Updated: Jun 24, 2023 By: Dessign Team
What is animation?
Animation is a technique that involves creating the illusion of motion or change by displaying a series of static images in rapid succession. These images, or frames, are slightly different from one another, which gives the impression of movement when played back in sequence. Animation can be used in a variety of mediums, from film and television to video games and advertising.
Animation is a fascinating method used to create the illusion of movement through the arrangement and rapid display of static images, such as drawings, photographs, or inanimate objects. This visual storytelling technique has a rich history and has evolved over the years to incorporate advances in technology, ultimately shaping modern animation as we know it today.
In the past, traditional animation relied heavily on hand-drawn or painted images, where artists meticulously crafted each frame on transparent celluloid sheets. These sheets were then photographed and displayed on film, allowing for the illusion of motion when played back in rapid succession. Today, however, a significant portion of animation has shifted towards computer-generated imagery (CGI), offering artists a wealth of new possibilities and innovative tools for producing captivating animated content.
The world of animation extends beyond film and television, encompassing a diverse array of mediums, including video games, web design, and advertising. As a powerful medium for storytelling and communication, animation continues to captivate the imaginations of audiences across the globe.
In this section, we will explore the definition of animation in more detail, as well as how it works. Specifically, we will look at how the brain blends multiple images into a single moving image, allowing us to perceive animation as seamless and fluid.
Five Facts About Animation:
✅ Animation is the simulation of movement created by a series of pictures.
✅ Traditional animation involves drawing objects on celluloid transparent paper.
✅ Japan is a powerhouse of animation and anime is one of its most distinctive forms.
✅ Vector-based animation can be 2D without being traditional.
✅ 3D animation is one of the most common types of animation today and involves using a program to create movement from digital frames.
History of Animation
The history of animation dates back to ancient times, when people created cave paintings and carvings that depicted animals in motion. However, the first true animation was created in the late 1800s by French artist Émile Reynaud. Reynaud invented the praxinoscope, a device that projected a series of images onto a screen in rapid succession, creating the illusion of movement.
In the early 1900s, animation began to take off as a popular form of entertainment. American animator Winsor McCay created the first animated film, “Little Nemo,” in 1911. Soon after, animation studios began popping up all over the world, including Walt Disney Studios, which was founded in 1923.
Animation definition: The simulation of movement created by a series of pictures
The concept of animation is based on the simulation of movement created by a series of pictures. This art form has come a long way since its inception and has been used to create some of the most iconic movies. In traditional animation, objects were drawn on celluloid transparent paper, where each frame was hand-drawn by the animator.
The brain interprets multiple images shown as a sequence and blends them into a single moving image that gives us an illusion of motion.
In addition to traditional animation, 3D animation has become one of the dominant types of animation in recent times. It involves using computer software to manipulate digital models to create movement in characters’ body parts.
Anime is another style that has gained popularity among fans around the world. Created on twos or threes and often characterised with bright colours and distinct styles, anime presents dynamic motion visualisation for audiences who enjoy watching Japanese anime adaptations.
Japanese animation, known as anime, has its roots in hand-drawn techniques as well. Originating from the Latin word “anima,” meaning life or soul, anime encompasses a wide range of genres and styles that have become globally popular.
Traditional anime styles incorporated hand-drawn methods, resulting in unique visual aesthetics and storytelling approaches. Japanese artists are known for their meticulous attention to detail, devoting countless hours to crafting intricate backgrounds and elaborate character designs.
As the animation industry continues to evolve, many modern creations still pay homage to traditional techniques. Hand-drawn animation and other classical methods inspired innovations in the field, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of animation.
There are countless examples of how animation has been used to enhance visual storytelling across different genres and media formats.
From Disney’s groundbreaking classic movie Toy Story, which was entirely animated with 3D technology, to Coco, an entertaining and emotionally powerful story about family traditions in Mexico that won several awards after being released in 2017; it’s clear that the art of animation has permeated our lives in many ways through entertainment culture.
Disney struggled when creating their first-ever full-length feature film Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs but ultimately achieved success with this masterpiece enjoyed by all ages till date.
With each movement intended to tell an imaginative story, animation since then continues to showcase artistic creativity in abundance along the entertainment industry lineages.
How animation works: Brain blends multiple images into a single moving image
The process of animation involves creating a simulation of movement with a sequence of still images. These multiple images are rapidly displayed to the viewer, which creates a sense of motion. The brain blends all the individual frames into a single moving image, allowing us to see fluid motion. This seamless movement works because our brains can’t perceive the tiny gaps between each frame, which is known as persistence of vision.
