#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

           Numberphile Video:  http://tinyurl.com/ndvpup7

            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.

Check out the Pixar in a Box Badge from the EY website.


38 thoughts on “#56: Math and Animation

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

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

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

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

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

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

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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