One of the intriguing things about visiting Pixar Animation Studios, was seeing how an animated movie comes to life. So many steps and people that bring the characters to the screen for our family. Creating the characters, designing the sets, and lighting the scenes are just some of the pieces. Now you and your children can learn animation online with Pixar in a Box and Khan Academy!
Pixar In A Box: Learn Animation Online with Khan Academy
Pixar in a Box, through Khan Academy, teaches the fundamentals of making an animated movie. With free lessons and topics based on the “pipeline” of the animation process, you will learn from artists, scientists, animators, coders, and more. I’ve gone through the introduction and I’m excited to sit down with my son in the morning and get him started on some lessons!
Lessons and topics on Pixar in a Box are designed for 5th grade and above, and include:
- Environment Modeling: Explore how realistic blades of grass are modeled using parabolic arcs.
- Character Modeling: Explore how clay models are transformed into digital characters using weighted averages.
- Crowds: Explore how swarms of robots were created for WALL-E using combinatorics.
- Animation: Explore how animators bring characters to life with the help of Animation curves.
- Sets & Staging: Explore how virtual sets are constructed using geometric transformations.
- Rendering: Explore how pixels are painted by solving systems of linear equations.
Learning makes us beginners again,” said Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. “In my experience, creativity involves missteps and imperfections, which is one more reason it is important for every one of us to keep learning – in order to remain flexible and keep our brains nimble. By working with Khan Academy on Pixar in a Box, we hope to encourage the excitement of learning and creative thinking for middle and high school students and to provide the tools to do it.
Within those lessons, students can learn the following through Pixar in a Box:
- How combinatorics are used to create crowds, like the swarm of robots in WALL-E.
- How parabolas are used to model environments, like the forest in Brave.
- How weighted averages are used to create characters, like Buzz Lightyear and Woody.
- How linear and cubic interpolation are used to animate characters.
- How trigonometry is used to create the worlds in which Pixar stories take place.
- How simultaneous equations are used to paint all of Pixar’s images.
If building robots and animating The Incredibles sounds like a fun learning experience to you, head over to PixarInABox.org and get started! You can sign up for a free parent account, and add your children’s accounts to it.
Photo Credits: Pixar In A Box