By Thomas Tan
Scuba diving, trips to Paris, Angel's Fall, the tepuis near Mount Roraima and a rubbish dump - what do these have in common?
These are some of the things and places the Pixar research team had to dive into to garner material for the movies, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Up, and Wall-E.
This is not the only tasks the Pixar team undertake before the heart warming animated films hit the screens.
Find out more at Pixar: "20 years of Animation" at the Singapore Science Centre.
Arriving in Singapore for the very first time, the exhibition traces the creative processes from the earliest hand-rendered drawings through to the final stages of digital technology.
With over 500 paintings, concept art, sketches, sculptures, and digital installations to dive into, the exhibition promises to enthrall all Pixar fans.
Exclusive to Singapore's exhibitions are two new attractions - the Zoetrope and the Artscape.
The Zoetrope, featured early in the exhibition, is enclosed in an entirely dark room and is 2.4m in diameter. The exhibit features characters from 'Toy Story' and creates the illusion of static images in motion and shows how each frame in a scene relates to the next.
It's a fascinating exhibit which will keep you enthralled as it brings each character to life before your very eyes.
At the second exclusive exhibit, you will enter the magical world where paintings turn into 3D animation. Be part of the process at the Artscape as the large multimedia projection employs digital technology to bring to life richly detailed scenes of Pixar feature films.
Prepare yourself for an immersive journey through scenes from movies like Cars, Monsters Inc, The Incredibles and Oscar-nominated Up.
Pixar: "20 years of Animation" has toured major cities such as London, New York, Tokyo, Melbourne, Taipei, and Helsinki to critical acclaim.
It works on the vision of Pixar's co-founder and chief creative director John Lasseter: educating and inspiring one about the marriage of traditional artistry and technological advancement.
DeAnn Cobb, one of the exhibition's designers and an instructor at Pixar University, reiterates this further: "His quote (Lasseter's) is that 'the art challenges the technology, and technology inspires the art.' And so it's a perfect circle.
"So within this exhibit and this facility (The Singapore Science Centre), it really is a wonderful place for that to happen."
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A "timely" exhibition
Executive Chairman of Friven & Co. Ltd Gary Loh calls the exhibition a "timely" one as "it's what the Singapore government through the agencies like EDB have been doing to develop Singapore into a global interactive and digital media industry.
In line with this interest, visitors to the exhibition can also expect to discover animation works produced by homegrown talents.
Also, the Singapore Science Centre will offer enrichment programmes to students with an interest in the art of animation technology.
For these students and budding graphic designers, Cobb offers one valuable piece of advice: "Learn to be flexible. It's easy to get stuck on an idea, but if you want to work in a collaborative environment like this (Pixar's) you have to be flexible and to take criticisms and keep working visually on that. "
"Pixar: 20 Years of Animation" is open daily (except on Mondays, school and public holidays) from 10am to 6pm at the Singapore Science Centre.
Admission to the exhibition - inclusive of the admission to the Science Centre and a 3-D Pixar feature film ('Up' in April; 'Toy Story' May; and 'Toy Story 2' June) - is priced at S$24 for adults and S$19 for children aged between 3-16 years old.
The exhibition ends on 27 June 2010. For more information visit www.pixar.com.sg.