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Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term
computer-generated imagery Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the application of computer graphics Computer graphics deals with generating images with the aid of computers A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out seque ...
(CGI) encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images, while computer
animation Animation is a method in which are manipulated to appear as moving images. In , images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent to be photographed and exhibited on . Today, most animations are made with (CGI). can be very detailed , whil ...

animation
''only'' refers to moving images. Modern computer animation usually uses
3D computer graphics 3D computer graphics, sometimes called CGI, 3DCG or three-dimensional computer graphics (in contrast to 2D computer graphics 2D computer graphics is the Computer-generated imagery, computer-based generation of digital images—mostly from t ...
to generate a three-dimensional picture, although
2D computer graphics 2D computer graphics is the Computer-generated imagery, computer-based generation of digital images—mostly from two-dimensional models (such as 2D geometric models, text, and digital images) and by techniques specific to them. It may refer to ...
are still used for stylistic, low bandwidth, and faster
real-time rendering Real-time computer graphics or real-time rendering is the sub-field of computer graphics focused on producing and analyzing images in Real-time computing, real time. The term can refer to anything from rendering an application's graphical user ...
s. Sometimes, the target of the animation is the computer itself, but sometimes
film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, ...

film
as well. Computer animation is essentially a digital successor to
stop motion Stop motion is an animated Animation is a method in which Image, figures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent cel, celluloid sheets to be photographed and exh ...

stop motion
techniques, but using 3D models, and
traditional animation Traditional animation (or classical animation, animation, hand-drawn animation, 2D animation or just 2D) is an technique in which each frame is by hand. The technique was the dominant form of animation in cinema until the advent of . Proce ...
techniques using frame-by-frame animation of 2D illustrations. Computer-generated animations can also allow a single graphic artist to produce such content without the use of actors, expensive set pieces, or props. To create the illusion of movement, an image is displayed on the
computer monitor A computer monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial or text form. A monitor usually comprises a electronic visual display, visual display, electronic circuit, some circuitry, a casing, and a power supply. The display de ...

computer monitor
and repeatedly replaced by a new image that is similar to it but advanced slightly in time (usually at a rate of 24, 25, or 30 frames/second). This technique is identical to how the illusion of movement is achieved with
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Gre ...

television
and
motion pictures A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface ...

motion pictures
. For 3D animations, objects (models) are built on the computer monitor (modeled) and 3D figures are rigged with a virtual skeleton. For 2D figure animations, separate objects (illustrations) and separate transparent layers are used with or without that virtual skeleton. Then the limbs, eyes, mouth, clothes, etc. of the figure are moved by the animator on
key frame A key frame (or keyframe) in and is a drawing or shot that defines the starting and ending points of any . These are called ''frames'' because their position in time is measured in s on a strip of or on a timeline. A sequence of key frames def ...
s. The differences in appearance between key frames are automatically calculated by the computer in a process known as
tweening Inbetweening, also commonly known as tweening, is a process in animation Animation is a method in which are manipulated to appear as moving images. In , images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent to be photographed and exhibited on . ...
or
morphing upMorphing animation between two faces. Morphing is a special effect in film, motion pictures and animations that changes (or morphs) one image or Polygon mesh, shape into another through a seamless transition. Traditionally such a depiction woul ...
. Finally, the animation is rendered. For 3D animations, all frames must be rendered after the modeling is complete. For 2D vector animations, the rendering process is the key frame illustration process, while tweened frames are rendered as needed. For pre-recorded presentations, the rendered frames are transferred to a different format or medium, like digital video. The frames may also be rendered in real time as they are presented to the end-user audience. Low bandwidth animations transmitted via the internet (e.g.
Adobe Flash Adobe Flash is a multimedia software platform A computing platform or digital platform is the environment in which a piece of software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data that ...
,
X3D X3D is a royalty-free Royalty-free (RF) material subject to copyright or other intellectual property rights may be used without the need to pay royalties or license, license fees for each use, per each copy or volume sold or some time period o ...
) often use software on the end-user's computer to render in real time as an alternative to
streaming Streaming media is multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different content forms such as text, audio, images, animations, or video into a single presentation, in contrast to traditional mass media, such as printed ...
or pre-loaded high bandwidth animations.


Explanation

To trick the
eye Eyes are organs of the visual system. They provide living organisms with vision, the ability to receive and process visual detail, as well as enabling several photo response functions that are independent of vision. Eyes detect light L ...

eye
and the
brain A brain is an organ Organ may refer to: Biology * Organ (anatomy) An organ is a group of Tissue (biology), tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. A given organ's tiss ...

brain
into thinking they are seeing a smoothly moving object, the pictures should be drawn at around 12
frames per second A frame is often a structural system that supports other components of a physical construction and/or steel frame frame at 30 St Mary Axe, London, UK. Steel frame is a building technique with a "skeleton frame" of vertical steel Steel is an ...
or faster. (A frame is one complete image.) With rates above 75-120 frames per second, no improvement in realism or smoothness is perceivable due to the way the eye and the brain both process images. At rates below 12 frames per second, most people can detect
jerkiness Jerkiness, sometimes called strobing or choppy, describes the perception of individual still images in a motion picture. Motion pictures are made from still images shown in rapid sequence. Provided there is sufficient continuity between the image ...
associated with the drawing of new images that detracts from the illusion of realistic movement. Conventional hand-drawn cartoon animation often uses 15 frames per second in order to save on the number of drawings needed, but this is usually accepted because of the stylized nature of cartoons. To produce more realistic imagery, computer animation demands higher frame rates. Films seen in theaters in the United States run at 24 frames per second, which is sufficient to create the illusion of continuous movement. For high resolution, adapters are used.


