Math and Science, Art and Creativity

What to math and science have to do with art and creativity? For my Friday video this week, another TED talk: Danielle Feinberg, Pixar’s director of photography. Watch how animated she becomes as she talks about what she does. At about 2:35 or so in, she’s demonstrating how they create landscape with 3D lighting. It’s not the single main point of the talk, but it’s such a great look at somebody who loves with what they do for a living:

There is this moment in lighting that made me fall utterly in love with it. It’s the moment where all the pieces come together, and suddenly the world comes to life, as if it’s an actual place that exists.

I love it when people are in love with their work, and when they find something to do that they love, and pays them. This is clearly the case here. And it’s also a good reminder of the relationship between math and science and art and creativity. Some millennials I know divide the world into quant vs. fluffy. This kind of art is both.

The TED introduction says:

 she creates stories with soul and wonder using math, science and code. Go behind the scenes of Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Brave, WALL-E and more, and discover how Pixar interweaves art and science to create fantastic worlds where the things you imagine can become real.

The link to the source video on TED:


  • Robert Becker says:

    This is great! Thanks for sharing.

  • Stephen Lahey says:

    I’ll be sharing this with my daughter (12). She’s creative, yet she also likes math. I’ve told her that there are ways to bring both of these elements together and this clip gives me another way to illustrate this – thanks!

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