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Pixar in a Box: the math behind the movies

2015-08-27 14:24:17 GMT

Every day, learners around the world visit Khan Academy to brush up their skills and explore new subjects. Maybe you’ve studied math on Khan Academy, and maybe you’ve wondered how artists, scientists, and engineers use math to build amazing things.

To help answer that question, Khan Academy, with support from Disney, teamed up with Pixar Animation Studios to create Pixar in a Box: a free online curriculum that shows how Pixar artists use the concepts we all study in school to create their amazing movies.

Through video lessons, interactive exercises, and hands-on activities, you can learn how Pixar artists use math to solve design problems at each stage of the creative process. In particular, you’ll discover:

- How large swarms of robots in “WALL•E” were designed using combinatorics
- How a field of grass was created in “Brave” using parabolic arcs
- How simple models are transformed into realistic characters using weighted
averages
- How animators bring characters to life with the help of animation curves
- How sets are constructed using geometric transformations
- How all of Pixar’s images are painted using simultaneous equations

But this is just the beginning. In the years ahead, we’ll explore many other subjects, including science, computer science, arts, and humanities.

We’re excited to hear your feedback so we can make Pixar in a Box even better, so let us know what you think in the comments below. We hope you’ll have as much fun exploring Pixar in a Box as we did creating it!

- Brit Cruise, Content Creator