Equations + Algorithms = Movies

Event Date: 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640

Event Contact: 


Theodore Kim, UCSB



A handful of physics equations, backed by an arsenal of numerical algorithms, are used to generate many of the computer graphics images we see at the movies today. These include the Navier-Stokes equations, the non-linear oscillator, and a specialized form of radiative transfer that we call “the rendering equation.” Our jobs would be very easy if we could use off-the-shelf computational physics algorithms to solve these equations, but unfortunately, this is usually not the case. In this talk, I will discuss how we arrived at these particular equations, our preferred methods for solving them, and why various alternatives were discarded.