How do animated movies function and what does that have to do with maths?

Animation films are films that consist of many quickly sequentially drawn, computer-calculated or photographed individual images. A huge breakthrough for animated films was the fact that it was no longer necessary to draw each individual image, but only decisive images, called "keyframes". But how exactly can we string the pictures together so that the movements appear fluid and we cannot identify the pictures as such? How exactly do animated films work? And what does that actually have to do with maths?

During the CAMMP day, the students work on the problem of how the movements between individual images can be so approximated, i.e. interpolated by functions, that the human eye perceives the sequence as a fluid movement. They will also create various animations themselves during the CAMMP day.

Duration: from 5 hours (incl. lunch break)
Contents: interpolation
Previous knowledge: Concept of function, differential calculus
Target group: Upper secondary mathematics courses
Created by: Kirsten Wohak, Jannick Wolters
Registration: Appointments can be made individually by e-mail at KIT or RWTH Aachen University.

Source of the image:


The interactive learning material can be accessed via the online platform How to create an account on the platform and use the
material is explained in this video. In addition, accompanying material is provided for teachers on the online platform, which can be accessed via a password that can be requested by e-mail.

List of publications and talks to this modul:

  • Wohak, K.: Complex modeling: How do animated movies work and what does this have to do with math? (presentation), IAMIT, 2018.
  • Wohak, K.: Komplexe Modellierung: Wie funktionieren eigentlich Animationsfilme und was hat das mit Mathe zu tun? (presentation, conference proceedings contribution), GDMV, Paderborn, 2018.

  • Wohak, K.: Wie funktionieren eigentlich Animationsfilme und was hat das mit Mathe zu tun?, Master thesis, RWTH Aachen, 2017.