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Overview of Pixar in a box

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Video transcript

- Welcome to Pixar In A Box a collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios - and the Khan Academy. - I'm Fran, I work here on the technical side of things. - And I'm Alex, I work here on the art and story side of things. - (Fran) Pixar In A Box will introduce you to some of the fundamental skills we use to make our movies. - (Alex) There's examples of real life film challenges that show how an artist's idea can create a tidal wave of technical creativity. And how technical advances can inspire artists to think of new ideas to bring to the screen. You'll meet artists, scientists, animators, coders, sculptors, all kinds of different people. - And the thing is, most of them use skills you may already be learning in school. But here in the Box, you can see how we use those skills to make cool stuff. Before you dive into these lessons, you should see how it all fits together inside Pixar, the real Pixar. Come on, check it out. (light, flittering music) - At Pixar on any given day we're working on various stages of many films. - But it all begins with an idea. For example, "Toy Story" started with the notion that when kids leave the room their toys come to life. And, honestly, I was convinced that my toys did that. (scampering instrumental music) - Our films start in story, along with the director and the writer we figure out what happens using simple drawings. - (Fran) It's kind of like a comic book. - (Alex) Exactly, and while we're drawing, production designers and their team start designing the world and the characters. (smooth, cheerful orchestral music) While they're painting and drawing and scultping our storyboards go to editorial, where they string together all the drawings that we've created. - We time them out, add music, dialogue and sound effects. (clicking) - He's the only one who knew what the heck was going aaaaaaahhhhhhh! - And as these shots go through each stage in production, we'll update the scene over and over again. And this is where the science and the math come in. - Who knew what the heck was going aaaaaaahhhhhhh! (mischevious music) - What's next? Pipeline, we're ready to start making the film you'll see in the theater and this happens in a particular order. It's time for our technical artist to figure out how we're going to create the movie in the computer. - I've been here for nine years and I still have no idea how you guys turn our drawings into the finished film. - To be honest, something stumps us on every movie. - Hey Galyn. - Hey. - You've been here since Toy Story, what's been hard on each film? - Well on Toy Story everything. Here let me show you. On Toy Story we were inventing the entire process from scratch. Monsters Incorporated, fur and clothing. On Cars, reflective metal surfaces. On every new film there's a new technical challenge. On Inside Out we had to deal with a character made of glowing particles and it took lots of people to figure out just that one thing. - (Alex) Whoa, what is she made of? - Her shape will be made of points and particles of light. She was tough, this is the 17th version. - And the characters have to move, so someone has to add controls to the model. - Like a puppet, right? - Yes, except instead of strings, our animators will use a computer program to move the characters in a digital world. (bemused music) Next in the pipeline, sets. (playful music) - (Alex) So for Cars 2 you built the entire city of London? - We needed a huge chunk of the city because Mayor and McQueen speed through it. So we figured out to grow buildings with enough variation for them to look real. - (Fran) And we move through that set with our virtual cameras. Next up, animation. - I do know what the animators do. They bring the characters to life. - (Fran) You see how she's moving but her clothes and hair are missing? Adding and moving those elements is going to be someone else's job further down the pipeline. And by somebody else, I mean me and about 20 other simulation technical artists. Where are you getting all these shirts? We have to build everything you see, including the textures and surfaces which help make the world and characters believable. Next stop, lighting. - Ironically it's really dark in the lighting department. (playful music) So when you start, there are no lights? - No any source of light is something we have to add into the scene. In this shot alone there are 230 lights. - (Fran) Last stop, the Renderfarm. - A film is really a series of images or frames. There's 24 of them every second. (light, moving music) - (Fran) This is where we make the frames. Everything comes together here, all the art, math and science. A single frame can take more than 24 hours to render, and that's just one frame, and that's assuming we don't run into any snags. - Whoa! (thuds) (soaring orchestral music) - Wow, it's incredible seeing final shots. And now that I know how they're made, even cooler. - So that's the tour, our next step is to jump back into the Box and choose a lesson. What do you want to try? - Well this one on building robots using combinatorics, that looks pretty cool. - What about the one on sets and staging? - Yeah or the one on animating The Incredibles. - (Fran) Awesome, I always wanted to animate. (silly trumpet music)