Isto é Matemática

Isto é Matemática details

Year: 2012
Support: HD (1920×1080)
Production: 1 month
Company: Sigma3 Lda
Client: SIC Notícias


Isto é Matemática is a weekly show about math. It is broadcasted on the news channel SIC Notícias and online on youtube.
Five minutes of easy to understand explanations are acompanied by real life situations and topped with simple graphics to give the viewer a direct insight on why math is so important on our day to day lives.

The graphics package includes:
– Logo design
– Title sequence and credits
– Content graphics
– On-screen graphics for the first 3 episodes

Intro video


The show is presented by a mathematics college professor (Rogério Martins) and written by a comedy writer (Tiago Caetano), so the bet made by the director (Ricardo “Tiger” da Silva) and the producer (Pedro Miguel Paiva) on hiring me to come up with the show design, logo and title sequence meant that we all needed to sit down and discuss actually what this was all about. We had a few brainstorming sessions where everyone said what they wanted or didn’t want the design to be. The professor didn’t want it to look like a classroom and he also wanted to throw away the idea of maths being boring and difficult (good luck with that). The writer (a former designer himself) had already written the first 3 episodes so we knew what the show was going to be like. The director wanted to convey the idea of mathematics in the title sequence without it looking like a boring geeky show but at the same time reminded us that the channel where the show is on is a news channel so it had to be sober and classy.
The logo was the first thing to be finished. Clean, simple, sober and without any animation or crazy artifacts.
At the same time white was voted by all as the main background color for the title sequence and on-screen graphics.
The idea of having a sequence of videos, each representing some mathematical equation, was put together through the period of 3 weeks.
All the ideas for videos and images were put in writing and discussed in meetings and by email until we reached what is seen now. During that period of time I was working on the overall design and how everything would be put together.

The blue fractal on white is the glue that sticks everything together. It also became the image of the show. Although it is simply just a plug in in After Effects it is in fact very difficult to control and make it what you want it to do. I even considered using an outside solution but due to budget and time constraints I sticked with the simple solution.
Originally the entire title sequence was suppose to be one huge fractal with an ongoing zoom in. The videos and equations would be replicated and broken apart in the fractal and would be also zoomed in. It quickly proved impractical to produce within the time budget, it would also have looked too crazy to be on a news channel.

3D particles
At the end of the title sequence when Rogério is writing an equation in the air, there are thousands of particles flying around. Like the equation, the were all tracked with the video shot on stage so that they would match the camera movement. Unfortunately the only software available to track and render 3D the way I wanted was 3D Studio Max 3.0 that was installed on this 9 year old PC. It took some tricks to put it to work as well as a long time to render all the particles but in the end what matter is the result.

Rogério appears in the title sequence writing one of his equations. Tracking the shot may sound easy but the problem was I wanted him writing in mid air the equation we see on the intro. Of course he is writing nothing, everything else was put in in post-production, this was doable. But what most viewers wont realize is that he is actually writing everything inverted so that the camera sees it correclty. This meant he had to memorize and train how to write it inverted. To make things easier for Rogério and Tiago who was operating the camera, I made a pre-viz with the final music and took it to the studio so we could synchronize the speed of the camera travelling with the writing.

Original frame from video before compositing
(it was actually filmed so that it starts out of focus and then comes into focus as we get closer)


Photoshop CS3
After Effects CS3
3D Studio Max 3.0


iMac 11.1 running OS X 10
Intel Core i5 at 2.66 ghz with 4 cores
4GB of memory running at 1067mhz DDR3

Cannon 5D
And a 9 year old PC running Windows XP for 3D Studio Max 3.0.

Motion design team

Producers: Ricardo “Tiger” da Silva / Pedro Miguel Paiva
Ideas and opinions: Tiago DaCunha Caetano
Camera: Tiago Mineiro
Mathematician: Rogério Martins
Software help: Norberto Santos
Stock footage: iStock


The white particles seen in the beginning of the title sequence and also on some on-screen graphics during the show are actually real filmed particles of flour being blown in the air against a black screen.
Although most of the videos seen in the title sequence were taken with big expensive and professional cameras a bit all over the world, the fingerprint is actually a photo of my thumb taken with my mom’s camera.


Youtube channel:
SIC Notícias:

%d bloggers like this: