ⓘ Animation


The Jungle Book (1967 film)

The Jungle Book is a 1967 American animated musical comedy film produced by Walt Disney Productions. Based on Rudyard Kiplings book of the same name, it is the 19th Disney animated feature film. Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, it was the last film to be produced by Walt Disney, who died during its production. The plot follows Mowgli, a feral child raised in the Indian jungle by wolves, as his friends Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear try to convince him to leave the jungle before the evil tiger Shere Khan arrives. The early versions of both the screenplay and the soundtrack followed ...


One Hundred and One Dalmatians

One Hundred and One Dalmatians is a 1961 American animated adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions and based on the 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, and Wolfgang Reitherman, it was Disneys 17th animated feature film. The film tells the story of a litter of Dalmatian puppies who are kidnapped by the villainous Cruella de Vil, who wants to use their fur to make into coats. Their parents, Pongo and Perdita, set out to save their children from Cruella, in the process rescuing 84 additional puppies that were bought ...


Balto (film)

Balto is a 1995 American live-action/animated adventure film directed by Simon Wells, produced by Amblin Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film is loosely based on a true story about the dog of the same name who helped save children infected by the diphtheria epidemic in the 1925 serum run to Nome. The film stars Kevin Bacon, Bridget Fonda, Jim Cummings, Phil Collins and Bob Hoskins, with Miriam Margolyes in the live-action sequences. The live-action portions of the film were shot in New York Citys Central Park. The film was the third and final animated feature produ ...


Vincent (1982 film)

Vincent is a 1982 stop motion short horror film written, designed and directed by Tim Burton, and produced by Rick Heinrichs. It is the second Disney horror film, the first being The Watcher in the Woods. At approximately six minutes in length, there is currently no individual release of the film except for a few bootleg releases. It can be found on the 2008 Special Edition and Collectors Edition DVDs of The Nightmare Before Christmas as a bonus feature and on the Cinema16 DVD American Short Films. The film is narrated by actor Vincent Price, a lifelong idol and inspiration for Burton. Fro ...


Alice's Birthday

Alices Birthday, is a 2009 Russian traditionally animated childrens science fiction film, directed by Sergey Seryogin and produced by Master-film studio. The film is based on a novella of the same name by Kir Bulychov about Alisa Selezneva, a teenage girl from the future. It is a spiritual successor to 1981 animated film The Mystery of the Third Planet, from which it draws a heavy influence.


The Mitten (film)

The film centres on a girl who wants a dog. She brings home a puppy but her mother wouldnt let the puppy stay. The girl is upset and goes outside to the playground where all the other kids are walking their dogs. She starts playing with her mitten, pretending that the mitten is a dog. And the power of her imagination turns her mitten into a knitted puppy, which keeps the mitten red color and black spots on the back. The puppy starts chasing a cat which ends up finding shelter on top of the ad board saying "Everyone who has a dog is welcome to take part in the kennel club competition!" The ...


ⓘ Animation

Animation is a method in which pictures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. Today, most animations are made with computer-generated imagery. Computer animation can be very detailed 3D animation, while 2D computer animation can be used for stylistic reasons, low bandwidth or faster real-time renderings. Other common animation methods apply a stop motion technique to two and three-dimensional objects like paper cutouts, puppets or clay figures.

Commonly the effect of animation is achieved by a rapid succession of sequential images that minimally differ from each other. The illusion - as in motion pictures in general - is thought to rely on the phi phenomenon and beta movement, but the exact causes are still uncertain. Analog mechanical animation media that rely on the rapid display of sequential images include the phenakisticope, zoetrope, flip book, praxinoscope and film. Television and video are popular electronic animation media that originally were analog and now operate digitally. For display on the computer, techniques like animated GIF and Flash animation were developed.

Animation is more pervasive than many people realize. Apart from short films, feature films, animated GIFs and other media dedicated to the display of moving images, animation is also prevalent in video games, motion graphics, user interfaces and visual effects.

The physical movement of image parts through simple mechanics – in for instance moving images in magic lantern shows – can also be considered animation. The mechanical manipulation of three-dimensional puppets and objects to emulate living beings has a very long history in automata. Electronic automata were popularized by Disney as animatronics.

Animators are artists who specialize in creating animation.


