Travel Blog

25 Apr

Discover the secrets behind Toy Story, The Incredibles and more in The Science of Pixar

Ever wonder what kind of technology goes into making movies like Up, Monsters Inc., and Toy Story?

Beginning on May 19 and running until Jan. 6, 2019, Science World will present The Science Behind Pixar. The exhibition features more than 40 interactive elements, and is broken into eight sections, including modeling, animation, and rendering. All told, the exhibit will take up 12,000 square feet.

Read more below.

Created by the Museum of Science, Boston and Pixar Animation Studios, The Science Behind Pixar showcases the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts used by the artists and computer scientists at Pixar. 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. These include the first-ever computer animated feature film Toy Story, which opened over two decades ago, to Pixar’s summer 2015 release, Inside Out.

As mentioned, the exhibit is divided into eight sections, each with its own interactive elements. In Sets Cameras, for example, visitors will discover how a bugs-eye view was achieved for A Bug’s Life. In Modeling, visitors will envision how digital sculptures are created based on sketches from artists. In Lighting, they can 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. In Surfaces, visitors can immerse themselves in the techniques behind adding colour 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.

In The Science of Pixar exhibit at Science World, visitors will have the opportunity to take their photo with human-size recreations of many of their favorite Pixar film characters. Pictured: a couple of monsters.

“Throughout the exhibition, visitors will engage in hands-on, screen-based, and physical activities that let them explore the computational thinking skills behind Pixar’s process in a compelling and participatory way,” said Ioannis Miaoulis, Museum of Science, Boston president and director, in a media release.

“The Science Behind Pixar explores the creativity and artistry of the Pixar filmmakers, highlighting how computers are used as a filmmaking tool. The exhibition puts you into the role of each aspect of the Pixar filmmaking process, and we hope visitors will increase their knowledge and understanding of the core STEM content behind computer animation.”

According to Wiki, “Pixar began in 1979 as the Graphics Group, part of the Lucasfilm computer division, before its spin-out as a corporation in 1986, with funding by Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, who became the majority shareholder.  Disney purchased Pixar in 2006 at a valuation of $7.4 billion.”

The Science Behind Pixar runs May 19 until Jan 6, 2019. For ticket info, visit

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