The Josephus Problem

I edited and animated this video for Numberphile featuring Daniel Erman from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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It presented a number of unique challenges – I had to animate a large number of people performing repetitive actions – ie killing each other.

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So I made it in After Effects and used nested clips and three different animation sequences  – side swipe, stab and ridiculous ninja throw. I then had a fairly simple expression to distribute the little guys around a circle. And built another system that allowed me to drop numbered markers to trigger key frames – so I could sync them with Daniel’s speech.

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The initial draft of the video was far gorier (I think I’m completely desensitized from a watching horror films) so I toned this down after some feedback from Brady. Fortunately,  because I had built it in this super modular way, I could just tweak one animation and hit render on the whole thing.

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