1. Etymology

The word "animation" stems from the Latin "animātiōn", stem of "animātiō", meaning "a bestowing of life". The primary meaning of the English word is "liveliness" and has been in use much longer than the meaning of "moving image medium".


2.1. History Before cinematography

Although examples of sequential images can be found occasionally throughout the history of art, there is no evidence of any related technology that enabled the artists to view their creations in motion before 1833. Other ways to create moving images, by manipulating figures by hand or with mechanics, can be recognized in puppetry, automata, shadow play and since around 1659 the magic lantern.

In 1833, the phenakisticope introduced the stroboscopic principle of modern animation, which would also provide the basis for the zoetrope 1866, the flip book 1868, the praxinoscope 1877, Muybridges zoopraxiscope 1879 and cinematography.

A few years before the breakthrough of cinema in 1895, Charles-Emile Reynaud had much success with his Pantomimes Lumineuses. These animated films each contained 300 to 700 frames that were manipulated back and forth to last 10 to 15 minutes per film. Piano music, song, and some dialogue were performed live, while some sound effects were synchronized with an electromagnet. From 28 October 1892 to March 1900, Reynaud gave over 12.800 shows to a total of over 500.000 visitors at the Musee Grevin in Paris


2.2. History Silent era

A few years after film became a popular medium, some manufacturers of optical toys produced many chromolithography film loops for adapted toy magic lanterns, usually with images traced from live-action film footage. At a time when hardly any animations could be seen in theaters, kids would project these animation loops at home.

Some early filmmakers, including J. Stuart Blackton, Arthur Melbourne-Cooper, Segundo de Chomon and Edwin S. Porter experimented with stop-motion animation, possibly since around 1899. Blacktons The Haunted Hotel 1907 was the first huge success that baffled audiences with objects apparently moving by themselves. The short film inspired other filmmakers to try the technique.

J. Stuart Blacktons Humorous Phases of Funny Faces 1906 is usually regarded as the first animated film on standard picture film. It was partly animated on a chalkboard and partly with cut-outs.

Emile Cohls Fantasmagorie 1908 is the oldest known example of what became known as traditional hand-drawn animation.

Great artistic and very influential animations were made by Ladislas Starevich with his puppet animations since 1910 and by Winsor McCay with detailed drawn animation in films such as Little Nemo 1911 and Gertie the Dinosaur 1914. Gertie was also an early example of character development in drawn animation and featured a scene with a live-action recording of McCay interacting with Gertie in a drawn landscape.

During the 1910s, the production of animated "cartoons" became an industry. The most successful producer at the time was John Randolph Bray, who, along with animator Earl Hurd, patented the cel animation process that dominated the animation industry for the rest of the century.

In 1917, Argentine director Quirino Cristiani made the first feature-length film El Apostol now lost, which became a critical and commercial success. It was followed by Cristianis Sin dejar rastros in 1918, but one day after its premiere the film was confiscated by the government.

In 1919, the silent animated short Feline Follies marked the debut of Felix the Cat, becoming the first animated character in the silent film era to gain significant popularity.

After working on it for three years, Lotte Reiniger released the German feature-length silhouette animation Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed in 1926.


2.3. History 1928-1960s: Golden age of American animation

In 1928, Steamboat Willie, featuring Mickey Mouse, popularized film with synchronized sound and put Walt Disneys studio at the forefront of the animation industry. In 1932, Disney also introduced the innovation of full colour in Flowers and Trees as part of a three-year long exclusive deal with Technicolor.

The enormous success of Mickey Mouse is seen as the start of the golden age of American animation that would last until 1960s. The United States dominated the world market of animation with a plethora of cel-animated theatrical shorts. Several studios would introduce characters that would become very popular and would have long lasting careers, including Walt Disney Productions Goofy 1932 and Donald Duck 1934, Warner Bros. Cartoons Looney Tunes characters like Daffy Duck 1937, Bugs Bunny 1938/1940, Tweety 1941/1942, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner 1949, Fleischer Studios/Paramount Cartoon Studios Betty Boop 1930, Popeye licensed by King Feature Syndicate 1933, Superman licensed by DC Comics 1941 and Casper 1945, MGM cartoon studio: Tom and Jerry 1940 and Droopy, Walter Lantz Productions/Universal Studio Cartoonss Woody Woodpecker 1940, Terrytoons/20th Century Foxs Mighty Mouse 1942 and United Artists Pink Panther 1963. Apart from their success in theaters, such characters would also prove very lucrative when licensed for all kinds of merchandise.