History

Early digital computer animation was developed at
Bell Telephone Laboratories Nokia Bell Labs (formerly named Bell Labs Innovations (1996–2007), AT&T Bell Laboratories (1984–1996) and Bell Telephone Laboratories (1925–1984)) is an American industrial Research and development, research and scientific development S.A. ...
in the 1960s by Edward E. Zajac, Frank W. Sinden, Kenneth C. Knowlton, and A. Michael Noll. Other digital animation was also practiced at the
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is a federal research facility in Livermore, California Livermore (formerly Livermores, Livermore Ranch, and Nottingham) is a city in Alameda County, California, in the United States. With an es ...
. In 1967, a computer animation named "Hummingbird" was created by Charles Csuri and James Shaffer. In 1968, a computer animation called "
Kitty Kitty or Kittie may refer to: Animals * Cat, a small, domesticated carnivorous mammal ** Kitten, a young cat Film * Kitty Films, an anime production company in Japan * Kitty (1929 film), ''Kitty'' (1929 film), based on the Deeping novel; the fir ...
" was created with
BESM BESM (БЭСМ) is the name of a series of Soviet mainframe A mainframe computer, informally called a mainframe or big iron, is a computer used primarily by large organizations for critical applications, bulk data processing (such as the cens ...
-4 by Nikolai Konstantinov, depicting a cat moving around. In 1971, a computer animation called "Metadata" was created, showing various shapes. An early step in the history of computer animation was the sequel to the 1973 film ''
Westworld ''Westworld'' is an American science fiction-thriller (genre), thriller media franchise that began with the Westworld (film), 1973 film ''Westworld'', written and directed by Michael Crichton. The film depicts a technologically advanced Wild Wes ...
,'' a science-fiction film about a society in which robots live and work among humans. The sequel, ''
Futureworld ''Futureworld'' is a 1976 American science fiction File:Imagination 195808.jpg, Space exploration, as predicted in August 1958 in the science fiction magazine ''Imagination (magazine), Imagination.'' Science fiction (sometimes shortened to s ...
'' (1976), used the 3D wire-frame imagery, which featured a computer-animated hand and face both created by
University of Utah The University of Utah (U of U, UofU, or simply The U) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of deliberately managing the release and spread of information between an individual or an organization (such ...

University of Utah
graduates
Edwin Catmull Edwin Earl "Ed" Catmull (born March 31, 1945) is an American who is the co-founder of and was the President of . He has been honored for his contributions to 3D , including the 2019 Early life Edwin Catmull was born on March 31, 1945, in . H ...
and
Fred Parke Frederic Ira Parke is an American computer graphics researcher and academic. He did early work on animated computer renderings of human faces. Parke graduated from the University of Utah The University of Utah (U of U, UofU, or simply The U) ...
. This imagery originally appeared in their student film ''
A Computer Animated Hand ''A Computer Animated Hand'' is the title of a 1972 American computer-animated short film produced by Edwin Catmull Edwin Earl "Ed" Catmull (born March 31, 1945) is an American computer scientist who was co-founder of Pixar Pixar Animation ...
'', which they completed in 1972. Developments in CGI technologies are reported each year at
SIGGRAPH SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques) is an annual Meeting, conference on computer graphics (CG) organized by the ACM SIGGRAPH, starting in 1974. The main conference is held in North America; SIGGRA ...
, an annual conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques that is attended by thousands of computer professionals each year. Developers of computer games and 3D video cards strive to achieve the same visual quality on personal computers in real-time as is possible for CGI films and animation. With the rapid advancement of real-time rendering quality, artists began to use
game engine A game engine is a software framework primarily designed for the development of Video game, video games, and generally includes relevant library (computing), libraries and support programs. The "engine" terminology is similar to the term "softwar ...
s to render non-interactive movies, which led to the art form
Machinima Machinima, originally machinema () is the use of real-time computer graphics engines to create a cinematic production. Most often, video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input devi ...
.


Film and television

CGI short films have been produced as
independent animationIndependent animation is animated Animation is a method in which Image, figures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent cel, celluloid sheets to be photographed and ...
since 1976. Early examples of feature films incorporating CGI animation include the live-action films ''
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan ''Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan'' is a 1982 American science fiction film directed by Nicholas Meyer and based on the television series ''Star Trek ''Star Trek'' is an American science fiction media franchise originating from the 19 ...
'' and ''
Tron ''Tron'' (styled as ''TRON'') is a 1982 American science fiction File:Imagination 195808.jpg, Space exploration, as predicted in August 1958 by the science fiction magazine ''Imagination (magazine), Imagination'' Science fiction (sometimes s ...

Tron
'' (both 1982), and the Japanese
anime is hand-drawn and computer animation " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the application of ...

anime
film '' Golgo 13: The Professional'' (1983). ''
VeggieTales ''VeggieTales'' is an American Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Ch ...
'' is the first American fully 3D computer animated series sold directly (made in 1993); its success inspired other animation series, such as ''
ReBoot ''ReBoot'' is a Canadian computer-animated " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images, w ...
'' in 1994 and '' Transformers: Beast Wars'' in 1996, to adopt a fully computer-generated style. The first full length computer animated television series was ''
ReBoot ''ReBoot'' is a Canadian computer-animated " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images, w ...
'', which debuted in September 1994; the series followed the adventures of characters who lived inside a computer. The first feature-length computer animated film is ''
Toy Story ''Toy Story'' is a 1995 American computer-animated comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communic ...

