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Hands-on activities explore the science behind filmmaking; it's called 'The Science Behind Pixar' and it opens Feb. 23 and continues through March 3

COURTESY: OMSI - The 'The Science Behind Pixar' exhibit will include many interactive stations that feature the likes of characters such as Buzz Lightyear from 'Toy Story.'Pixar Animation Studios has brought us "Toy Story," "Finding Nemo," "Monsters, Inc.," "Cars," "The Incredibles" and many more movies that appeal to children, teens and adults.

And now, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry hopes to attract the same kind of fans to its next exhibit, "The Science Behind Pixar," an in-depth look at how Pixar Animation Studios puts out such wonderful animated movies.

The exhibit opens Saturday, Feb. 23, at OMSI, 1945 S.E. Water Ave., and continues through Sept. 3.

"This is going to be popular for all the right reasons," says exhibit curator Jennifer Powers. "This is a great exhibit that showcases science, technology and careers in the STEAM fields (science, technology, engineering, art and math) through art and animation and Pixar films. It's a great way to learn about science.

"I think it'll be accessible for people much older and younger. It's very applicable to all of us and evokes our emotions. 'Do they do that through computer science and technology?' ... It's definitely exciting for anybody who wants more information about how Pixar movies are made; even for people who don't think scientifically, but about art and animation."

It's a highly hands-on interactive exhibit spread over 13,000 square feet with 60 stations that help teach visitors what goes into making an animated movie. Kids can get their photos taken next to life-size figures of Buzz Lightyear from "Toy Story" and Dory from "Finding Nemo."

COURTESY: OMSI - Kids can get their pictures next to Dory from 'Finding Nemo.'There are eight sections that focus on the steps of the filmmaking process:

• Modeling — Envision how digital sculptures are created based on sketches.

• Rigging — Showcases how models are given a virtual skeleton for animators to make movement.

• Surfaces — Understand the techniques behind adding color and texture.

• Sets/Cameras — Discover how a bugs-eye view was achieved for "A Bug's Life" through camera angles and set design.

• Animation — See how animators bring characters to life, posing them to act out scenes.

• Simulation — Examine how computer effects create believable moments, such as with a school of fish in "Finding Nemo."

• Lighting — Solve hands-on lighting challenges in creating things, including water in "Finding Nemo."

• Rendering — Explore how animators turn data and programming into the final film.

The exhibit was created by the Museum of Science, Boston and Pixar Animation Studios.

Nancy Stueber, the OMSI chief executive officer, says visitors will enjoy how the exhibit breaks down the filmmaking process.

"Digital animation classes are very popular at OMSI," she says. "They're not only fun and engaging, but they emphasize the STEAM skills that go into computer animation."

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