Alexis Wajsbrot is a visual effects specialist who has worked on a number of high-profile films including Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd, and also on some of those visually stunning commercials you see while waiting for your film to start. His speciality is anything that behaves like a fluid: water, smoke, fire, even
fur or cloth. Plus went to see him to find out more.
The computer animation used in movies and games is now so lifelike, it is very hard to believe that you are actually watching a surface built from simple shapes of triangles. Phil Dench tells Plus how he uses mathematics to help bring these models to life.
If you've ever watched a flock of birds flying at dusk, or a school of fish reacting to a predator, you'll have been amazed by their perfectly choreographed moves. Yet, complex as this behaviour may seem, it's not all that hard to model it on a computer. Lewis Dartnell presents a hands-on guide for creating your own simulations — no previous experience necessary.
In the real world, balls bounce and water splashes because of the laws of physics. In computer games, a physics engine ensures the virtual world behaves realistically. Mathematician and computer programmer Nick Gray tells us about playing God in a virtual world.