Functional Implementations of
Continuous Modeled Animation

Conal Elliott


Animation is a temporally continuous phenomenon, but is typically programmed in terms of a discrete sequence of changes. The use of discreteness serves to accommodate the machine that is presenting an animation, rather than the person modeling an animation with the help of a computer. Using a continuous model of time for animation allows for natural specification, avoiding some artificial details, but is difficult to implement with generality, robustness and efficiency. This paper presents and motivates continuous modeled animation, and sketches out a naive functional implementation for it. An examination of some of the practical problems with this implementation leads to several alternate representations, all of which have difficulties in themselves, some quite subtle. We hope that the insights and techniques discussed in this paper lead to still better representations, so that animation may be specified in natural terms without significant loss of performance.

This paper (© Springer-Verlag) appeared in the Proceedings of PLILP/ALP '98.  There is also an expanded version with more detail.


  author       = {Conal Elliott},
  title        = {Functional Implementations of Continuous Modeled Animation},
  url          = {},
  booktitle    = {Proceedings of PLILP/ALP},
  year         = 1998