pixar in a box

I just finished 3 lessons from Pixar In A Box : Storytelling, Character Modelling and Simulation. Things that I would have never taken the time to learn, if Khan Academy did not exist.

Was really intrigued with the concept of subdivision (splitting and averaging), as well as using Hooke’s Law to model parts of characters such as hair, clothing and trees.

Even when I was learning 3D game programming, I had no idea that these concepts were at play. It helped me bridge any technical gap I have, as well as make it easier to communicate with future animators/modellers.

I love that the engineers took time to create a HTML5 animation tool for simulating hair using Hooke’s Law. I love it that they also trouble to teach users step by step of constructing a spring based animation, from the concept of Force all the way down to displacement, and actually rendering the output on the canvas. I believe this tool will survive a very long time, and will help people around the world to start making their own models.

I also really enjoyed the stories of how the Pixar animators and engineers started their careers. There’s something raw and exciting about these individuals (eg: Alonso, Hayley and the crew) when they sit in front of a camera, relating their personal life to the world.