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Old 05-17-2008, 07:29 PM   #1
NinjaZeroEight
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Default Math in programming.

I've heard that depending on what exactly you're programming, math could be very important. Could someone break it down?
How much math is needed for gameplay programming, graphics programming, tools programming, AI programming etc.?
The reason I ask this is because I`m worried about the school I`m interested in attending. It has some math courses but I don`t know how deep into math its going to go and I don`t want to be screwed because a school decided not to teach me everything I should know.
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:27 AM   #2
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You need to know at least how to use and apply Vectors, Matrices and Quaternions which are used generally throughout games no matter which area of programming you go in.

After that, it becomes more specialised depending on which area of programming going in rather then how much.

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Old 05-20-2008, 07:21 PM   #3
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Yeah, definitely linear algebra and physics.

I'm a game dev student at Full Sail U (graduating next month). They taught us linear algebra (vectors, matrices) and physics (forces, friction, sphere/plane/ray/cylinder/box collision) early on in the program and I did keep coming back to those concepts.

Quaternions, not so much... (Though I heard they could be important for a camera system.)
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Jazz View Post
Yeah, definitely linear algebra and physics.

I'm a game dev student at Full Sail U (graduating next month). They taught us linear algebra (vectors, matrices) and physics (forces, friction, sphere/plane/ray/cylinder/box collision) early on in the program and I did keep coming back to those concepts.

Quaternions, not so much... (Though I heard they could be important for a camera system.)
Did you have to know any of that stuff before attending Full Sail? Or did they teach you all the stuff from scratch?
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaZeroEight View Post
Did you have to know any of that stuff before attending Full Sail? Or did they teach you all the stuff from scratch?
They teach you all of it. But a base understanding in at least Algebra is needed. Another thing I have noticed from interviews is they always ask about the dot product and the cross product. So vector math is extremely important, along with everything everyone else has listed.
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Old 06-04-2008, 03:47 AM   #6
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Be functionally proficient with linear algebra regardless of your discipline. Know how vectors and matrices work and how they interact with one another. Know about dot products and cross products and orthogonal bases and etc etc. Basically the first 2 or 3 chapters of Eric Lengyel's book.

For animation programming, be proficient with the practical uses of quaternions (though not necessarily with all of the theory behind them). It is good for you to know how to use them anyway.

For physics programming and some graphics programming, lots of math can be needed. Despite failing this course in college I recommend you be familiar with calculus up to and including Differential Equations. Tools programming also falls into this category since it can be very similar.

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I don`t want to be screwed because a school decided not to teach me everything I should know.
A school won't teach you everything you should know. Period. You are going to have to do some work on your own to prepare yourself for a game career. (Not necessarily math.) Hopefully you find learning about game programming enjoyable and don't mind doing extra study to get better at it... just realize that people who are good programmers right out of school are the exception rather than the rule. It can take a little work on the side to get a handle on things.
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:43 PM   #7
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Ugh,
How much math do you think you need to know for basic programming? I don't even know what basic programming is really. I guess what I'm trying to say is how much programming do you think a 3D artist , modeler, and/or animator should know and how much math does that involve?
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadoFrost View Post
Ugh,
How much math do you think you need to know for basic programming? I don't even know what basic programming is really. I guess what I'm trying to say is how much programming do you think a 3D artist , modeler, and/or animator should know and how much math does that involve?
For modeling, you should know basic geometry (like the difference between sides, vertices, etc) and how to think in terms of the x,y, and z axises. Really not that much math is required.

I'm not 100% positive on animation, but I think it depends what you're animating. If you're just doing a walk cycle of a human character, not much math is involved. If you plan on using something similar to the IK Spline Tool in Maya for snakes or whatever, you should know your basic trigonometry. For things like water you might need more math.
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilLlama View Post
For modeling, you should know basic geometry (like the difference between sides, vertices, etc) and how to think in terms of the x,y, and z axises. Really not that much math is required.

I'm not 100% positive on animation, but I think it depends what you're animating. If you're just doing a walk cycle of a human character, not much math is involved. If you plan on using something similar to the IK Spline Tool in Maya for snakes or whatever, you should know your basic trigonometry. For things like water you might need more math.
That sounds more setteling. I plan on modeling and animating characters. creatures, and probably basic prop animation. I would love to able to do full CGI animation but that's a long road a head and right now I'm more into 2D and 3D modeling. So would any of that require C++?

Understand I'm a complete programming rookie! I don't even know what C++ is for. Or OpelGL, C# and whatever else there is.
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:31 AM   #10
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So would any of that require C++?
No. Some modelling software have scripting support to do more advanced stuff but no, you do not need to know how to program to be an artist.
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