• Pradyumna Nag

Can math make you $7.5B richer?

Can the power of math win you 21 Academy Awards & 9 Golden Globes?

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How about grossing $15B in the box office?

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Or help you to be worth $7.5B?


Surprised?


Not if you are Pixar.


The secret to Pixar’s super high quality & detailed animations and lightning-quick movie production is a single mathematical concept –


Fractals


Remember how branches of the tree repeat themselves as they grow with each new branch having its own branches?


That’s a simple expression of Fractals.


Benoit Mandelbrot created the first mathematical set to explain this phenomenon.

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Loren Carpenter, working for Boeing used this set to generate computer graphics to simulate a mountainous background in minutes.

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This would have taken his team decades to complete – but using this self-replication, it was done in minutes.

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Loren realized how big this idea was and went on to co-found Pixar.


Pixar developed their rendering engine on the basis of this model – RenderMan.

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Boom.

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The renders were some of the most realistic to date.


Fractals are now behind every one of Pixar’s movies since then.

[ Remember how branches of the tree repeat themselves as they grow? That’s a simple expression of Fractals. Fractals are the expression for patterns in nature that appear exactly the same way at varying scales of magnification with repetitions maintaining self-similarity. ]


Of course, all the other bits to making a movie are equally important, but this gave them years to focus on the other things that mattered.


So now you know why it’s so realistic – it's because it mimics the code behind nature itself.


Did you know about this before?


#animation #math #tech #media #movies #stories