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Engineering Is: Making Movies

Cartoons have come a long way since the hand-drawn moving pictures of decades past. Now, the animated films at your local cineplex are made possible by sophisticated computer software created by engineers. Modeling the realistic textures and movement of such things as fur, hair and fabric, for example, takes serious computing power.

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New Physics Simulator Makes Dirt Beautiful

Last year software engineers developed new ways for animators to mimic the movement of swaying trees, and this year another programmer has created a brilliant new physics engine.

The software, called Lagoa Multiphysics 1.0, was created by Thiago Costa, a programmer and technical director for Ubisoft games. Watch as it realistically simulates falling dirt, crumpling silks, and other animated marvels in the eye-popping demo above.

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Video: Maneesh Agrawala, 2009 MacArthur Fellow

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Video: Animusic: Instruments of the Future

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Animusic: Instruments of the Future

Animusic1

Animusic. Video after the jump.

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