There is a fun new exhibit at the Science Museum all about the science behind Pixar. Hosted by a few of your favorite Pixar characters and real life Pixar employees, you start out with an introductory film explaining the nine elements needed to put together a computer generated animated film. They give you a high level idea of each department while strolling through Pixar design studios. After five minutes, Roz from “Monsters Inc.” sends you are off to explore and try many hand’s on activities that show you how each of these nine departments work.
Within each of these nine segments (Story & Art, Modeling, Rigging, Surfaces, Sets & Camera’s, Animation, Simulation, Lighting, and Rendering), are hands-on activities that give you a chance to play and modify how a scene is controlled and changed by augmenting the variables. They do a good job of giving you some basic introductions to the math and science involved but still keeping it fun I built robots, played with surface elements, adjusted lighting, and built digital models.
There are activities that are both manual and digital and workstations throughout the exhibit teaching you about each department and they explain the challenges they run into with each film such as creating an entire underwater world in “Finding Nemo” complete with wave simulation and how to make fur move for Sully in “Monsters Inc.” and how light bounces off of metal elements differently in “Cars” than it would in Nemo’s ocean. I played with the rigging of characters (how they move) and gives you a feel for how Woody a hard wooden puppet is rigged substantially different than Elastigirl would be.
Interspersed with the activities there are assorted memorabilia items from the productions including early character sketches, models, concept art and some fun photo ops for you to take pics with several characters. I was happy to see it wasn’t just kids having fun. I was one of several adults who were there by themselves soaking it all in. Exhibit runs through Labor Day Sept 4th. Cost: $10 on top of your museum admission ($23-$35)
DO: Fun, Science, Museum, Family, Exhibit