A: What math? A lot of my animation work has to do with math. Like how exactly to arrange a group of figures to create a 3D object. In one of my first films (my first animation feature), I used 3/4 math to animate three people. In fact, I still use the “3/4” math and “5/6” in a lot of my animation work to animate characters.
Q: What’s the relationship between animators and math?
A: My main animation students, who are at college, are using math right now, even though I’m sure there are some who aren’t. Of course, I don’t want them to forget their math. But in our classes, many of the students aren’t sure how to use math because there are little bits of math everywhere, from the drawings we make to the equations we use to draw a figure for animation. They’re not sure how to make sense of the information. But I encourage the students to explore the math as much as possible—they need to know how it works before they can understand how it relates to other issues.
Q: How do mathematicians and artists relate to one another?
A: Animation uses math. It’s a tool that I know about, but I’ve got no real way to express that knowledge in my work. I’m an educator, and the most effective way for me to spread my education is simply to share math concepts with other people who might be interested, but they do very little research themselves. What I do most is to take pictures and use math to animate them. If anyone has some ideas for math for animation, let me know, and I’d be happy to look at it.
Q: What’s the best part of doing animation?
A: For me, animating is probably the best possible part, because it’s fun again, you get to take pictures to animate and they’re more dynamic — they show you a bit of your own personality and help you understand the world. I can work more efficiently, and that means more money, too.
Q: Why did you start doing 3D animation?
A: I started doing animation a long time ago. Back in the early 2000s, I was working for a small studio in New York, making stop-motion cartoons for kids, so I had a lot of free time. The time in my life I spent drawing stop-motion was quite leisurely,
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