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Pixar: The math behind the movies - Tony DeRose


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The folks at Pixar are widely known as some of the world's best storytellers and animators. They are perhaps less recognized as some of the most innovative math whizzes around. Pixar Research Lead Tony DeRose delves into the math behind the animations, explaining how arithmetic, trigonometry and geometry help bring Woody and the rest of your favorite characters to life.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Pixar's Senior Scientist explains how math makes the movies and games we love!Here's a Khan Academy lesson on Descartes and Cartesian coordinates.To see how math can really affect your life, check out this series of TED-Ed Lessons called Math in Real Life!For instance, we now know that math plays an important role in making movies, but what about in sports? See this gridiron lesson to learn just how math informs how you tackle and (hopefully) score a touchdown. If you're really good at folding paper, math may also get you to the moon.Math is even in our favorite cartoons. Are SpongeBob's pants really square? Is Gary's shell a logarithmic spiral? No. But, how can we figure out if SpongeBob's house is actually a pineapple? There's math everywhere! Let's use Fibonacci numbers to help us determine this mathematical quandary.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Speaker Tony Derose

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