What makes computer animation characters look so smooth? Hint: It’s not the artists.

At its root, CGI is a technological illusion, a bunch of numbers, coordinates, and equations that combine to form visual imagery onscreen. The following video from the YouTube channel Numberphile offers a primer on CGI math which is as good as any I’ve ever seen, and might even help the layperson finally understand what Catmull-Clark subdivision surfaces (PDF link) actually mean.

The speaker is Pixar’s research group lead Tony DeRose, who shared a Scientific and Technical Academy Award in 2006 with Ed Catmull and others for his role in the invention and application of subdivision surfaces (read DeRose’s work on the subject in this PDF).

(Thanks, Stephen Leotti, via Cartoon Brew’s Facebook group)

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Cartoon Brew's Publisher and Editor-at-large.