DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition at ArtScience Museum

If you’re a big fan of movies like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and How to Train your Dragon, here’s good news for you: there’s a DreamWorks Animation exhibition on from tomorrow onwards at the ArtScience Museum. It’s perfect for kids of all ages – just in time for the June holidays as well.

The exhibition is divided in to 3 main galleries, Character, Story and World. Here’s a peek into what there is:

1. Character

© 2014 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved

This section unveils the evolution of DreamWorks’ most beloved characters, and gives you rare insight into the thought and detail poured into each character.

Early versions of Po. The animation department had to participate in a tai chi class and many kung fu workshops to understand the mechanics of the motion. Fun fact: every time a scene was finalised in animation, the animator received a fortune cookie with a customised fortune inside!

Early versions of Shrek – glad he evolved! Apparently he had to be like a bulldog; ugly and appealing at the same time.

It also houses 50 exquisitely carved macquettes (small scale models that character designers used to study how light fell on the subject matter)

Did you know that Toothless’s texturing was inspired by a combination of bat skin, shark skin and reptile skin? Each animator also had to attend a 2 week flight school so they really understood flight sequences.

(my favourite one :3)

If you look closely, you’ll see some handwritten notes from the designer that tells the modellers what to pay attention to. Did you know: Alex’s mane comprises of more than 50,000 individual strands of hair, and he has an additional 1,707,279 hairs in his fur. o_O how.

There are also a bunch of fun interesting interactive things to play with! Like the face poser, which lets you manipulate different features of various characters.

Like this one of Po. I made him look as dumb as I could:

2. Story

This section unpacks the story-making process at DreamWorks Animation. The Story Room is where storyboard artists, direectors, writers and producers spend hours  pitching ideas, sketching scenes, developing plots and writing dialogue that may or may not make the final cut.

This was a pretty interesting presentation by Conrad Veron, performing a step-by-step pitch of the entire “interrogating Gingy” scene from Shrek. It’s cool how he goes from frame to frame, explains the situation and voices EVERYTHING from the background music to the voices of the different characters.

Credit to Mark Ashkanasy

There’s also a reconstruction of DreamWorks’ real life workspaces.

3. World


© 2014 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved

© 2014 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved

This final section focuses on the complex and magical environments that DreamWorks films are set in. Look at these amazing mock ups!!

Credit to Mark Ashkanasy

Highlight of the exhibition: Dragon Flight, a 180-degree experience from the perspective of someone flying on the back of Toothless, that gives you a tour of the Isle of Berk (where How to Train your Dragon is set in).

Some other interesting interactive opps:

Control the Ocean with this nifty Ocean Simulator

Try your hand at creating your own short animation sequence with the same software that DreamWorks animators use

You can also get a little crafty and make your own flip books:

And of course, grab some souvenirs at the end of the exhibition.

Definitely will recommend visiting this one! Processes have always intrigued me, especially the creative process. This exhibition offers you a different perspective of your favourite movies and gives you a sneak peek into the conceptualisation of it, and I’m blown away by the amount of detail that has to be looked into at each part of the process.

The exhibition is on from 13 June 2015 at the ArtScience Museum!
Opening hours here:
Daily: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Including public holidays
Last admission at 6:00pm

For the opening weekend (13 & 14 June), we have special guests from ACMI and DreamWorks in to give us special snippets about the exhibition. After 14 June, there’s a whole bunch of programmes that you can take part in, like claymation and animation workshops starting from just $5, and screenings of DreamWorks films, complimentary to ticket holders.

More info on exact programmes, dates and timings here.

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