Friday, March 25, 2016

Events: Visiting The Science Behind Pixar (Franklin Institute in Philadelphia) PART 2

Welcome to Part 2 of our Science Behind Pixar visit! Get all caught up by checking out Part 1 if you haven't already.

OK, now lets jump right back to where we left off... here we are playing with Jessie's facial movements. It was amazing to see the amount of controls that Pixar characters have in their faces; you could give her some very extreme looking expressions! To put it in perspective, us humans only have about 43 muscles in our faces; Pixar's animated characters have about 700 rig controls in their faces! I mean, look at what you can do with the eyebrow alone.

After finishing up the first floor, we headed up the ramp to the next level of activities. I had no idea it was this big! Up we go...

The second floor mainly summarized everything learned thus far about the Pixar production pipeline process, tying it all together! It introduced some new concepts as well.

I loved the circle in the middle of the room that was formed by visual examples and descriptions of the nine step production process (using a scene from Inside Out). It was so cool to see the same scene play out in the different stages of development- from the beginning story & art phase through the final rendering!

We loved visiting with Edna Mode to learn about acting through animation. Remember, luck favors the prepared.

...and NO CAPES!

This was an awesome area where you could make your own little stop motion video using the iconic Luxo lamp! At this point however, things were getting pretty crowded there and we didn't want to hold up the line that was forming; so we just ended up making one really quick. You can get the idea of what it's like though in our brief video below!

If you can make it to this activity while things are still slow, I'd recommend that. Looking back, I would have spent more time with this to make something really fun. I saw some people were getting super creative with the lamp's movements!

 More areas of fun!

This was another one of the favorite interactive stations. At this one, you learn about how distant objects/characters in animation (like the far away cars in the stands below) do not have to be fully detailed models. Since they aren't shown close up, there's no sense of putting all the man hours and rendering time into detail that will never be seen. Knowing when to limit the complexity of a model helps save a ton of time and cuts unnecessary costs.

Of course all good things come to an end...but not before a visit to the fantastic Pixar gift shop near the exit! I felt right at home ;)

In the end, we were there for just a little under three hours- but I could have spent at least an hour or two more. There were a lot of areas/stations that I wasn't able to spend adequate time at and several audio and video clips that I had to bypass. It's funny, when we asked how long it would take to walk through, they said about an hour. As you can see, that is most definitely not the case. Each guest varies of course (depending on levels of interest, attention spans, etc.), but I would plan plenty of time if you're a big Pixar/animation fan!

It was an absolute blast. We all had a great experience! The only slight downside (for us) was the big crowds near the end (which was mostly made up of rowdy teenagers who were more interested in just touching all the stuff than the actual content or learning), but that was no one's fault. The exhibit itself is so well done! I especially love how everything is at your own pace and on your own time. You could wander around there all day if you wanted to.

If you're interested visiting The Science Behind Pixar, pick up your tickets online HERE ($29.95 for adults and $24.95 for children). Don't delay too long! The exhibit runs only for a limited time from now until September 5th.

Last but not least- remember the Reading Terminal Market I mentioned in Part 1? Well, yah...we went back for lunch. It's just too good to pass up! I love the atmosphere there (the hustle and bustle of the city) and all the eating options. Take a look at some of the craziness below-

reading terminal market
reading terminal market
reading terminal market
reading terminal market

By the way, if you want a fantastic roast beef or pork sandwich, I highly recommend Tommy Dinic's there.  

Tommy Dinic's roast beef sandwich

 Yup, a dozen more doughnuts and it wasn't nearly enough. That is all.

reading terminal market doughnuts donuts

So what did you think? Have you visited the exhibit? What was your favorite part? Do you love the food in Philly as much as me? I would love to hear any of your thoughts and/or questions in the comments below!

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