Nathan Roach


Lawyer, Advisor, Investor, Entrepreneur.


Use of Harmonic Functions in Computer Animation at Pixar (article at AMS)

<p>I came across this article published at the American Mathematical Society as part of my morning reading:</p>


Moving Remy in Harmony: Pixar's Use of Harmonic Functions

It's a really interesting discussion of how various geometric formulae are used to enable the characters to move in a natural way.  I think exposing this kind of real-world application of relatively easy-to-understand concepts is a great way for educators to show their students how seemingly austere concepts can be made to do "fun" things that apply to their own lives. 

The animation shops that lead their field today draw upon the talents of artists, mathematicians, programmers, and many other disciplines to tell a compelling story.  The viewer gets to look through the mind's eye of the storyteller, but only because countless professionals have plied their trade to make it all work seamlessly.

So, next time you wonder that "tan" or "cos" key on your calculator is for, just think of talking mice ...

 

[Fair Use Statement:  The image of Remy from Pixar Studios' Ratatouille may be a copyright of Disney/Pixar and used, if at all, herein  for nonprofit educational purposes, and is an insubstantial portion of the work as a whole that does not significantly impact the value or market of the original work.  Any images displayed in this post are links to a third party source and are not hosted or supplied by the author. ]