Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pixar's Free Online Tutorials

Pixar has released a free online course to explain the science and technology behind its approach to making computer-generated animated films. The interactive course covers most of the math-based aspects of the production pipeline, such as character modeling, environment modeling, combinatorics, animation physics, and surface rendering.

Here's the intro video (link to YouTube), which amusingly shows a lot of handmade skills (such as sculpting clay and drawing with markers—and relatively primitive technology, such as an Ektagraphic slide projector.

This video, for example, takes a look at the lighting factors and surface qualities that contribute to the color of an object. (Link to YouTube) The presentation seems intended for school-age learners rather than fellow professionals or mega-geeks. Each segment is presented by someone from the department in question.
Missing from the presentation is the softer science of Pixar's process, such as how they approach story development, character design, and acting for animation. I hope they include those topics in future teaching modules.

Pixar in a Box
Via Design Taxi


Robert Trujillo/Tres said...

Wow, I've met a couple of people who work there because I live in Oakland, but this type of inside eye into process is cool. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the review! We are in fact planning lessons on the soft side, stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

james, you have shared a lovely video link about science behind making an animated films. I worked as an animator for several years in the industry.and today offering
free online courses in the same domain. Also liked your article on photography & computer graphics..thanks for sharing..