Toy Story
'' (1995), which was made by
Disney The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Disney (), is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios complex in Burbank, California California is a U.S. st ...

Disney
and
Pixar Pixar Animation Studios (), commonly known as just Pixar, is an American computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform ge ...

Pixar
. It followed an adventure centered around toys and their owners. The movie tells the story of a cowboy doll who has to become a friend when a superhero spaceman action figure replaces him as the favorite toy. This groundbreaking film was also the first of many fully computer-animated movies. The popularity of computer animation (especially in the field of
special effect Special effects (often abbreviated as SFX, SPFX, F/X or simply FX) are illusions or visual tricks used in the theatre, film, television, video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or inpu ...
s) skyrocketed during the modern era of U.S. animation. Films like ''
Avatar An avatar (Sanskrit: अवतार, IAST: ; ), a concept in Hinduism that means "descent", is the material appearance or incarnation of a deity on earth. The relative verb to "alight, to make one's appearance" is sometimes used to refer to an ...
'' (2009) and ''
The Jungle Book ''The Jungle Book'' (1894) is a collection of stories by the English author Rudyard Kipling Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( ; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)''The Times'', (London) 18 January 1936, p. 12. was an English journalist, shor ...
'' (2016) use CGI for the majority of the movie runtime, but still incorporate human actors into the mix. Computer animation in this era has achieved photorealism, to the point that computer animated films such as ''
The Lion King ''The Lion King'' is a 1994 American animated film, animated Musical film, musical drama film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd List of Walt Disney ...
'' (2019) are able to be marketed as if they were live-action.


Animation methods

In most 3D computer animation systems, an animator creates a simplified representation of a character's anatomy, which is analogous to a
skeleton A skeleton is a structural frame that supports an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consu ...

skeleton
or
stick figure A stick figure is a very simple drawing of a person or animal, composed of a few lines, curves, and dots. In a stick figure, the head A head is the part of an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανι ...

stick figure
. They are arranged into a default position known as a bind pose, or T-Pose. The position of each segment of the skeletal model is defined by animation variables, or
Avars Avar(s) or AVAR may refer to: Peoples and states * Avars (Caucasus), a modern Northeast Caucasian-speaking people in the North Caucasus, Dagestan, Russia **Avar language, the modern Northeast Caucasian language spoken by the Avars of the North Ca ...
for short. In human and animal characters, many parts of the skeletal model correspond to the actual bones, but
skeletal animation Skeletal animation or rigging is a technique in computer animation " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes ...
is also used to animate other things, with facial features (though other methods for
facial animation Computer facial animation is primarily an area of computer graphics that encapsulates methods and techniques for generating and animating images or models of a character face. The character can be a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the mos ...
exist). The character "Woody" in ''
Toy Story ''Toy Story'' is a 1995 American computer-animated comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communic ...

Toy Story
'', for example, uses 700 Avars (100 in the face alone). The computer doesn't usually render the skeletal model directly (it is invisible), but it does use the skeletal model to compute the exact position and orientation of that certain character, which is eventually rendered into an image. Thus by changing the values of Avars over time, the animator creates motion by making the character move from frame to frame. There are several methods for generating the Avar values to obtain realistic motion. Traditionally, animators manipulate the Avars directly. Rather than set Avars for every frame, they usually set Avars at strategic points (frames) in time and let the computer interpolate or
tween Preadolescence, also known as pre-teen or tween, is a stage of Human development (biology), human development following early childhood and preceding adolescence.New Oxford American Dictionary. 2nd Edition. 2005. Oxford University Press. It comm ...

tween
between them in a process called ''
keyframing A key frame (or keyframe) in animation Animation is a method in which Image, figures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent cel, celluloid sheets to be photograph ...
''. Keyframing puts control in the hands of the animator and has roots in hand-drawn
traditional animation Traditional animation (or classical animation, animation, hand-drawn animation, 2D animation or just 2D) is an technique in which each frame is by hand. The technique was the dominant form of animation in cinema until the advent of . Proce ...
. In contrast, a newer method called ''
motion capture Motion capture (sometimes referred as mo-cap or mocap, for short) is the process of recording the movement Movement may refer to: Common uses * Movement (clockwork), the internal mechanism of a timepiece * Motion (physics), commonly referr ...
'' makes use of
live action Live action (or live-action) is a form of cinematography Cinematography (from ancient Greek κίνημα, ''kìnema'' "movement" and γράφειν, ''gràphein'' "to write") is the art of Film, motion picture (and more recently, electroni ...
footage. When computer animation is driven by motion capture, a real performer acts out the scene as if they were the character to be animated. Their motion is recorded to a computer using
video camera A video camera is a camera A camera is an optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural ...

video camera
s and markers and that performance is then applied to the animated character. Each method has its advantages and as of 2007, games and films are using either or both of these methods in productions. Keyframe animation can produce motions that would be difficult or impossible to act out, while motion capture can reproduce the subtleties of a particular actor. For example, in the 2006 film '' Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'',
Bill Nighy William Francis Nighy (; born 12 December 1949) is an English actor known for his work in film, stage, and television. Nighy became widely known for his performance as Billy Mack in '' Love Actually'' (2003). Other notable roles in cinema include ...
provided the performance for the character
Davy Jones Davy Jones may refer to: People *Davy Jones (baseball) (1880–1972), American baseball player *David Jones (jazz musician) (1888–1956), American jazz musician often called Davey Jones *Davy Jones (musician) (1945–2012), English actor and sin ...
. Even though Nighy doesn't appear in the movie himself, the movie benefited from his performance by recording the nuances of his body language, posture, facial expressions, etc. Thus motion capture is appropriate in situations where believable, realistic behavior and action is required, but the types of characters required exceed what can be done throughout the conventional costuming.


