“Pixar Exhibit to Open at the Museum of Science & Industry in May” by S.M. O’Connor

The Science Behind Pixar, a traveling exhibit created by the Museum of Science, Boston and Pixar Animation Studios, will open at the Museum of Science and Industry on Thursday, May 24, 2018, as I mentioned in “The Museum of Science & Industry’s Spring Make Festival” on March 3rd.  It will run through Sunday, January 6, 2019 (the Feast of Epiphany).  The exhibit showcases the science, technology engineering, and mathematical underpinnings of the animated films produced by the artists and computer technicians at Pixar.  Hands-on activities in the exhibit were inspired by the studio’s productions, from the world’s first 3D computer-animated film, Toy Story (1995) to Inside Out (2015).

“Pixar’s pioneering technology sits at the intersection of art, engineering, and science and shows that there are multiple paths to a STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] career,” David Mosena, President and C.E.O. of the Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I), stated in a press release on Monday, March 12, 2018.  “As an institution dedicated to inspiring the inventive genius in everyone, we are excited to show guests the unexpected ways that the fundamental skills taught in science learning – problem solving, trial and error and iteration – are utilized to bring these beloved characters to life.”

The exhibit The Science Behind Pixar is comprised of over forty interactive elements which are divided into eight sections, each one focusing on one step in the filmmaking process: Modeling, Rigging, Surfaces, Sets and Cameras, Animation, Simulation, Lighting, and Rendering.  Each section provides museum visitors with a behind-the-scenes look at the filmmaking process. In the Sets and Cameras area, museum visitors will discover how Pixar achieved an ant’s eye view for A Bug’s Life, through camera angles and large-scale set design within computers.  Museum visitors will be able in the Modeling area to better envision how digital sculptures are created based on sketches from artists.  In the Lighting area, museum visitors will solve challenges similar to what Pixar animators faced in creating animated water for Finding Nemo (2003).  Museum visitors will see in the Rigging area how Pixar gives virtual models virtual skeletons to enable the animators to make the characters move in ways that simulate the natural movements of living creatures.  In the Surfaces area, museum visitors will discover the techniques behind adding color and texture to every surface the audience sees.

Museum visitors will be able to take their pictures with human-sized models of many of their favorite Pixar characters, including Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story; Dory from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory (2016); Mike and Sulley from Monsters, Inc. (2001) and Monsters University (2013); Edna Mode from The Incredibles (2004); and WALL·E from WALL·E (2008).  To learn about the math and science behind creating Pixar films, museum visitors will hear recordings of production team members.  Screen-based activities and physical interactive elements will allow museum visitors to experience various roles within the production pipeline.

The Science Behind Pixar is a behind-the-scenes look at how our movies are made,” stated computer scientist Edwin (“Ed”) Earl Catmull, President of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios.  Dr. Catmull is the author of Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration.  “The interactive exhibition gives people the opportunity to learn about the jobs our filmmakers do every day and tackle similar problems.  It’s a great demonstration of how much creativity and imagination is involved in the science, technology, engineering, art and math thinking essential to our filmmaking process.”

BMO Harris Bank is the local sponsor of The Science Behind Pixar.  The exhibit is not included in Museum Entry (general admission) and requires an additional, timed-entry ticket, $14 for adults and senior citizens and $11 for children.

“BMO Harris Bank proudly supports the Museum of Science and Industry in their mission to inspire and foster creativity among people of all ages,” stated Christopher Begy, U.S. Country Head & C.E.O., BMO Financial Corp and M.S.I. Trustee.  “This interactive exhibition is a great example of what a career in STEM can look like and we’re thrilled to be sponsoring it.”

Pixar_Wall-E_SetsCameras_Interactive_3__c__Nicolaus_Czarnecki.jpgFigure 1 Credit: © Nicolaus Czarnecki Caption: The Science Behind Pixar features over forty interactive elements that demonstrate the technology that supports the creativity and artistry of Pixar’s storytellers.

Pixar_School_of_Fish_Simulation_Interactive__1_Figure 2 Credit: © Nicolaus Czarnecki Caption: In the Lighting area, museum visitors will solve challenges similar to what Pixar animators faced in creating animated water for Finding Nemo (2003).

Pixar_Robots_Modeling_Interactive_2___c__Michael_MalyszkoFigure 3 Credit: © Michael Malyszko Caption: Museum visitors will be able to envision how digital sculptures are created based on sketches from artists.

Pixar_MonstersU_Rigging_Immersive_2__c__Michael_MalyszkoFigure 4 Credit: © Michael Malyszko Caption: Caption: Museum guests will be able to pose with Mike and Sulley from Monsters University and watch how Sulley’s rig moves as he walks.

Pixar_Jessie_Face_Rigging_Interactive_1__1_Figure 5 Credit: © Michael Malyszko Caption: Museum visitors will see how models are given virtual skeletons to enable the animators to add movement.

Pixar_Edna_Mode_Animation_Immersive___c__Nicolaus_CzarneckiFigure 6 Credit: © Nicolaus Czarnecki Caption: Museum visitors will have the opportunity to take their pictures with human-sized recreations of many of their favorite Pixar film characters, such as Edna Mode from The Incredibles.

Pixar_Buzz_Modeling_Immersive_1__c__Michael_MalyszkoFigure 7 Credit: © Michael Malyszko Caption: In the Modeling area, museum visitors can pose for pictures with Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.

Pixar_Lamp_Animation_Interactive_2__1_Figure 8 Credit: © Nicolaus Czarnecki Caption: Museum guests are invited to experience different roles within the production pipeline, through screen-based activities and physical interactive elements.

Pixar_Incredibles_Animation_InteractiveFigure 9 Credit: © Nicolaus Czarnecki Caption: Tactile models and illustrations help illustrate concepts in animation.

Pixar_Cars_Textures_Surfaces_Immersive_1__c__Nicolaus_CzarneckiFigure 10 Credit: © Nicolaus Czarnecki Caption: In the Surfaces area, museum visitors will discover the techniques behind adding color and texture to every surface the audience sees.

 

Located in the northeast corner of Jackson Park, the Museum of Science and Industry stands on 57th Street at the intersection with Lake Shore Drive. The address is 5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60637.  The M.S.I. is open every day of the year with two exceptions: Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.  On most days, it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but during peak periods it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The Website is https://www.msichicago.org/ and the phone number is (773) 684-1414.

 

 

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