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The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition Now Open in Los Angeles
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The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition Now Open in Los Angeles

by Michael BeenerOctober 20, 2016

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. 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 andRendering – 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.”

Image: California Science Center © Michael Malyszko

Image: California Science Center © Michael Malyszko

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.

The California Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway at 700 Exposition Park Drive. The Science Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 pm. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. Guests can enter the parking lot on Figueroa Street at 39th/Exposition Park. Parking is $12.00/car, cash only. For general information, phone (323) SCIENCE or visit www.californiasciencecenter.org for schedule updates.

Tickets for The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition are currently on sale. Guests are encouraged to buy tickets online at www.californiasciencecenter.org to reserve an entry date & time. The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition admission prices are $14.95­­­ for adults 18-59, $11.95 for youth 13 to 17, college students with I.D. & seniors 60+, and $9.95 for children 4 – 12. Member discount rates are $10.95 for adults, $8.95 for youth 13 to 17, college students with I.D. & seniors 60+, and $7.95 for children 4-12. The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition and IMAX combination ticket prices are $21.45 for adults 18-59, $16.70 for youth 13-17, college students with I.D. and seniors 60+, and $13.70 for children 4-12. Member discount rates for combination tickets are $16.70 for adults, $12.95 for youth 13 to 17, college students with I.D. & seniors 60+, and $11.20 for children 4-12. Special rates for schools and other groups of 15+ are available; phone (213) 744-2019 for information. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Admission to all other Science Center exhibits is free.

Featured Image: California Science Center © Michael Malyszko

About The Author
Michael Beener
Michael Beener
Michael is the Editor-in-Chief of Go Jetting and Explorer Magazine. An avid traveler, Michael is out of the office more than in the office. Along with travel, he enjoys cycling, photography and the general outdoors.