Sunday, June 29, 2014

Modeling Data

I recently decided to dive into what modeling data looks like, or more specifically, what can it look like?  To do this, I experimented for a while with my graphing calculator to see what I could draw using some simple equations.  I figured that since the equations that I was using were very simple, they would give me a good idea of the, sort of, bottom line of what is possible on the high end of data modeling.  So these are just a few examples of what I came up with.

y = 10sin(cos(tan(x)))

y = 10sin(cos(4x))

y = 90sin(550x)

 y = 10cos(sin(4x))

After experimenting with these "bottom line" examples of data modeling.  I began to think about the top end.  If images like these can be made from simple formulas, what can be made from more complicated formulas?  The most complicated formulas?  I actually got to thinking that there must be some way to model literally anything based on formulas.  I got to thinking of what this might look like and thought, CGI!!! So I did a little digging into this and found something really interesting.

This link takes you to a page that outlines, in brief, how the creators of the movie "Tangled" actually programmed and used formulas to get the hair to do what it was supposed to.  They talk about how this type of "data modeling" is absolutely necessary to get the realistic effect that many CGI and animated movies display.  This also fits in with the fractals that we talked about that are essential to creating and modeling the realism that is inherent in the world around us.  So from crude pictures of flowers to intricate modeling of a princess' hair, modeling data is the basis.  Pretty cool. 

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