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# Math meets artistry

Animation is making changes to a series of images and playing them back in sequence. In computer animation, we use digital models and poses. Animators record the key poses, and then the computer fills in the in-between images using a mathematical function called a spline. The resulting animation appears robotic, which is where animators come in to apply the artistry! Animators adjust the spline to create realistic and expressive motion, bringing characters to life and showing their personality.

## Want to join the conversation?

• Is it true that animating a character is costy? I read a theory that states in Toy Story Andy didn't have a dad because it was too costy to animate one. Is that true? and if so, then how much does it cost to animate a person or a thing? and what makes it that costy in the first place?
• Animating takes a lot of time and effort, which leads to cost.
• I was just wondering.... Is the spline (I'm not sure it is spelled right) the key to making an animation?
• Not necessarily, but yes... most of the time... sort of. The spline bit is the key to easily relating arbitrary frames with a continuous mathematical function, which is key only because we are lazy. You could always do the in between frames yourself, but with out letting mathematics do a lot of the work it would likely look sloppy. A spline is a way to generate a function from any set of points, so the animator can say I want the object to be here at this point in time, and I want it to be over here at this other point in time, and I want to use this spline for all the path and viola the computer knows how to make a smooth path in between. I actually first learned about splines from an engineering class, so they are useful for all kinds of things not just animation. For example over on the javascript + processing.js part you can make a bezier curve just by specifying a few control points. This is probably handled under the hood by a spline. Here is some more reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spline_%28mathematics%29
• What software do you guys use?
• why is the color green?
• Does animation rely on Math all the time?
• Yes. 3D animation is based entirely on maths. Of course, you do not have to be THE best at math to do animation, but it could certainly help
• I see a lot of comments asking questions about a "spline" and I wanted to know what it was.
• I don't get it. How do you Animate? I still don't understand.
• Animation takes a long time. Just practice everyday! I have been animating for a year and a half and I still have lots to improve.
• is coloring the characters cost money