Monday, April 24, 2006

Pixar's Cars

I went to the Pixar exhibit at the Science Museum yesterday. It was a bit disappointing in that it wasn't nearly as extensive as the Lord of the Rings exhibit a couple of years ago, but I still found a couple of things of interest. For one thing, it made it completely obvious that Pixar is dominated by artists. Most of the exhibition was made up of incredible drawings, paintings, even collages, executed by the artists during the design phase, as well as incredibly detailed clay sculptures which were digitized to create the "in-computer" character. The level of skill exhibited in almost all of these works was pretty impressive.

Another really cool thing was the "21st Century Zoetrope", which was a 3-D zoetrope, made up of models mounted on a turntable, which, when spun and then illuminated by strobe lighting, brought a multitude of Pixar characters to seeming 3-D life! Great fun.

I also enjoyed the movie made for the exhibition. In keeping with its theme, all of the art in the movie was painted by hand, although computers were used to animate these static drawings in a quite evocative way.

Finally, the exhibition really made me want to see Cars, the next Pixar release. I found this poster on the web, and it's got all kinds of cool jokes in it. (Look now if you want to see what you can spot yourself.)

Back already? OK, what I saw was the petrol-cap-shaped rock in the foreground: the tall rocks in the background shaped like the fins of '50s cars: the contrails in the sky which look like tyre tracks: the helicopter with the Dinoco logo (the gas station in Toy Story was a Dinoco): the LightYear blimp. If you spot any others, let me know!


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