Questions for ‘How math makes movies like Doctor Strange so otherworldly’

Doctor Strange

Kaecilius, on the right, is a villain and sorcerer in Doctor Strange. He can twist and manipulate the fabric of reality. The film’s visual-effects artists used mathematical patterns, called fractals, illustrate Kaecilius’s abilities on the big screen.

Marvel Studios

To accompany feature “How math makes movies like Doctor Strange so otherworldly


Before Reading:

1.   How might mathematics play a role in making movies? Name some movies where math might have been used.

2.   What specific kinds of math might be useful in creating special effects in movies?

During Reading

1.  Based on Alexis Wajsbrot’s job, what role does a visual-effects artist play in the making of a movie?

2.  Based on this story, what’s a main tool that a special-effects artist might use today?

3.  What is a fractal? Name examples of fractals in nature — things that look about the same up close and from far away.

4.  What is the Mandelbrot Set and who was it named for?

5.  Describe how the famous fractal known as “von Koch’s snowflake” is formed.

6.  How does the concept of dimension help artists create more realistic landscapes using computer programs?

7.  What two mathematical steps are repeated, over and over, in a Mandelbrot Set?

8.  What is a Mandelbulb?

9.  Give an example of how a Mandelbulb was used in a movie.

10.  What qualities should a good visual effects artist have?

After Reading:

1.  In what applications other than movies might fractals be useful?

2.  In what careers — other than movie-making — might a person with strong mathematics and computer programming skills be successful?