Modeling

3D computer animation combines 3D models of objects and programmed or hand "keyframed" movement. These models are constructed out of geometrical vertices, faces, and edges in a 3D coordinate system. Objects are sculpted much like real clay or plaster, working from general forms to specific details with various sculpting tools. Unless a 3D model is intended to be a solid color, it must be painted with "
textures
textures
" for realism. A bone/joint animation system is set up to deform the CGI model (e.g., to make a humanoid model walk). In a process known as ''rigging'', the virtual marionette is given various controllers and handles for controlling movement. Animation data can be created using
motion capture Motion capture (sometimes referred as mo-cap or mocap, for short) is the process of recording the movement Movement may refer to: Common uses * Movement (clockwork), the internal mechanism of a timepiece * Motion (physics), commonly referr ...
, or
keyframing A key frame (or keyframe) in animation Animation is a method in which Image, figures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent cel, celluloid sheets to be photograph ...

keyframing
by a human animator, or a combination of the two. 3D models rigged for animation may contain thousands of control points — for example, "Woody" from ''
Toy Story ''Toy Story'' is a 1995 American computer-animated comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communic ...

Toy Story
'' uses 700 specialized animation controllers.
Rhythm and Hues Studios Rhythm & Hues Studios was an American visual effects Visual effects (sometimes abbreviated VFX) is the process by which imagery is created or manipulated outside the context of a live action shot in filmmaking and video production. The integr ...
labored for two years to create
Aslan Aslan ( or ) is a major character in C. S. Lewis's ''The Chronicles of Narnia ''The Chronicles of Narnia'' is a series of seven fantasy novels by British author C. S. Lewis. Illustrated by Pauline Baynes and originally published between ...
in the movie ''
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ''The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'' is a 2005 fantasy film Fantasy films are films that belong to the fantasy genre with fantastic themes, usually magic, supernatural events, mythology, folklore Folklor ...
'', which had about 1,851 controllers (742 in the face alone). In the 2004 film ''
The Day After Tomorrow ''The Day After Tomorrow'' is a 2004 American science fiction Science fiction (sometimes shortened to sci-fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imagination, imaginative and futuristic concepts such as adv ...
'', designers had to design forces of extreme weather with the help of video references and accurate meteorological facts. For the 2005 remake of ''
King Kong King Kong is a fictional giant monster resembling a gorilla Gorillas are herbivorous, predominantly ground-dwelling great apes that inhabit the tropical forests of equatorial Africa. The genus ''Gorilla'' is divided into two species: t ...
'', actor
Andy Serkis Andrew Clement Serkis (born 20 April 1964) is an English actor, voice actor, motion capture artist, narrator, film director, and producer. He is best known for his performance capture Motion capture (sometimes referred as mo-cap or mocap, for ...

Andy Serkis
was used to help designers pinpoint the gorilla's prime location in the shots and used his expressions to model "human" characteristics onto the creature. Serkis had earlier provided the voice and performance for
Gollum Gollum is a fictional monstrous character from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth Middle-earth is the fictional setting Setting may refer to: * A location (geography) where something is set * Set construction in theatrical scenery * Sett ...

Gollum
in J. R. R. Tolkien's ''
The Lord of the Rings ''The Lord of the Rings'' is an Epic (genre), epic high-fantasy novel by English author and scholar J. R. R. Tolkien. Set in Middle-earth, intended to be Earth at some distant time in the past, the story began as a sequel to Tolkien's 1937 ...
'' trilogy.


Equipment

Computer animation can be created with a computer and an animation software. Some impressive animation can be achieved even with basic programs; however, the rendering can require much time on an ordinary home computer. Professional animators of movies, television and video games could make photorealistic animation with high detail. This level of quality for movie animation would take hundreds of years to create on a home computer. Instead, many powerful
workstation A workstation is a special computer designed for technical or scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about ...

workstation
computers are used. Graphics workstation computers use two to four processors, and they are a lot more powerful than an actual home computer and are specialized for rendering. Many workstations (known as a ''"
render farm A render farm is a high-performance computer system, e.g. a computer cluster A computer cluster is a set of computers that work together so that they can be viewed as a single system. Unlike grid computers, computer clusters have each node ...
"'') are networked together to effectively act as a giant computer, resulting in a computer-animated movie that can be completed in about one to five years (however, this process is not composed solely of rendering). A workstation typically costs $2,000-16,000 with the more expensive stations being able to render much faster due to the more technologically-advanced hardware that they contain. Professionals also use digital
movie camera A movie camera (also film camera and cine-camera) is a type of photographic camera that rapidly takes a sequence of photographs, either on an image sensor An image sensor or imager is a that detects and conveys information used to make an . It ...
s, motion/
performance capture Motion capture (sometimes referred as mo-cap or mocap, for short) is the process of recording the movement of objects or people. It is used in military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organ ...
,
bluescreens
bluescreens
, film editing software, props, and other tools used for movie animation. Programs like Blender allow for people who can't afford expensive animation and rendering software to be able to work in a similar manner to those who use the commercial grade equipment.