2.4. History Animated features

In 1937, Disney released their first animated feature film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". It was a tremendous success worldwide. The Fleischer studios followed this example in 1939 with Gullivers Travels with some success. Partly due to foreign markets being cut off by the Second World War, Disneys next features Pinocchio, Fantasia both 1940 and Fleischer Studios second animated feature Mr. Bug Goes to Town 1941/1942 failed at the box office. For decades afterwards Disney would be the only American studio to regularly produce animated features. Competition came in the 1970s from Ralph Bakshi, who produced 8 theatrically released animated features aimed at adult audiences from 1972 to 1982. Following him, Sullivan-Bluth Studios began to regularly produce animated features starting with An American Tail in 1986.


2.5. History Early animated series on television

Animation became very popular on television. In the United States and many other countries, cartoons were programmed on Saturday-mornings and other time slots that were convenient for children.

The back catalog of animated cartoons, originally produced for a short theatrical run, now proved very valuable for television broadcast and many classical series thus found a new life, with many reruns.

At the end of the 1950s, production of animated cartoons started to shift from theatrical releases to TV series. The constraints of American television programming resulted in cheaper and quicker limited animation methods.

Hanna-Barbera Productions was especially prolific on television with programs such as The Ruff and Reddy Show 1957-1960, The Huckleberry Hound Show 1958, the first half-hour television program to feature only animation, The Quick Draw McGraw Show 1959-1961, The Flintstones 1960-1966 the first prime time animated series, The Yogi Bear Show 1961-1962, The Jetsons 1962 and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!.

Other early televised hit series were Terrytoons Tom Terrific 1958 and Deputy Dawg 1962.


2.6. History Since 1960s

Japanese anime productions became very popular since the 1970s. Relatively cheap licensing ensured wide international distribution.

Computer animation has become popular since Toy Story 1995, the first feature-length animated film completely made using this technique.


2.7. History 2000s

In 2008, the animation market was worth US$68.4 billion. Animation as an art and industry continues to thrive as of the early-2020s because well-made animated projects can find audiences across borders and in all four quadrants. Animated feature-length films returned the highest gross margins around 52% of all film genres in 2004–2013.

Traditional animation film studios switched to producing mostly computer animated films since the 1990s, as box office statistics deemed cheaper and more profitable. However 3d animation is not without its limitations; the unique attractions of 2d art like Osamu Tezukas cannot be rendered properly. Studio sought to evolve the medium and overcome some of the technical limitations that traditional animation had, focusing on organic and volumetric lighting and texturing to give their films a unique look, while maintaining a hand-crafted feel. "2D and 3D technology hybrids" allow for unique style of animation that combine expressiveness of 2D drawing with the dimensionality of CG.


3. Animated commercials

Animation has been very popular in television commercials, both due to its graphic appeal, and the humour it can provide. Some animated characters in commercials have survived for decades, such as Snap, Crackle and Pop in advertisements for Kelloggs cereals. The legendary animation director Tex Avery was the producer of the first Raid "Kills Bugs Dead" commercials in 1966, which were very successful for the company.


4. Criticism

Criticism of animation has been common in media and cinema since its inception. With its popularity, a large amount of criticism has arisen, especially animated feature-length films. Many concerns of cultural representation, psychological effects on children have been brought up around the animation industry, which has remained rather politically unchanged and stagnant since its inception into mainstream culture. In more recent times Disney has been trying to make up for the criticism regarding their racism against Africanism. For example, in the movie Princess and the Frog, Africanism is seen in almost every corner of the movie. When they are singing "Dig a little deeper", there are colorful bottles seen hanging from the trees, which African Americans communities believed that the bottles warned off evil spirits. During the 1600–1800, enslaved Africans brought these beliefs back with them from Africa. Mama Odie from Princess and the Frog is depicted as a voodoo priestess of Louisiana from generations of voodoo.