To create 3D animations, computer software is used to manipulate characters’ body parts and merge them into one cohesive unit. These virtual characters are then placed in different digital environments to make it appear like they’re interacting in real-time.
It’s worth noting that while our brains make animation appear smooth and effortless, creating compelling animations usually takes plenty of hard work and attention to detail. Animators must ensure all movements look natural and fit seamlessly within the storyline.
From traditional to 3D, animation’s got all the frames covered.
Different Types of Animation
Animation has been a fascinating art form spanning over a century, capturing the hearts of people across generations. Today, we see an explosion of different types of animation that leave us spellbound.
In this piece, I will walk you through the evolution of animated art and explore the four types of animation: traditional, anime, 2D vector, and 3D animation. I will share the unique characteristics of each type, discuss how they are crafted, and reveal some interesting facts about the animation industry. So, join me as we unravel the wonders of animated motion pictures.
Traditional Animation: Objects drawn on celluloid transparent paper, the animator must draw every frame
Objects being drawn on celluloid transparent paper to create movement is a traditional form of animation. The animator must painstakingly draw every frame to develop a moving image.
- Sketch: To start, the animator sketches out the action they hope to capture.
- Ink: Using a lightbox, they coat each hand-drawn image in ink.
- Paint: Next, the painted celluloid is assembled with background and foreground elements before being scanned for further editing.
- Edit: Finally, the modern editor takes all artwork, cleans it up digitally and prepares it for distribution.
Animation requires patience; however, traditional animation creates high-quality imagery that cannot be achieved through any other method.
It’s worth mentioning this process was recognized at Disney’s first-ever release of an eight-minute short film ‘Steamboat Willie’ in 1928.
Anime: Because sometimes we all need a little bit of 3s in our life for that extra distinct animation flair.
Anime: Animated on 3s, gives movement a distinct feel
Anime, known for its unique visual style and storytelling, is an animation technique where movement is created by animating on every 3rd frame. This method results in a distinctive feel of the animation’s motion and makes it more identifiable. Instead of drawing each frame like traditional animation, anime saves time by only animating every third frame.
In addition to the signature movement style, anime uses vibrant colors, exaggerated facial expressions and intense emotions to create a captivating viewing experience. This genre often explores mature themes such as complex relationships or ethical dilemmas that appeal to a broad range of audiences.
If you’re interested in learning more about anime: animated on 3s, gives movement a distinct feel, don’t miss out on some iconic series like Naruto or Attack on Titan.
Who needs pixels when you have vectors? Welcome to the world of 2D animation!
2D Vector: Motion is controlled by vectors rather than pixels
Vector-based motion control is used in 2D animation instead of traditional pixel-based methods. Rather than relying on individual pixels, 2D Vector: Motion is controlled by vectors rather than pixels to move and scale objects. Vectors are mathematical equations that describe an object’s movement and position in space. This results in sharper and smoother lines compared to bitmap images.
In the table below, we highlight the differences between Pixel-Based vs Vector-Based Animation:
|Pixel-Based Animation||Vector-Based Animation|
|Raster Image Processing||Mathematical Modeling|
|Dependent on Resolution||Resolution Independent|
|Bigger File Sizes||Smaller File Sizes due to formulaic nature of vector calculation|
It’s important to note that while vector-based animation can create high-quality images, it can be more time-consuming when compared to other types of animation.
In practice, one example where this technique has been utilised is in games development. By focusing on creating two-dimensional shapes from basic building blocks such as points or curves which can be viewed on any screen size without distortion (unlike bitmap graphics), animators can create engaging worlds with fluid movement while maintaining a consistent aesthetic.
Recently a study by The University of Tokyo found that using vector graphics led to faster upload times for websites due to their smaller file sizes. As companies seek ways to create larger quantities of content, the use of this technology should only increase over time.
Watch out Pixar, because these 3D animators are giving Woody and Buzz a run for their money!
3D Animation: Computer animation with a program used to move character’s body parts
Animated movies have come a long way since the first classic animated films of Snow White and Fantasia. The stunning visuals that we see on the big screen today are created using animation techniques such as 3D Animation: Computer animation with a program used to move character’s body parts. This advanced technique involves creating characters and objects in a three-dimensional space, allowing them to move with more realistic movements than ever before.
The creation process begins with modeling or sculpting the characters, textures, and backgrounds. An animator then uses motion capture technology or keyframe animation to give these models life-like movement. Every frame must be created in perspective view using specialized software like Maya or Blender. After lighting and rendering all of the frames are completed and put together by the animation team.