Facial animation

The realistic modeling of human facial features is both one of the most challenging and sought after elements in computer-generated imagery.
Computer facial animation Computer facial animation is primarily an area of computer graphics Computer graphics deals with generating images with the aid of computers. Today, computer graphics is a core technology in digital photography, film, video games, cell phone a ...
is a highly complex field where models typically include a very large number of animation variables. Historically speaking, the first
SIGGRAPH SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques) is an annual Meeting, conference on computer graphics (CG) organized by the ACM SIGGRAPH, starting in 1974. The main conference is held in North America; SIGGRA ...
tutorials on ''State of the art in Facial Animation'' in 1989 and 1990 proved to be a turning point in the field by bringing together and consolidating multiple research elements and sparked interest among a number of researchers. The
Facial Action Coding System Facial Action Coding System (FACS) is a system to taxonomize human facial movements by their appearance on the face, based on a system originally developed by a Swedish anatomist named Carl-Herman Hjortsjö. It was later adopted by Paul Ekman ...
(with 46 "action units", "lip bite" or "squint"), which had been developed in 1976, became a popular basis for many systems. As early as 2001,
MPEG-4 MPEG-4 is a method of defining compression Compression may refer to: Physical science *Compression (physics), size reduction due to forces *Compression member, a structural element such as a column *Compressibility, susceptibility to compression ...
included 68 Face Animation Parameters (FAPs) for lips, jaws, etc., and the field has made significant progress since then and the use of facial
microexpressionA microexpression is a facial expression that only lasts for a short moment. It is the innate result of a voluntary and an involuntary emotional response occurring simultaneously and conflicting with one another, and occurs when the amygdala (the emo ...
has increased. In some cases, an affective space, the PAD emotional state model, can be used to assign specific emotions to the faces of
avatars An avatar (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia af ...
. In this approach, the PAD model is used as a high level emotional space and the lower level space is the MPEG-4 Facial Animation Parameters (FAP). A mid-level Partial Expression Parameters (PEP) space is then used to in a two-level structure – the PAD-PEP mapping and the PEP-FAP translation model.


Realism

Realism in computer animation can mean making each frame look photorealistic, in the sense that the scene is rendered to resemble a photograph or make the characters' animation believable and lifelike. Computer animation can also be realistic with or without the
photorealistic rendering __NOTOC__ Within the field of computer graphics Computer graphics deals with generating images with the aid of computers A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logic ...

photorealistic rendering
. One of the greatest challenges in computer animation has been creating human characters that look and move with the highest degree of realism. Part of the difficulty in making pleasing, realistic human characters is the
uncanny valley In aesthetics, the uncanny valley is a hypothesized relation between an object's degree of resemblance to a human being and the emotional response to the object. The concept suggests that humanoid objects that imperfectly resemble actual human b ...

uncanny valley
, the concept where the human audience (up to a point) tends to have an increasingly negative, emotional response as a human replica looks and acts more and more human. Films that have attempted photorealistic human characters, such as ''
The Polar Express ''The Polar Express'' is a children's book Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are made for children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways: genre or the i ...
'', ''
Beowulf ''Beowulf'' (; ang, Bēowulf ) is an Old English epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem Narrative poetry is a form of poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literat ...
'',Digital Actors in 'Beowulf' Are Just Uncanny
nbsp;– ''New York Times'', November 14, 2007
and ''
A Christmas Carol ''A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas'', commonly known as ''A Christmas Carol'', is a novella A novella is a narrative prose fiction whose length is shorter than that of most novel A novel is a relatively l ...
'' have been criticized as "creepy" and "disconcerting". The goal of computer animation is not always to emulate live action as closely as possible, so many animated films instead feature characters who are
anthropomorphic Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an ...
animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...

animal
s,
legendary creature A legendary creature (also known as a ''mythological'', ''mythic'' or ''fabulous'' creature) is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the Scientific law, laws of nature. This t ...
s and characters, superheroes, or otherwise have non-realistic, cartoon-like proportions. Computer animation can also be tailored to mimic or substitute for other kinds of animation, like traditional stop-motion animation (as shown in ''
Flushed Away ''Flushed Away'' is a 2006 computer-animated adventure comedy Comedy (from the el, wikt:κωμῳδία, κωμῳδία, ''kōmōdía'') is a genre of fiction consisting of discourses or works intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing ...
'' or ''
The Peanuts Movie ''The Peanuts Movie'' (known in some countries as ''Snoopy and Charlie Brown: A Peanuts Movie'') is a 2015 American computer-animated " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general ...
''). Some of the long-standing basic principles of animation, like squash & stretch, call for movement that is not strictly realistic, and such principles still see widespread application in computer animation.


Animation studios

Some notable producers of computer-animated feature films include: *
Animal Logic Animal Logic is an Australian animation and visual effects digital studio based at Fox Studios Australia, Fox Studios in Sydney, New South Wales in Australia, Yaletown, Vancouver in Canada, and Rideback Ranch in Los Angeles, California. Estab ...
 – Films include ''
Happy Feet ''Happy Feet'' is a 2006 computer-animated " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images, ...

