The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition to Open October 15 at the California Science Center

The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition to Open October 15, 2016  at the California Science Center. Photo by Keyang Pang
The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition to Open October 15, 2016
at the California Science Center. Photo by Keyang Pang

Los Angeles- Guests at the California Science Center will be inspired by the science and technology behind some of the most beloved animated films and their characters with the west coast premiere of The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition, opening October 15, 2016. This hands-on 12,000 square foot exhibition showcases the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts used by the artists and computer scientists who help bring Pixar’s award-winning films to the big screen.

Featuring more than 40 interactive exhibit elements, The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition demonstrates the technology that supports the creativity and artistry of Pixar’s storytellers. The exhibition is broken into eight distinct sections, each focusing on a step of the filmmaking process – Modeling, Rigging, Surfaces, Sets & Camera, Animation, Simulation, Lighting and Rendering – providing guests with a unique view of the production pipeline and concepts used at Pixar every day. Visitors of all ages will engage in and learn about the filmmaking process through hands-on activities inspired by some of Pixar’s most treasured films, from the first-ever computer animated feature film Toy Story, to the Oscar®-winning film Inside Out. They will also have the opportunity to take their photo with human-size recreations of many of their favorite Pixar film characters, including Buzz Lightyear, Dory, Mike and Sulley, Edna Mode and WALL•E.

The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition is a fun, hands-on experience where guests can explore the art and science of animation at Pixar as though they were part of the production team,” said Jeffrey N. Rudolph, President and CEO at the California Science Center. “It’s a great opportunity for them to participate in the step-by-step process where art incorporates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to make all the elements of an animated film seem more believable.”

Photo by Keyang Pang
Photo by Keyang Pang

Visitors will be invited to experience different roles within the production pipeline. Exhibit highlights include:

  • Sets & Cameras – Discover how a bugs-eye view was achieved for A Bug’s Life, through camera angles and large-set design within the computer.
  • Modeling – Envision how Toy Story’s digital sculptures are created based on sketches from artists.
  • Lighting – Explore challenges similar to what Pixar artists faced in creating animated water with virtual light in Finding Nemo.
  • Rigging – See how the models are given a virtual skeleton to enable animators to add movement, like the virtual model of Sulley from Monsters, Inc., which has 30,000 posable points.
  • Surfaces – Feel immersed in the techniques behind adding color and texture to every surface of a film by designing “skins” for computer models of characters from Cars.

The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition was developed by the Museum of Science, Boston in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios, and is part of the Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative (SMEC) – of which the California Science Center is a member.


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