How to create math animations?

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Andrius Kulikauskas

Nov 4, 2016, 5:38:33 PM11/4/16
Hello everybody,

I would like to create some math animations for a talk and art show that
I'm giving on November 16 at the Klaipeda Science and Art Festival.

I want to illustrate six transformations which I write about here:

Namely, they are Reflection, Shear, Rotation, Dilation, Squeeze and

In my talk, I relate them to different ways that they were applied by
Chinese poets of the Tang dynasty to evoke different moods. Here is my
talk in Lithuanian:

The main idea is that, emotionally, we draw an important boundary
between how our expectations apply to our selves and the rest of the
world. For example, if our expectations aren't met regarding ourselves,
we feel sad. If they aren't met regarding the world, we feel
surprised. I claim that our minds apply different geometries and
transformations to reshape this boundary.

I want to create some simple animations, for example, to increase or
decrease the size of a wild goose (dilation), or to move it across a
screen (translation) and so on. I would like to use my own images for
the figure and the background.

What is simplest?

Should I create animated GIFs? Is there an open source program that is

I am using Linux and GIMP. I can code in Python, PHP, Perl or other
macro languages as needed.

Thank you for helping me!

P.S. Writing from Lithuania, I encourage my colleagues in the US to
vote! The US really matters around the world.

Thank you!


Andrius Kulikauskas
+370 607 27 665


Nov 5, 2016, 8:59:59 PM11/5/16
to MathFuture
Hello Andrius

Here are some possibilities:

(1) GeoGebra allows for various transformations, as can be seen in his example: 

One downside is the long page load time.

(2) You can also import images into JSXGraph (which uses SVG) and translate, rotate, and dilate them, as in this example:

and this one from my site:

(3) A non-library approach would be to do it all in SVG with javascript, as explained in some detail on this page:

Hope it helps.

Oh - and as another non-USA person, I endorse your encouragement for US citizens to vote. This is the scariest election in living memory...


Kristen Beck

Nov 5, 2016, 11:10:01 PM11/5/16

Google slides also works well for animations.
I'll drop a link.


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Kristen Beck
Coordinator of Curriculum and Instructional Technology
Auburn Union School District

John Golden

Nov 6, 2016, 4:25:20 PM11/6/16
to MathFuture
Also, given the algebraic nature of what you want to show, you could create them in Desmos, and then use to make gifs.

John Golden

Nov 6, 2016, 4:25:21 PM11/6/16
to MathFuture
GeoGebra also exports animations. There is a linux version of the desktop software. 

In any sketch that has a slider, you can choose that slider as the source of the animation in the gif.

I also use a screen recorder that exports in gif,, but there is not a linux version. Maybe there is an analogous program, though. The screen recorder saves on gif file size, typically, if that's a concern. You can also record non-slider animations like dragging a point around to show that all quadrilaterals have this property, for example.

Andrius Kulikauskas

Nov 6, 2016, 4:25:41 PM11/6/16
Murray, Kristen,

Thank you very much for your recommendations!

I've tried out GeoGebra. I had some trouble figuring out how to work
with the sliders. I have figured it out. For my presentation I might
just use the GeoGebra tool. Murray, you are right, if I try to make a
gif then there are problems with loading.

I will keep working on it. Thank you!

And thank you for caring about the US.


Andrius Kulikauskas
+370 607 27 665

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