5. Awards

As with any other form of media, animation has instituted awards for excellence in the field. The original awards for animation were presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for animated shorts from the year 1932, during the 5th Academy Awards function. The first winner of the Academy Award was the short Flowers and Trees, a production by Walt Disney Productions. The Academy Award for a feature-length animated motion picture was only instituted for the year 2001, and awarded during the 74th Academy Awards in 2002. It was won by the film Shrek, produced by DreamWorks and Pacific Data Images. Disney/Pixar have produced the most films either to win or be nominated for the award. Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film nominated for Best Picture. Up and Toy Story 3 also received Best Picture nominations after the Academy expanded the number of nominees from five to ten.

  • Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film
  • Academy Award for Best Animated Feature

Several other countries have instituted an award for best-animated feature film as part of their national film awards: Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Animation since 2008, BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film since 2006, Cesar Award for Best Animated Film since 2011, Golden Rooster Award for Best Animation since 1981, Goya Award for Best Animated Film since 1989, Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year since 2007, National Film Award for Best Animated Film since 2006. Also since 2007, the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Animated Feature Film has been awarded at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Since 2009, the European Film Awards have awarded the European Film Award for Best Animated Film.

The Annie Award is another award presented for excellence in the field of animation. Unlike the Academy Awards, the Annie Awards are only received for achievements in the field of animation and not for any other field of technical and artistic endeavor. They were re-organized in 1992 to create a new field for Best Animated Feature. The 1990s winners were dominated by Walt Disney, however, newer studios, led by Pixar & DreamWorks, have now begun to consistently vie for this award. The list of awardees is as follows:

  • Annie Award for Best Animated Television Production
  • Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject
  • Annie Award for Best Animated Feature

6. Production

The creation of non-trivial animation works i.e., longer than a few seconds has developed as a form of filmmaking, with certain unique aspects. Traits common to both live-action and animated feature-length films are labor-intensity and high production costs.

The most important difference is that once a film is in the production phase, the marginal cost of one more shot is higher for animated films than live-action films. It is relatively easy for a director to ask for one more take during principal photography of a live-action film, but every take on an animated film must be manually rendered by animators although the task of rendering slightly different takes has been made less tedious by modern computer animation. It is pointless for a studio to pay the salaries of dozens of animators to spend weeks creating a visually dazzling five-minute scene if that scene fails to effectively advance the plot of the film. Thus, animation studios starting with Disney began the practice in the 1930s of maintaining story departments where storyboard artists develop every single scene through storyboards, then handing the film over to the animators only after the production team is satisfied that all the scenes make sense as a whole. While live-action films are now also storyboarded, they enjoy more latitude to depart from storyboards i.e., real-time improvisation.

Another problem unique to animation is the requirement to maintain a films consistency from start to finish, even as films have grown longer and teams have grown larger. Animators, like all artists, necessarily have individual styles, but must subordinate their individuality in a consistent way to whatever style is employed on a particular film. Since the early 1980s, teams of about 500 to 600 people, of whom 50 to 70 are animators, typically have created feature-length animated films. It is relatively easy for two or three artists to match their styles; synchronizing those of dozens of artists is more difficult.

This problem is usually solved by having a separate group of visual development artists develop an overall look and palette for each film before the animation begins. Character designers on the visual development team draw model sheets to show how each character should look like with different facial expressions, posed in different positions, and viewed from different angles. On traditionally animated projects, maquettes were often sculpted to further help the animators see how characters would look from different angles.

Unlike live-action films, animated films were traditionally developed beyond the synopsis stage through the storyboard format; the storyboard artists would then receive credit for writing the film. In the early 1960s, animation studios began hiring professional screenwriters to write screenplays while also continuing to use story departments and screenplays had become commonplace for animated films by the late 1980s.


6.1. Production Animator

An animator is an artist who creates a visual sequence or audio-visual if added sound of multiple sequential images that generate the illusion of movement, that is, an animation. Animations are currently in many areas of technology and video, such as cinema, television, video games or the internet. Generally, these works require the collaboration of several animators. The methods to create these images depend on the animator and style that one wants to achieve with images generated by a computer, manually.

Animators can be divided into animators of characters artists who are specialized in the movements, dialogue and acting of the characters and animators of special effects.


7.1. Techniques Traditional animation

Traditional animation also called cel animation or hand-drawn animation was the process used for most animated films of the 20th century. The individual frames of a traditionally animated film are photographs of drawings, first drawn on paper. To create the illusion of movement, each drawing differs slightly from the one before it. The animators drawings are traced or photocopied onto transparent acetate sheets called cels, which are filled in with paints in assigned colors or tones on the side opposite the line drawings. The completed character cels are photographed one-by-one against a painted background by a rostrum camera onto motion picture film.

