Pixar in a Box is a free online animation training curriculum developed as a joint venture by Pixar and the Khan Academy. The classes include effects, character modeling, rigging, sets and staging, and rendering, as well as a number of important topics that may not have occurred to you are part of the process. I am signing up with Khan Academy (mostly so I can save my progress and don’t have to wonder where I am on a given course) and checking out the wide range of free math, science, and computer programming online classes they have to offer, starting with the animation training. That isn’t all they have of course; history, art, economics, and many more topics are also available. But I only have so many hours a day that aren’t spent at work, so I have to choose which classes I take carefully. To give you an idea of what they have on offer, here is the Pixar class overview that they start the training with.

Stan Lee is one of the instructors at the Smithsonian class The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture, along with several others. The basic course takes 6 weeks and is free, but if you want a verified certificate that will cost $50; if you pass the class, besides the certificate itself you will get digital artwork created by comic book artist Dennis Calero (X-Factor, X-Men Noir). It was created just for this course, and is digitally signed by Stan Lee and Michael Uslan. This is the 4th time they are holding the course, and the first class took place/was posted this week, on the 17th. Since it is an online course, you can take it at any time, but it is fun having the forums to interact with your classmates and instructors as each week’s materials are posted. EdX is a massively open online educational system with some very interesting classes started by a collaboration between MIT and Harvard that quickly expanded to some of the best schools on the planet.