Happy Feet
'' (2006), ''
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole ''Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole'' is a 2010 3D computer-animated fantasy Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, ...
'' (2010), ''
Walking with Dinosaurs ''Walking with Dinosaurs'' is a six-part nature documentary A nature documentary or wildlife documentary is a genre of documentary film A documentary film or documentary is a non-fictional film, motion-picture intended to "document realit ...
'' (2013), ''
The Lego Movie ''The Lego Movie'' is a 2014 computer-animated adventure comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that comm ...
'' (2014) *
Aardman Animations Aardman Animations, Ltd. (also known as Aardman Studios or simply Aardman) is a British animation studio An animation studio is a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of peo ...
 – Films include ''
Flushed Away ''Flushed Away'' is a 2006 computer-animated adventure comedy Comedy (from the el, wikt:κωμῳδία, κωμῳδία, ''kōmōdía'') is a genre of fiction consisting of discourses or works intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing ...
'' (2006), ''
Arthur Christmas ''Arthur Christmas'' is a 2011 British-American 3D computer-animated fantasy film Fantasy films are films that belong to the fantasy genre with fantastic themes, usually magic, supernatural events, mythology, folklore Folklore is t ...
'' (2011) *
Big Idea Entertainment Big Idea Entertainment, LLC (formerly known as Big Idea Productions, Inc. and Big Idea, Inc.; also simply as Big Idea) is an American Christian animation Animation is a method in which Image, figures are manipulated to appear as moving images ...
 – '' Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie'' (2002) and '' The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie'' (2008) *
Bron Studios Bron Studios (stylized as BRON) is a Canadian motion picture company based in British Columbia owned by Bron Media Corporation. Bron's notable productions include ''Joker (2019 film), Joker, Bombshell (2019 film), Bombshell, Queen & Slim, Greyhou ...
 – Films include ''
The Addams Family The Addams Family is a fictional family created by American cartoonist A cartoonist (also comic strip creator, comic book artist, graphic novel artist, or comic book illustrator) is a visual artist An artist is a person engaged in an ac ...
'' (2019), ''
The Willoughbys ''The Willoughbys'' is a 2020 Canadian-American computer-animated " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes ...
'' (2020) *
Blue Sky Studios Blue Sky Studios, Inc. was an American computer animation film studio based in Greenwich, Connecticut. The studio was founded in 1987 by Chris Wedge, Michael Ferraro, Carl Ludwig, Alison Brown, David Brown, and Eugene Troubetzkoy after their em ...
 – Films include ''
Ice Age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents an ...
'' (2002), ''
Robots" #REDIRECT Robots exclusion standard#REDIRECT Robots exclusion standard {{R from other capitalisation\nInternet server's services'Cloud's driver's ...<\/div> {{R from other capitalisation\nInternet server's services'Cloud's driver's" ...
'' (2005), ''
Horton Hears a Who! ''Horton Hears a Who!'' is a children's book written and illustrated by Theodor Seuss Geisel under the pen name Dr. Seuss. It was published in 1954 by Random House. This book tells the story of Horton the Elephant and his adventures saving Whovil ...
'' (2008), '' Rio'' (2011), ''
Epic Epic commonly refers to: * Epic poetry, a long narrative poem celebrating heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation * Epic film, a genre of film with heroic elements Epic or EPIC may also refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media ...
'' (2013), ''
The Peanuts Movie ''The Peanuts Movie'' (known in some countries as ''Snoopy and Charlie Brown: A Peanuts Movie'') is a 2015 American computer-animated " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general ...
'' (2015) *
DNA Productions DNA Productions, Inc. was an American animation studio located in Dallas, Texas Dallas () is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the largest city in and County seat, seat of Dallas County, Texas, Dallas County, with portions extending into ...
 – Films include '' Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius'' (2001), '' Santa vs. the Snowman 3D'' (2002) and ''
The Ant Bully ''The Ant Bully'' () is a 1999 children's book drawn and written by John Nickle. It is about a young boy named Lucas Nickle (also known as Peanut the Destroyer), who is the title character in the book and who likes to torment ants. It was later ...
'' (2006) * DNEG  - Films includes ''
Ron's Gone Wrong Locksmith Animation is a British animation studio founded by Sarah Smith (producer), Sarah Smith and Julie Lockhart in 2014. It is based in London, England, and claims to be the only high-end computer-animation studio in the UK making computer-ani ...
'' (2021) *
DreamWorks Animation DreamWorks Animation LLC (also simply known as DreamWorks) is an American animation studio An animation studio is a company producing animated media. The broadest such companies conceive of products to produce, own the physical equipment for p ...
 – Films include ''
Shrek ''Shrek'' is a 2001 American computer-animated comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as pa ...
'' (2001), ''
Shark Tale ''Shark Tale'' is a 2004 American computer-animated comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as pa ...
'' (2004), ''
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mal ...
'' (2005), '' Over the Hedge'' (2006), ''
Bee Movie ''Bee Movie'' is a 2007 American computer-animated comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ...
'' (2007), ''
Kung Fu Panda ''Kung Fu Panda'' is a media franchise by DreamWorks Animation, consisting of three films: '' Kung Fu Panda'' (2008), '' Kung Fu Panda 2'' (2011) and '' Kung Fu Panda 3'' (2016). The first two were distributed by Paramount Pictures Paramo ...
'' (2008), '' Monsters vs. Aliens'' (2009), ''
How to Train Your Dragon ''How to Train Your Dragon'' (''HTTYD'') is an American media franchise A media franchise, also known as a multimedia franchise, is a collection of related media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication ...
'' (2010), ''
Rise of the Guardians ''Rise of the Guardians'' is a 2012 American 3D computer-animated action fantasy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures Paramount Pictures Corporation (commonly known as Paramount Pictures, or simply P ...
'' (2012), ''
The Croods ''The Croods'' is a 2013 American computer-animated adventure comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that ...
'' (2013), ''
Trolls A troll is a being in Scandinavian folklore Scandinavian folklore or Nordic folklore is the folklore of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and the Faroes, Faroe Islands. It has common roots with, and has been mutually influenced by, folklore ...
'' (2016), ''
The Boss Baby ''The Boss Baby'' is a 2017 American computer-animated comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communica ...
'' (2017) *
ImageMovers ImageMovers is an American independent film production company founded by director Robert Zemeckis Robert Lee Zemeckis (born May 14, 1952) is an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter who is frequently credited as an innovator ...
 – Films include ''
The Polar Express ''The Polar Express'' is a children's book Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are made for children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways: genre or the i ...
'' (2004), '' Monster House'' (2006), ''
Beowulf ''Beowulf'' (; ang, Bēowulf ) is an Old English epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem Narrative poetry is a form of poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literat ...
'' (2007), ''
A Christmas Carol ''A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas'', commonly known as ''A Christmas Carol'', is a novella A novella is a narrative prose fiction whose length is shorter than that of most novel A novel is a relatively l ...
'' (2009), ''
Mars Needs Moms ''Mars Needs Moms'' is a 2011 American 3D computer-animated science fiction film Science fiction (or sci-fi) is a film genre A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate ex ...
'' (2011) *
Ilion Animation Studios Skydance Animation Madrid (formerly known as Ilion Animation Studios) is a Spanish animation studio based in Madrid, Spain. It is a subsidiary of Skydance Media to create computer-animated movies for theatrical release. After working with Skyd ...
— Films include ''
Planet 51 ''Planet 51'' is a 2009 3D computer-animated " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images ...
'' (2009), '' Mortadelo and Filemon: Mission Implausible'' (2014) ''Wonder Park'' (2019) * Illumination (animation company), Illumination — Films include ''Despicable Me (film), Despicable Me'' (2010), ''The Lorax (film), The Lorax'' (2012), ''Minions (film), Minions'' (2015), ''The Secret Life of Pets'' (2016), ''Sing (2016 American film), Sing'' (2016), ''The Grinch (film), The Grinch'' (2018), ''The Secret Life of Pets 2'' (2019) * Industrial Light & Magic – Films include ''Rango (2011 film), Rango'' (2011) and ''Strange Magic (film), Strange Magic'' (2015) * Pacific Data Images – Films include ''Antz'' (1998), ''
Shrek ''Shrek'' is a 2001 American computer-animated comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as pa ...
'' (2001), ''Shrek 2'' (2004), ''
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mal ...
'' (2005), ''Megamind'' (2010), ''Mr. Peabody and Sherman'' (2014) * Paramount Animation – Films include ''The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water'' (2015), ''Monster Trucks (film), Monster Trucks'' (2017), ''Sherlock Gnomes'' (2018), ''Wonder Park'' (2019), ''The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run'' (2020; 2021) * Pixar, Pixar Animation Studios – Films include ''
Toy Story ''Toy Story'' is a 1995 American computer-animated comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communic ...