The traditional cel animation process became obsolete by the beginning of the 21st century. Today, animators drawings and the backgrounds are either scanned into or drawn directly into a computer system. Various software programs are used to color the drawings and simulate camera movement and effects. The final animated piece is output to one of several delivery media, including traditional 35 mm film and newer media with digital video. The "look" of traditional cel animation is still preserved, and the character animators work has remained essentially the same over the past 70 years. Some animation producers have used the term "tradigital" a play on the words "traditional" and "digital" to describe cel animation that uses significant computer technology.

Examples of traditionally animated feature films include Pinocchio United States, 1940, Animal Farm United Kingdom, 1954, Lucky and Zorba Italy, 1998, and The Illusionist British-French, 2010. Traditionally animated films produced with the aid of computer technology include The Lion King US, 1994, The Prince of Egypt US, 1998, Akira Japan, 1988, Spirited Away Japan, 2001, The Triplets of Belleville France, 2003, and The Secret of Kells Irish-French-Belgian, 2009.


7.2. Techniques Full animation

Full animation refers to the process of producing high-quality traditionally animated films that regularly use detailed drawings and plausible movement, having a smooth animation. Fully animated films can be made in a variety of styles, from more realistically animated works like those produced by the Walt Disney studio to the more cartoon styles of the Warner Bros. animation studio. Many of the Disney animated features are examples of full animation, as are non-Disney works, The Secret of NIMH US, 1982, The Iron Giant US, 1999, and Nocturna Spain, 2007. Fully animated films are animated at 24 frames per second, with a combination of animation on ones and twos, meaning that drawings can be held for one frame out of 24 or two frames out of 24.


7.3. Techniques Limited animation

Limited animation involves the use of less detailed or more stylized drawings and methods of movement usually a choppy or "skippy" movement animation. Limited animation uses fewer drawings per second, thereby limiting the fluidity of the animation. This is a more economic technique. Pioneered by the artists at the American studio United Productions of America, limited animation can be used as a method of stylized artistic expression, as in Gerald McBoing-Boing US, 1951, Yellow Submarine UK, 1968, and certain anime produced in Japan. Its primary use, however, has been in producing cost-effective animated content for media for television and later the Internet web cartoons.


7.4. Techniques Rotoscoping

Rotoscoping is a technique patented by Max Fleischer in 1917 where animators trace live-action movement, frame by frame. The source film can be directly copied from actors outlines into animated drawings, as in The Lord of the Rings US, 1978, or used in a stylized and expressive manner, as in Waking Life US, 2001 and A Scanner Darkly US, 2006. Some other examples are Fire and Ice US, 1983, Heavy Metal 1981, and Aku no Hana 2013.


7.5. Techniques Live-action/animation

Live-action/animation is a technique combining hand-drawn characters into live action shots or live action actors into animated shots. One of the earlier uses was in Koko the Clown when Koko was drawn over live action footage. Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks created a series of Alice comedies 1923-1927, in which a live-action girl enters an animated world. Other examples include Allegro Non Troppo Italy, 1976, Who Framed Roger Rabbit US, 1988, Space Jam US, 1996 and Osmosis Jones US, 2001.


7.6. Techniques Stop motion animation

Stop-motion animation is used to describe animation created by physically manipulating real-world objects and photographing them one frame of film at a time to create the illusion of movement. There are many different types of stop-motion animation, usually named after the medium used to create the animation. Computer software is widely available to create this type of animation; traditional stop motion animation is usually less expensive but more time-consuming to produce than current computer animation.

