0. Getting Started with manim – Motivation

If you’re here, you probably know what manim is: it’s the animation engine used by Grant Sanderson to create exploratory mathematical animations for his YouTube channel 3Blue1Brown. I won’t be getting into the history/details of manim; if you’re interested to know about it, go to 3blue1brown.com and explore (I would suggest you also take a look at 3b1b’s patreon page).

Cutting right to the chase, getting started with the newer version of manim is comparatively easier than the previous version.

Cutting right to the chase, getting started with the newer version of manim is comparatively easier than the previous version. For this series we will be using the git commit ac903024.

After cloning manim from https://github.com/3b1b/manim do a quick git checkout:

$ git checkout ac903024

This is similar to using specific version of a package, just to maintain consistency throughout the tutorials.

Setting up manim is explained in the next post and working with it in the subsequent posts.

With all that housekeeping out of the way, we’ll now shift our focus on creating some fancy math animations.
As is with any new tool, just knowing about the different features falls short unless those tools are actually used in a project (or maybe that’s just me), Therefore, in this series we will recreate the following video, and, as the old adage goes, we’ll dissect that code when we’ll come to it.

The motivation for animating transformations is that it’s one of those fundamental topics in mathematics whose geometric interpretation is often overshadowed when compared to its algebraic counterpart.

That being said, what I’ve chosen to animate here might not be of particular interest for all, but nevertheless, it’ll cover most of the basics concepts required for getting started with manim.

The goal of these subsequent blog posts is not to make the reader understand a specific topic in mathematics. Instead, we are using the said topic as a bird’s eye view for exploring the basics of manim.

If you just want to follow and you’re not a big fan of transformations (or mathematics), it would not make a difference. ( There won’t be any mathematical notations (or concepts) in the series The math involved lies in the rationalization of why the animation/objects were chosen for this topic – which won’t be covered in this post – may be in future I’ll write a separate post about it)

For all our practical purposes of this series, we’ll be rendering the video shown above.

The categorization for this series is as follows:

  1. Installing manim
  2. Creating the first Scene
  3. Rotations and Transformations
  4. Writing Texts