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Animation

Animation has concluded its run at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

animation is everywhereWe encounter some form of animation every time we turn on the television, go to a movie, or surf the Internet, but how many of us understand how animation really works? Get ready to explore the science behind the art when you visit the Animation exhibit!

In the exhibit, visitors explore animation from concept to finished product—from storyboarding, character design, and drawing techniques, to movement, timing, filming, and sound. Larger-than-life graphics of popular Cartoon Network characters provide a colorful backdrop to the exhibit, which also explores the history of animation and features a screening room and a cartoon museum.

Math and science are fundamental to animation. Before producing an animated sequence, an animator plots out a character's "path of action" on a grid. An animator creates characters in scale with their environments through the use of basic geometry and spatial sense. To illustrate convincing movement, animators apply knowledge of the physics of motion, and the science of human perception.

The six thematic areas explored in the exhibit include:

DinoHistory - Learn about early animation and apparent motion. Visitors can try using a praxinoscope, posing a three-dimensional figure and spinning it to see the figures morph into a single animation. At the Penny Arcade, you can "crank" out animations with an old-fashioned mutoscope.


CharAnimation Studio - Explore the process of animation, story creation, and animator techniques and tools. You can develop a storyboard from a series of picture cards, design objects with a pantograph, and create scenes using layered cels and moving backgrounds.


EdwardoArt in Motion - With help from the characters of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, discover why art and math are important allies when it comes to creating characters, motion, and change. The illusion of movement will come alive as you magically "move" around a room without using your legs.


Dee DeeAnimation Laboratory - In Dexter's Laboratory, you can delve into the science and technology that make animation possible. Create the illusion of a bouncing ball with the technique of "squash and stretch" and find out how the action slows down or speeds up with time-lapse videos. You can also see yourself hover while exploring visual effects in a full-body interactive experience.


Numba FiveSound and Stage - Discover the principles of sound and phonetics with the Kids Next Door, while exploring the complexity of matching phrases to different mouth shapes. You can add your own voice to a silent animation, and set the mood of a film by selecting background music from a variety of soundtracks.


Scooby-DooCartoon Museum - Take a seat in an intimate theater setting and view clips of popular animations while learning the secrets behind their production. Examine important artifacts such as cels, models, and storyboard drawings from classic and favorite animations such as Scooby-Doo, The Powerpuff Girls, and The Flintstones.


Several exhibit areas feature digital slide shows of real animators working in the studios at Cartoon Network. Visitors will learn about the skills and training needed to pursue a career in animation.

Animation was created and is circulated by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, Oregon. ™ and © 2008 Cartoon Network. All rights reserved.

Sponsored by The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation