A few days ago I finally got a chance to take my kids to see Pixar’s long awaited sequel, Finding Dory. They loved the adorable and funny fish tale of Dory’s search to find her parents, just as much as I thought they would! What surprised me is how much they were in awe over the magnificent animation effects. My son, who loves cinematography and is a bit of a budding film maker himself, was particularly excited by “how real it looked”. I was excited when I learned about the online animation lessons from Pixar in a Box and Khan Academy.
To keep my kids’ interest in animation, I was so excited to share with them a little behind the scenes Finding Dory animation lesson, thanks to Pixar in a Box, provided through Khan Academy.
Pixar in a Box
Khan Academy is an online resource where anyone can access free tutorials, lessons and videos on a wide variety of academics ranging from kindergarten curriculums to physics and computer programming. “Pixar in a Box”, a collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Khan Academy, and sponsored by Disney, is a series of lessons and tutorials designed to teach about computer animation.
My son and I began watching the “Introduction to Effects” lesson, where Pixar animators teach how they make the water scenes in the movie look so realistic by using computer animation techniques. They also taught how they use physics and principles of gravity and elasticity to make the animated movements true to life. The lesson was complex enough that you could tell that they were teaching actual concepts that they use daily, but explained at a level that my son could grasp. I loved that they used actual clips from Finding Dory to demonstrate with, showing how these basic concepts really do come into play in real life animation work. My son was thoroughly enthralled in watching the lesson and has already asked me to download some animation software so that he can try out the concepts that he learned.
If you have a budding film maker or someone interested in computer animation, be sure to check out Pixar in a Box through Khan Academy. It feels like a “behind the scenes” field trip to the Pixar Studios without leaving your home! Plus, they are always adding new lessons for different ages, and different topics.
I was offered an all expense paid trip to LA, for the feature of Finding Dory and Pixar in a Box. All opinions expressed are my own.