Toy Story
'' (1995), ''Monsters, Inc.'' (2001), ''Finding Nemo'' (2003), ''The Incredibles'' (2004), ''Cars (film), Cars'' (2006), ''Ratatouille (film), Ratatouille'' (2007), ''WALL-E'' (2008), ''Up (2009 film), Up'' (2009), ''Inside Out (2015 film), Inside Out'' (2015), '' Coco (2017 film), Coco'' (2017), and ''Soul (2020 film), Soul'' (2020) * Mainframe Studios, Rainmaker Studios – Films include ''Escape from Planet Earth'' (2013) and ''Ratchet & Clank (film), Ratchet & Clank'' (2016) * Reel FX Creative Studios, Reel FX Animation Studios – Films include ''Free Birds'' (2013) and ''The Book of Life (2014 film), The Book of Life'' (2014) * Wizart Animation – Films include ''The Snow Queen (2012 film), The Snow Queen'' (2012), ''Sheep and Wolves'' (2016) * Shirogumi – Films include ''Friends: Mononoke Shima no Naki'' (2011), ''Stand by Me Doraemon'' (2014) and ''Dragon Quest: Your Story'' (2019) * Square (video game company), Square Pictures – Films include ''Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within'' (2001) * Sony Pictures Imageworks  – Films include ''The Angry Birds Movie'' (2016), ''Sausage Party'' (2016), ''Over the Moon (2020 film), Over the Moon'' (2020) * Triggerfish Animation Studios – Films include ''Zambezia (film), Zambezia'' (2013), ''Khumba'' (2014) * Walt Disney Animation Studios – Films include ''Bolt (2008 film), Bolt'' (2008), ''Tangled (2010 film), Tangled'' (2010), ''Wreck-It Ralph'' (2012), ''Frozen (2013 film), Frozen'' (2013), ''Big Hero 6 (film), Big Hero 6'' (2014), ''Zootopia'' (2016), ''Moana (2016 film), Moana'' (2016) and ''Raya and the Last Dragon'' (2021) * Warner Animation Group – Films include ''
The Lego Movie ''The Lego Movie'' is a 2014 computer-animated adventure comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that comm ...
'' (2014), ''Storks (film), Storks'' (2016), ''The Lego Batman Movie'' (2017), ''Smallfoot (film), Smallfoot'' (2018), ''Scoob!'' (2020) * Weta Digital – Films include ''The Adventures of Tintin (film), The Adventures of Tintin'' (2011)