One unique aspect of this technique is that it allows filmmakers to create new worlds for their audiences while keeping them rooted in reality through lifelike movements. As we can see from films like Toy Story, Coco, and The Incredibles, 3D Animation has become one of the dominant types of animation worldwide.
In creating such an immersive experience for viewers, animators pay attention to even the smallest details so that every scene feels natural. For example, in Toy Story 3, one reviewer noted how Woody moves his eyebrows subtly when he speaks – an addition so small it could get overlooked if not carefully considered during production.
Such attention to detail makes 3D Animation stand out even more as a technical feat that requires precision and expertise.
This technical feat is why animators working with 3D Animation continue pushing limits in making digital actors and imagination possible for a visually stunning experience beyond realism while retaining good storytelling techniques.
Top 3D Animation Movies: From Toy Story to Coco, 3D animation has become one of the dominant types of animation.
Three-dimensional (3D) animation has emerged as one of the most widely accepted forms of animation in recent years. The animation genre has come a long way from the traditional 2D format to the modern 3D animated movies.
These 3D animated movies have touched the hearts of people worldwide with their fascinating and realistic graphics, making them a popular choice among audiences of all ages. From Toy Story to Coco, the top 3D animation movies have become a dominant type of animation, setting new benchmarks in the entertainment industry.
Top 3D Animation Movies:
- Toy Story – The first movie to be entirely created using computer-generated images, Toy Story, was a massive hit among audiences and critics alike.
- Finding Nemo – The underwater adventure of Nemo and his father Marlin has become one of the most successful 3D animation movies globally.
- Coco – Inspired by the Mexican holiday, Día de Muertos, Coco is a beautiful tale of a young boy’s musical journey to reunite with his ancestors.
These 3D animation movies use groundbreaking technology, innovative storytelling and brilliant voice acting to create a whole new world of entertainment. The ability to create complex characters and their emotions in a 3D space is what sets these movies apart from the 2D animation movies of the past.
These movies have proven that there is no limit to imagination and creativity, inspiring a whole new generation of animators to push the boundaries of animation even further.
Pro Tip: To experience the full potential of these 3D animation movies, it’s recommended to watch them in high-definition and with a good sound system to fully immerse yourself in the world of the movie.
- Animation is the simulation of movement created by a series of pictures, which are blended by the brain into a single moving image.
- There are several types of animation: traditional animation, anime, 2D vector, and 3D animation. Each type has its own unique style with varying techniques and tools.
- 3D animation has become one of the dominant types of animation, with movies such as Toy Story and Coco showcasing the limitless possibilities of computer animation.
FAQs about What Is Animation
What is animation and how does it inspire storytellers?
Animation is the simulation of movement created by a series of pictures, which can range from hand-drawn images to computer-generated imagery. The visceral worlds of animated films can reignite inspiration and the magic of stories for storytellers of all ages.
What are the types of animation that cartoonists and artists use?
There are several types of animation, including traditional animation (drawn or painted on transparent celluloid sheets), computer-generated imagery (CGI), 2D (vector-based animation), 3D animation, anime (animation from Japan), rotoscoping, cutout, stop motion, and motion graphics.
What is the frame rate and how does it affect the animation quality?
The frame rate refers to the number of consecutive images that are displayed each second, and it is considered when creating the appearance of smooth motion from drawn, painted, or computer-generated images. Moving characters are usually shot “on twos” which means one image is shown for two frames, totaling in at 12 drawings per second. A frame rate of 24 frames per second is often used for smooth motion.
What is traditional animation, and how has it evolved over time?
Traditional animation, also known as cel animation, involves drawing objects on transparent celluloid paper and photographing each frame to create an animation sequence. In the earlier years, the animator would draw on a table that had a light inside of it. While traditional animation is not as prevalent today, drawings are generally done on tablets. Manual coloring hasn’t been used by Disney since The Little Mermaid in 1989.
What is anime, and why has it become a powerhouse of animation?
Anime refers to any of the types of animation which comes out of Japan. Anime has been massively influential around the world, with one of its most distinctive characteristics being that often, anime is animated on 3s, which means there is a new image every three frames, rather than in the US, where most animation is every two frames. This allows Japanese animators to draw with more detail, since fewer images are required.
How does 3D animation compare to traditional animation, and what are some top 3D animation movies?
Today, 3D or computer animation is one of the most common types of animation. The computer is just another tool, and 3D animation is still a long, intense process. From Toy Story in 1995 to today’s Coco, 3D animation has become one of the dominant types of animation.
3D animation is unique in that, unlike 2D or other traditional methods, the character’s entire body is always visible. Some top 3D animation movies include Toy Story, The Incredibles, and Finding Nemo.