Beginning October 14, 2017, visitors to Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation will be inspired by the science and technology behind some of the most beloved animated films and their characters, with The Science Behind Pixar. This interactive 10,000 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.
Created by the Museum of Science, Boston and Pixar Animation Studios, and featuring more than 40 interactive elements, The Science Behind Pixar 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 & Cameras, Animation, Simulation, Lighting, and Rendering – providing visitors 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, which opened over two decades ago, to Pixar’s 2015 film Inside Out.
“The Science Behind Pixar is a behind-the-scenes look at how our movies are made,” said Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios. “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.”
The Science Behind Pixar offers a variety of hands-on activities that empower visitors to imagine the STEM concepts behind Pixar’s films in a fun, engaging format. To better understand the science and math that goes into creating the worlds and characters of Pixar’s films, visitors will hear first-hand from members of the studios’ production teams. They will also be invited to experience different roles within the production pipeline, through screen-based activities and physical interactive exhibits. In Sets & Cameras, for example, visitors will discover how a bugs-eye view was achieved for A Bug’s Life, through camera angles and large-set design within the computer. Visitors will envision how digital sculptures are created based on sketches from artists in Modeling, and explore Lighting to solve challenges similar to what Pixar artists faced in creating animated water with virtual light in Finding Nemo. Rigging showcases how the models are given a virtual skeleton to enable the animators to add movement, and in Surfaces, visitors can immerse themselves in the techniques behind adding color and texture to every surface in a film. Visitors 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 is presented locally by Meijer and sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund and Connections Academy. Tickets for members are $5. Non-member ticket prices include admission to the museum and are $26 for adults (12-61), $20.75 for youth (3-11), $24 for seniors (62+) and children 2 and under are free. To purchase tickets, visit www.thehenryford.org.
About The Henry Ford
The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan is an internationally-recognized history destination that explores the American experience of innovation, resourcefulness and ingenuity that helped shape America. A national historic landmark with an unparalleled Archive of American Innovation, The Henry Ford is a force for sparking curiosity and inspiring tomorrow’s innovators. Nearly 1.8 million visitors annually experience its five attractions: Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford Giant Screen Experience. A continually expanding array of content available online provides anytime, anywhere access. The Henry Ford is also home to Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school which educates over 500 students a year on the institution’s campus. In 2014, The Henry Ford premiered its first-ever national television series, The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation, showcasing present-day change-makers and The Henry Ford’s artifacts and unique visitor experiences. Hosted by news correspondent and humorist, Mo Rocca, this Emmy®-winning weekly half-hour show airs Saturday mornings on CBS. For more information please visit our website thehenryford.org.
Support for The Science Behind Pixar
The Science Behind Pixar is funded through support by Google, members of the Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative (SMEC), Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
About Pixar Animation Studios
Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award®-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative and production capabilities in the art of computer animation. Creator of some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Cars,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL•E,” “Up,” “Toy Story 3,” and “Brave,” the Northern California studio has won 30 Academy Awards and its films have grossed more than $10 billion at the worldwide box office to date.
This exhibition was developed by the Museum of Science, Boston in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios.