Pixar in a Box Helps Animators Sharpen Their Skills
March 30, 2020

Pixar in a Box Helps Animators Sharpen Their Skills

Are you an animator with a lot of free time on your hands right now? If so, you can hone your skills with help from the experts.

Pixar and Khan Academy have collaborated to create, develop, and promote a series of learning tutorials

that demonstrate how traditional school subjects such as math, science, and the arts are a
vital part of the everyday work put into Pixar's filmmaking process.

Called Pixar in a Box, the free online curriculum is a behind-the-scenes look at how Pixar artists do their jobs. You will be able to animate bouncing balls, build a swarm of robots, and make virtual fireworks explode. This collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Khan Academy is sponsored by Disney. 

Pixar in a Box launched on August 27, 2015. 

The course is meant to teach students about how various math and science concepts they learn in school are applied to making films and the various challenges that Pixar animators face. It does that in the form of a series of learning tutorials, which include videos, activities and quizzes. The videos are narrated by Pixar staff. For each video and quiz, students earn a certain amount energy points depending on how much of the video they watch or how well they do on the quiz.

The course started out with eight topics, but more have been added since.

  • Orientation
  • The Art of Storytelling
  • The Art of Lighting
  • Simulation
  • Color Science
  • Virtual Cameras
  • Effects
  • Patterns
  • Rigging
  • Animation
  • Environment Modeling
  • Character Modeling
  • Crowds
  • Sets & Staging
  • Rendering

Each topic is further divided into two lessons, one of which is easier and only requires elementary math concepts, while the other is harder and more technical. Visit pixarinabox.org. 

Disney Imagineers have also teamed with Khan Academy to create the free kid-friendly Imagineering in a Box, which focuses on how the immersive lands at Disney’s parks and attractions were made.