News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 2 to 3 p.m.

New exhibit explores the science behind Pixar movies




Visitors use rig controls on Jessie's face (from Toy Story) to create expressions.
Visitors use rig controls on Jessie's face (from Toy Story) to create expressions.
Michael Malyszko
Visitors use rig controls on Jessie's face (from Toy Story) to create expressions.
Visitors adjust the lighting for their photo with Dory.
Michael Malyszko
Visitors use rig controls on Jessie's face (from Toy Story) to create expressions.
Visitors examine how a water simulation is developed.
Nicolaus Czarnecki
Visitors use rig controls on Jessie's face (from Toy Story) to create expressions.
Visitors use focus distance to tell a story with WALL•E.
Nicolaus Czarnecki
Visitors use rig controls on Jessie's face (from Toy Story) to create expressions.
Visitors pose with Mike and Sulley and watch how Sulley’s rig moves as he walks.
Michael Malyszko
Visitors use rig controls on Jessie's face (from Toy Story) to create expressions.
Visitors pose with human-sized models of some of their favorite Pixar characters, including Buzz Lightyear and Mike & Sulley.
Michael Malyszko
Visitors use rig controls on Jessie's face (from Toy Story) to create expressions.
Learn how cameras tell a story while taking a selfie with WALL•E.
Nicolaus Czarnecki
Visitors use rig controls on Jessie's face (from Toy Story) to create expressions.
Visitors pose with models of some of their favorite Pixar characters, including Edna Mode.
Nicolaus Czarnecki


Listen to story

08:40
Download this story 14MB

For those who want to learn about the math and science behind some of Pixar's biggest hits like "Brave," "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo," they can now go to the California Science Center's newest exhibit, a 12,000-square foot interactive exhibition.

"This exhibit is not about the creative side," explained Tom Porter, Pixar's senior vice president of production. "This is about the ten departments represented on the technical side of Pixar."

Porter recently sat down with Alex Cohen to talk about the exhibit.

Attendees can learn about how Pixar used math to create the bumpy surface on Mr. Potato Head in "Toy Story," or how they created water in "Finding Nemo." There's also an entire video on Merida's curly hair in the movie "Brave," which Porter said was particularly difficult to build and creating realistic curly hair in an animated film hadn't been done before. 

"You know, this is the main character. She's going to be in 80 percent of the shots of the film. She's going to be in a lot of different situations with wind blowing. She's on horseback. Maybe rain's falling in the hair. There's a lot of work that you have to do in the early days of the film as you come to understand what that character looks like to prepare for maybe 1600 different shots of the film with her hair in all sorts of situations."

Ultimately designers at Pixar turned to a real-world item to solve their curly hair problem: springs.

To hear the entire conversation click on the audio link embedded at the top of this post.