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   Welcome to Week 3  |  Due Friday Oct 22nd  | 2-3 hours work

Your job for this week is to
sketch your character in their world
Introduction to Visual Language.

courtesy of Khan Academy/Pixar in a Box

Have everyone on your team try these 4 drawing warmups.
Here is a worksheet to help.
These exercises are meant to get each of you more comfortable with drawing.
Exercise 1: Line warm up (15-20 min)

Part A: On a blank sheet of paper write down two different feelings that you’ve had recently. Visually represent the feelings as different kinds of lines.

Part B: Try and draw your character with just one line. What kind of line will they be?

courtesy of Khan Academy/Pixar in a Box

Exercise 2: Shape (10-20 min)

Now think about your own story idea. Identify the shape(s) for your main character.


Try drawing your character using only a few basic shapes.

courtesy of Khan Academy/Pixar in a Box

As a team, brainstorm the look and feel of your character and the world where your story takes place.

Don't worry if you aren't sure what things should look like yet, this is just a warm up.
Final assignment: Sketch your character in their world. (30-60 min)

Part A: Individually do rough sketches of the look of your character and their world.

Part B: Share sketches and discuss as a group which parts best convey your story idea.

Part C: Make a final drawing and choose one team member to upload your image.

Bonus: Try and create the illusion of depth applying what you learned during the space exercise.​

Here is some drawing advice from Pixar artists:

courtesy of Khan Academy/Pixar in a Box

Exercise 3: Tone (10-20 min)

Draw a row of 7 boxes. At one end, make the box as dark as possible. At the other end, leave the box empty. Fill in the rest of the boxes so that they gradually go from dark to light. This exercise is somewhat easier when using a pencil. (For an additional challenge: try using pen, marker, paintbrush or any method you choose).​

courtesy of Khan Academy/Pixar in a Box

Exercise 4: Space (20-30 min)

Try the following. This is a challenging exercise, but an important concept to learn & practice, so be patient with yourself and have fun with it.

  • On a piece of paper, draw a horizontal line and place an “x” somewhere on it. This will be your vanishing point.

  • Now, draw squares of different sizes, some above, below, to the left and right of the vanishing point.

  • Using a ruler, connect the corners closest to the vanishing point with straight lines and see if you can establish a sense of depth.


Here is a partially finished example as a reference:

courtesy of Khan Academy/Pixar in a Box

Watch full livestream (1 hour)
Watch highlight (7 min)


Choose one person from your team to submit your image:

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Tell us what you think!

Please have everyone on your team do this:

How did the first 3 weeks go?
What did you enjoy most and how could we make it better?

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LOUIS GONZALES started in animation in 1996 at Warner Brothers Feature Animation in their Training program where he studied both Layout and Animation.  After graduating from the WBFA internship program he worked on Quest for Camelot, Iron Giant, and Osmosis Jones.
In 2000 Louis moved to Pixar to work starting as a CG Layout artist on Monsters inc. & quickly made his way to the Story department on the Incredibles. His credits at Pixar include Monsters University, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, Ratatouille, Cars, Cars 3, Brave, The Incredibles 1 & 2 and other shorts & films. 
He currently works as a Director at Pixar Animation Studios where he has directed 2 short films. “Nona” (2020) & “Know Your Rights.” (2021)

Our Next Livestream Guests! 
5pm PST/8pm EST Nov 29th on Week 8 page

McKenna Harris is currently a story supervisor on an upcoming film at Pixar Animation Studios. Previously, she was a story lead on Pixar's Luca, and directed its spin-off short Ciao Alberto. Her animation career began in character design on Cartoon Network's We Bare Bears; after Bears, she focused on pursuing storyboarding, which lead to interning in the story department at Sony Pictures Animation, and later joining Walt Disney Feature Animation as a story apprentice. Her feature credits include Wreck-It-Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet, Frozen 2, and Raya and The Last Dragon. In her spare time she loves dreaming up ideas for personal projects, drinking coffee, and binging on Netflix. 

The Public Exhibition is live!

Congratulations to all participants, we were blown away with your passion and dedication.

Shoutout to our wonderful facilitators who provided incredible student support and contributed to the success of the pilot.

Exciting News: There will be a Spring 2022 Story Xperiential with Pixar!  

Dates and program details will be announced early in January (aiming for a mid-Feb start).  For more information add yourself to our waiting list.

For tips on how your students can continue developing their storytelling abilities, please download this Resource sheet.

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