#56: Math and Animation

In the videos for this mini spark, Tony DeRose from Pixar talks about 3D animated characters and the math involved to make them look so smooth.  It turns out there is a TON of math behind some of our favorite animated films, and it starts with some of the math learned in middle school!

Spark your math thinking!

1. Set up your math mini spark recording page: #56: Math and Animation
2. Watch the videos linked below and share 10 new items you about math and animation that you learned

TED Ed Video:  http://tinyurl.com/onqhkxk

3.  After watching the videos, click on this link and answer the questions.

4. Share your math mini spark recording page with your teacher/EY coordinator.

38 thoughts on “#56: Math and Animation”

1. Avante says:

That was good. I didn’t even know any of that information.

1. Abby says:

I didn’t know any of this info until now.

2. Nevaeh D. says:

I learned that you can make a smooth circle and how to sculpt the objects in the Pixar movies.

3. Owen, Sunset says:

I watched the YouTube video with the rest of the class and was VERY surprised on how much math that it took to make an animated film!

4. Ava J, 3, Sunset says:

I learned that movies are hard work. Movies also take a lot of math and brain power.

5. I learned that math and some science can make amazing shows and movies.

6. I watched the YouTube video and was surprised at how much math went into making an animated film!!!

7. Wow that video showed that movies have a lot of math in them. At first I did not get it, but now I do. Every time you press split, the surface gets smoother. I like the part where the cube gets smooth! I really like the video.

8. I learned that making movies takes a lot of good math skills. I recognized a lot of words, like: vertex, point. I also noticed the faces and size of the shapes.

9. Our class watched the video of the people who make Pixar movies and shows. You can turn a cube into a circle in about 8 taps on 2 buttons, the split button and the average button. Next time you watch a movie, think about how it is made.

10. I learned that you can smooth out a square or surface by splitting, averaging and subdividing it.

11. I learned that trigonometry, geometry and multiplication play a big role in Pixar animation.

12. I never knew how to animate, but now I do. I think the movie career is great.

13. Casey, 6, Paddock says:

I learned that the animation director for the short film Gari’s game was also a sculptor so he sculpted the some of the character body parts and then digitized them.

14. Wow! Tuesdays video was so cool! This is what I learned. Pixar uses something called coordinate geometry. Also, when something slides it’s called a translation and scaling is making something bigger or smaller. The mathematics of rotation is trigonometry. And that’s all!

15. Lindsay, Paddock says:

I learned that you’ll need trigonometry to make anything rotate in any Pixar films.

16. Elena says:

I had no idea how much math went into making some of Disney’s famous films!

17. Phoebe, 5, Paddock says:

Very odd…I thought animations were made by artists not mathematicians!

18. Emeron, 5, Paddock says:

This question is easy, but I’m pretty positive that if I do go to the seminar, almost all the questions will be sort of hard.

1. lspady says:

I get asked lots of hard questions and I LOVE it! I don’t know a lot of things, so when someone asks me a question I don’t know the answer to, I go to my resources (other people, books, websites, etc.) and I figure it out!

19. Dani, 5, Paddock says:

I learned that to find out the formula to find the infinity point, the formula A1 + B1 4 + C1 divided by 6, will get you there!

20. Jordan, 5, Paddock says:

I had no idea how much math was behind all those movies. They have to do a lot of math to get the characters to spin upside down and walk.

21. Mayerli, 5, Paddock Road says:

I did not even know how much math they use. I thought it was cool when they showed us the sculpture of the hand.

22. Max, 6, Oakdale says:

I learned that algebra is a big part in animation and that by splitting and averaging you can make curves.

23. Maura, 5,Hillside says:

The numberphile video showed how long it can take to make an animation and how many ways animations start out like.

24. Abby, Hillside, 6th says:

I learned that animation is even more complicated than what I was taught last year on Kahn Acadamy! It takes math, and you have to be very precise!

25. Alex 5 Westgate says:

I learned that you need to have good math skills to work in the animation industry (Pixar).

26. Noelle, 4, Paddock Road says:

I learned that when you start with a cube, you can make it in a circlish form by clicking split then average then split then average then click subdivide twice and you will get a circle type of shape.

27. Eddie, Oakdale says:

I didn’t know anything, but the thing I found most interesting was that even trigonometry is used in animation.

28. Lance, 4 Sunset says:

I made a really cool animation. I never knew how hard it was to make one until now.

29. Spencer, Hillside 6 says:

I didn’t know that hedron means in nouns denoting geometric solids having a specified number of plane faces:
“decahedron”

30. Angelina, 6, Hillside says:

In the numberphile video I learned that while smoothing out characters and figures in Pixar movies ,Pixar uses these equations or “rules ” to help. In the 1,1 rule they end up with a degree 2 curves but with another like 1,2,1 they would come out with degree 3 curves.

31. Lily,4,paddock says:

I learned that Pixar uses pascal numerals to get their images.

32. Lily,4,paddock says:

I also learned that a1+b1+ c1 divided by six is also the same as A infinity + B infinity+ C infinity divided by six and you will get the same answer.

33. Tae 6 westbrook says:

That information is very interesting, and I didn’t know most of that until now.

34. Evan A, Loveland says:

I learned that coordinating a whole film with x and y coordinates makes it move. Plus trigonometry makes the character rotate and midpoints make difficult shapes.

35. Kylin, 4 Paddock says:

I learned you can make a circle kinda out of a square.