  • Puppet animation typically involves stop-motion puppet figures interacting in a constructed environment, in contrast to real-world interaction in model animation. The puppets generally have an armature inside of them to keep them still and steady to constrain their motion to particular joints. Examples include The Tale of the Fox France, 1937, The Nightmare Before Christmas US, 1993, Corpse Bride US, 2005, Coraline US, 2009, the films of Jiei Trnka and the adult animated sketch-comedy television series Robot Chicken US, 2005–present.
  • Puppetoon, created using techniques developed by George Pal, are puppet-animated films that typically use a different version of a puppet for different frames, rather than simply manipulating one existing puppet.
  • Strata-cut animation, Strata-cut animation is most commonly a form of clay animation in which a long bread-like "loaf" of clay, internally packed tight and loaded with varying imagery, is sliced into thin sheets, with the animation camera taking a frame of the end of the loaf for each cut, eventually revealing the movement of the internal images within.
  • Clay animation, or Plasticine animation, uses figures made of clay or a similar malleable material to create stop-motion animation. The figures may have an armature or wire frame inside, similar to the related puppet animation below, that can be manipulated to pose the figures. Alternatively, the figures may be made entirely of clay, in the films of Bruce Bickford, where clay creatures morph into a variety of different shapes. Examples of clay-animated works include The Gumby Show US, 1957–1967, Mio Mao Italy, 1974–2005, Morph shorts UK, 1977–2000, Wallace and Gromit shorts UK, as of 1989, Jan Svankmajers Dimensions of Dialogue Czechoslovakia, 1982, The Trap Door UK, 1984. Films include Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Chicken Run and The Adventures of Mark Twain.
  • Silhouette animation is a variant of cutout animation in which the characters are backlit and only visible as silhouettes. Examples include The Adventures of Prince Achmed Weimar Republic, 1926 and Princes et princesses France, 2000.
  • Cutout animation is a type of stop-motion animation produced by moving two-dimensional pieces of material paper or cloth. Examples include Terry Gilliams animated sequences from Monty Pythons Flying Circus UK, 1969–1974; Fantastic Planet France/Czechoslovakia, 1973 ; Tale of Tales Russia, 1979, The pilot episode of the adult television sitcom series and sometimes in episodes of South Park US, 1997 and the music video Live for the moment, from Verona Riots band produced by Alberto Serrano and Nivola Uya, Spain 2014.
  • Model animation refers to stop-motion animation created to interact with and exist as a part of a live-action world. Intercutting, matte effects and split screens are often employed to blend stop-motion characters or objects with live actors and settings. Examples include the work of Ray Harryhausen, as seen in films, Jason and the Argonauts 1963, and the work of Willis H. OBrien on films, King Kong 1933.
  • Go motion is a variant of model animation that uses various techniques to create motion blur between frames of film, which is not present in traditional stop-motion. The technique was invented by Industrial Light & Magic and Phil Tippett to create special effect scenes for the film The Empire Strikes Back 1980. Another example is the dragon named "Vermithrax" from Dragonslayer 1981 film.
  • Brickfilm are a subgenre of object animation involving using Lego or other similar brick toys to make an animation. These have had a recent boost in popularity with the advent of video sharing sites, YouTube and the availability of cheap cameras and animation software.
  • Object animation refers to the use of regular inanimate objects in stop-motion animation, as opposed to specially created items.
  • Graphic animation uses non-drawn flat visual graphic material, which are sometimes manipulated frame-by-frame to create movement. At other times, the graphics remain stationary, while the stop-motion camera is moved to create on-screen action.
  • Pixilation involves the use of live humans as stop motion characters. This allows for a number of surreal effects, including disappearances and reappearances, allowing people to appear to slide across the ground, and other effects. Examples of pixilation include The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb and Angry Kid shorts, and the academy award-winning Neighbours by Norman McLaren.

7.7. Techniques Computer animation

Computer animation encompasses a variety of techniques, the unifying factor being that the animation is created digitally on a computer. 2D animation techniques tend to focus on image manipulation while 3D techniques usually build virtual worlds in which characters and objects move and interact. 3D animation can create images that seem real to the viewer.


7.8. Techniques 2D animation

2D animation figures are created or edited on the computer using 2D bitmap graphics and 2D vector graphics. This includes automated computerized versions of traditional animation techniques, interpolated morphing, onion skinning and interpolated rotoscoping.

2D animation has many applications, including analog computer animation, Flash animation, and PowerPoint animation. Cinemagraphs are still photographs in the form of an animated GIF file of which part is animated.

Final line advection animation is a technique used in 2D animation, to give artists and animators more influence and control over the final product as everything is done within the same department. Speaking about using this approach in Paperman, John Kahrs said that "Our animators can change things, actually erase away the CG underlayer if they want, and change the profile of the arm."


