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animation mathematics?

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animation mathematics?

Hi! I'm a soon-to-be junior in high school, and I'm going to go to college ina few years to study animation.
I've visited local schools (all two of them) and checked out faculty and such, and I have asked what about prerequisites from high school, and they told me whatever the state standard is for graduation is what they require. I talked to a teacher there and he recommend taking as many drawing classes as I could and classes like video photography (which I am taking this coming year). But my question is what level of math do you all recommend? What kind of math do you use regularly? I though it would be best coming straight from people more experienced in animation than my hs counselor. :p
Thankies all for looking.

It couldn't hurt, especially if you were doing anything in computer animation (although animators don't need alot of math). Particles and simulations need alot of math (matrices, vectors, programming, etc.)

I guess it really depends more on what sort of animation work you want to do:

-2d or 3d character animation - spend as much time as you possibly can drawing. And I seriously mean ALOT of time. It'll be worth the investement. Math definitly won't hurt what you're doing, (I know some animators that work almost entirely in the graph editor) but isn't nearly as necessary as knowing how to draw well (yes, even in 3d land).

-VFX - particles, dynamic simulations, even compositing, math will really be a big help as you get into custom scripts and such. It's actually pretty much a necessity if you want go into feature work. Pay particular attention to trig, matrices, and vectors. A solid foundation in physics is really good for this sort of work, too.

-Everything else - math certainly won't hurt and most tasks rely on simple math in some form or another (trig for instance), but I have yet to use my calculus knowledge in any fashion on the job (other than trivial arguments on the nature of infinity with other arm chair philosophers, but that wasn't work related :D ).

Knowing math might not be bad in case you change your mind and don't want to do animation anymore. I saw a lot of kids drop out of it in college once they found out that it was actually hard work.

Good luck!

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.

Now with more doodling!

Once upon a time having a lot of math was good when going to computer animation but that's really not the case anymore unless you plan on doing a bunch of scripting then math would be really handy.

The interfaces of software today hide all the math; it's not like back when they made TRON and had to write scripts for all the objects and animation and then run them to see what they got.


Department of Computer Animation
Ringling College of Art and Design
Sarasota Florida

Though it could be useful to brush up on math-related terminology in the graphics world, like Bezier curves and tangents, etc...basic physics information, etc.

That's a good question because I was wondering the same thing.

A professor of mine was trying to talk me into staying an extra year and turning my undergraduate computer science minor into a major by taking more math classes and learning about matrices. He said that would provide a "foundation for your 3-d graphics work."

I took Calculus I and II and am hoping that's good enough.