What does math.sin(tick()) mean?

This is a quick post, but I was simply wondering what math.sin(tick()) does in RunService.RenderStepped. I know that tick() is an amount of seconds since Jan 1st, 1970, why does the sine function return the incrementing/decrementing values from 1 to -1?

It makes it synchronous to time, and sine function is limited between -1 and 1 in output. If you know the equation for a sine wave on a graph, it’s simply:

See how confined the values are, while t extends infinitely.

No matter how big the number is, the number will always return between -1 and 1.


just make a part, and set its Y position to math.sin(tick()) on renderstepped, you’ll understand it immediately
its just a wave

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So first of all, here is all about sine: ‘Sine - Wikipedia’ (I could write a book about it). RunService.RenderStepped runs prior to each frame being rendered on the client. A more descriptive version of your example would be:

local t = 0
local RunService = game:GetService('RunService')

	-- Increment t with the time step
    -- (time between last and current call of this event)
	t += step
    -- You can see how 't' evolves over time by 1 per second
	print(math.sin(t), t)

I used step in combination with ‘t’ to show how tick() was used in your example.

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