7.9. Techniques 3D animation

3D animation is digitally modeled and manipulated by an animator. The animator usually starts by creating a 3D polygon mesh to manipulate. A mesh typically includes many vertices that are connected by edges and faces, which give the visual appearance of form to a 3D object or 3D environment. Sometimes, the mesh is given an internal digital skeletal structure called an armature that can be used to control the mesh by weighting the vertices. This process is called rigging and can be used in conjunction with keyframes to create movement.

Other techniques can be applied, mathematical functions, simulated fur or hair, and effects, fire and water simulations. These techniques fall under the category of 3D dynamics.


7.10. Techniques 3D terms

  • Motion capture is used when live-action actors wear special suits that allow computers to copy their movements into CG characters. Examples include Polar Express 2004, US, Beowulf 2007, US, A Christmas Carol 2009, US, The Adventures of Tintin 2011, US kochadiiyan 2014, India
  • Machinima – Films created by screen capturing in video games and virtual worlds. The term originated from the software introduction in the 1980s demoscene, as well as the 1990s recordings of the first-person shooter video game Quake.
  • Physically based animation is animation using computer simulations.
  • Photo-realistic animation is used primarily for animation that attempts to resemble real life, using advanced rendering that mimics in detail skin, plants, water, fire, clouds, etc. Examples include Up 2009, US, How to Train Your Dragon 2010, US
  • Cel-shaded animation is used to mimic traditional animation using computer software. Shading looks stark, with less blending of colors. Examples include Skyland 2007, France, The Iron Giant 1999, United States, Futurama Fox, 1999 Appleseed Ex Machina 2007, Japan, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker 2002, Japan, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2017, Japan

7.11. Techniques Mechanical animation

  • Animatronics is the use of mechatronics to create machines that seem animate rather than robotic.
  • Audio-Animatronics and Autonomatronics is a form of robotics animation, combined with 3-D animation, created by Walt Disney Imagineering for shows and attractions at Disney theme parks move and make noise generally a recorded speech or song. They are fixed to whatever supports them. They can sit and stand, and they cannot walk. An Audio-Animatron is different from an android-type robot in that it uses prerecorded movements and sounds, rather than responding to external stimuli. In 2009, Disney created an interactive version of the technology called Autonomatronics.
  • Linear Animation Generator is a form of animation by using static picture frames installed in a tunnel or a shaft. The animation illusion is created by putting the viewer in a linear motion, parallel to the installed picture frames. The concept and the technical solution were invented in 2007 by Mihai Girlovan in Romania.
  • Chuckimation is a type of animation created by the makers of the television series Action League Now! in which characters/props are thrown, or chucked from off camera or wiggled around to simulate talking by unseen hands.
  • The magic lantern used mechanical slides to project moving images, probably since Christiaan Huygens invented this early image projector in 1659.

7.12. Techniques Other animation styles, techniques, and approaches

  • Special effects animation
  • Multi-sketching
  • Hydrotechnics: a technique that includes lights, water, fire, fog, and lasers, with high-definition projections on mist screens.
  • Pinscreen animation: makes use of a screen filled with movable pins that can be moved in or out by pressing an object onto the screen. The screen is lit from the side so that the pins cast shadows. The technique has been used to create animated films with a range of textural effects difficult to achieve with traditional cel animation.
  • Drawn on film animation: a technique where footage is produced by creating the images directly on film stock, for example by Norman McLaren, Len Lye and Stan Brakhage.
  • Sand animation: sand is moved around on a back- or front-lighted piece of glass to create each frame for an animated film. This creates an interesting effect when animated because of the light contrast.
  • Paint-on-glass animation: a technique for making animated films by manipulating slow drying oil paints on sheets of glass, for example by Aleksandr Petrov.
  • Erasure animation: a technique using traditional 2D media, photographed over time as the artist manipulates the image. For example, William Kentridge is famous for his charcoal erasure films, and Piotr Dumala for his auteur technique of animating scratches on plaster.
  • Flip book: a flip book is a book with a series of pictures that vary gradually from one page to the next, so that when the pages are turned rapidly, the pictures appear to animate by simulating motion or some other change. Flip books are often illustrated books for children, they also be geared towards adults and employ a series of photographs rather than drawings. Flip books are not always separate books, they appear as an added feature in ordinary books or magazines, often in the page corners. Software packages and websites are also available that convert digital video files into custom-made flip books.
  • Character animation

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