar.org. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "Sets and Cameras". sciencebehindpixar.org. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "Animation". sciencebehindpixar.org. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "Simulation". sciencebehindpixar.org. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "Lighting". sciencebehindpixar.org. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "Rendering". sciencebehindpixar.org. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "RenderMan". Pixar Animation Studios. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
- "Discover the secrets behind Toy Story, The Incredibles and more in The Science of Pixar". Inside Vancouver. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "Books". www.msichicago.org. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "Class Materials". www.msichicago.org. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "Resources". www.msichicago.org. Retrieved 2018-09-19.