Web animations

The popularity of websites that allow members to upload their own movies for others to view has created a growing community of independent and amateur computer animators. With utilities and programs often included free with modern operating systems, many users can make their own animated movies and shorts. Several Free and open-source software, free and open-source animation software applications exist as well. The ease at which these animations can be distributed has attracted professional animation talent also. Companies such as PowToon and Vyond attempt to bridge the gap by giving amateurs access to professional animations as clip art. The oldest (most backward compatible) web-based animations are in the animated GIF format, which can be uploaded and seen on the web easily. However, the raster graphics format of GIF animations slows the download and frame rate, especially with larger screen sizes. The growing demand for higher quality web-based animations was met by a vector graphics alternative that relied on the use of a Browser extension, plugin. For decades, Flash animations were the most popular format, until the web development community abandoned support for the Flash Player plugin. Web browsers on mobile devices and mobile operating systems never fully supported the Flash plugin. By this time, Bandwidth (computing), internet bandwidth and download speeds increased, making raster graphic animations more convenient. Some of the more complex vector graphic animations had a slower frame rate due to complex rendering compared to some of the raster graphic alternatives. Many of the GIF and Flash animations were already converted to digital video formats, which were compatible with mobile devices and reduced file sizes via video compression technology. However, compatibility was still problematic as some of the popular video formats such as Apple's QuickTime and Microsoft Silverlight required plugins. YouTube, the most popular video sharing website, was also relying on the Flash plugin to deliver digital video in the Flash Video format. The latest alternatives are HTML5 compatible animations. Technologies such as JavaScript and CSS animations made sequencing the movement of images in HTML5 web pages more convenient. SVG animations offered a vector graphic alternative to the original Flash graphic format, SmartSketch. YouTube offers an HTML5 alternative for digital video. APNG (Animated PNG) offered a raster graphic alternative to animated GIF files that enables multi-level transparency not available in GIFs.


Detailed examples and pseudocode

In 2D computer animation, moving objects are often referred to as "sprite (computer graphics), sprites." A sprite is an image that has a location associated with it. The location of the sprite is changed slightly, between each displayed frame, to make the sprite appear to move. The following pseudocode makes a sprite move from left to right: var ''int'' x := 0, y := screenHeight / 2; while x < screenWidth drawBackground() drawSpriteAtXY (x, y) ''// draw on top of the background'' x := x + 5 ''// move to the right'' Computer animation uses different techniques to produce animations. Most frequently, sophisticated mathematics is used to manipulate complex three-dimensional polygons, apply "Texture mapping, textures", lighting and other effects to the polygons and finally rendering the complete image. A sophisticated graphical user interface may be used to create the animation and arrange its choreography. Another technique called constructive solid geometry defines objects by conducting boolean operations on regular shapes, and has the advantage that animations may be accurately produced at any resolution.


Computer-assisted vs. computer-generated

''To animate means, figuratively, to "give life to". There are two basic methods that animators commonly use to accomplish this.'' Computer-assisted animation is usually classed as two-dimensional (2D computer graphics, 2D) animation. Drawings are either hand drawn (pencil to paper) or interactively drawn (on the computer) using different assisting appliances and are positioned into specific software packages. Within the software package, the creator places drawings into different
key frame A key frame (or keyframe) in and is a drawing or shot that defines the starting and ending points of any . These are called ''frames'' because their position in time is measured in s on a strip of or on a timeline. A sequence of key frames def ...
s which fundamentally create an outline of the most important movements. The computer then fills in the "in-between frames", a process commonly known as Inbetweening, Tweening. Computer-assisted animation employs new technologies to produce content faster than is possible with
traditional animation Traditional animation (or classical animation, animation, hand-drawn animation, 2D animation or just 2D) is an technique in which each frame is by hand. The technique was the dominant form of animation in cinema until the advent of . Proce ...
, while still retaining the stylistic elements of traditionally drawn characters or objects. Examples of films produced using computer-assisted animation are The Little Mermaid (1989 film), ''The Little Mermaid'', ''The Rescuers Down Under'', Beauty and the Beast (1991 film), ''Beauty and the Beast'', ''Aladdin (1992 Disney film), Aladdin'', ''The Lion King'', Pocahontas (1995 film), ''Pocahontas'', The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996 film), ''The Hunchback of Notre Dame'', ''Hercules (1997 film), Hercules'', Mulan (1998 film), ''Mulan'', ''The Road to El Dorado'' and ''Tarzan (1999 film), Tarzan''. Computer-generated animation is known as three-dimensional (3D computer graphics, 3D) animation. Creators design an object or character with an X, a Y and a Z axis. No pencil-to-paper drawings create the way computer-generated animation works. The object or character created will then be taken into a software. Key-framing and tweening are also carried out in computer-generated animation but so are many techniques unrelated to
traditional animation Traditional animation (or classical animation, animation, hand-drawn animation, 2D animation or just 2D) is an technique in which each frame is by hand. The technique was the dominant form of animation in cinema until the advent of . Proce ...
. Animators can break physical laws by using mathematical algorithms to cheat mass, force and Gravitation, gravity rulings. Fundamentally, time scale and quality could be said to be a preferred way to produce animation as they are major aspects enhanced by using computer-generated animation. Another positive aspect of CGA is the fact one can create a flock of creatures to act independently when created as a group. An animal's fur can be Computer programming, programmed to wave in the wind and lie flat when it rains instead of separately programming each strand of hair. A few examples of computer-generated animation movies are ''
Toy Story ''Toy Story'' is a 1995 American computer-animated comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communic ...

Toy Story
'', ''Antz'', ''
Ice Age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents an ...
'', ''
Happy Feet ''Happy Feet'' is a 2006 computer-animated " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images, ...

Happy Feet
'', ''Despicable Me (film), Despicable Me'', ''Frozen (2013 film), Frozen'', and ''
Shrek ''Shrek'' is a 2001 American computer-animated comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as pa ...
''.


See also

* Animation * Animation database * Autodesk * Avar (animation variable) * Computer-generated imagery (CGI) * New York Institute of Technology Computer Graphics Lab * Computer representation of surfaces * Hand-Over * Humanoid animation * List of animation studios * List of computer-animated films * List of computer-animated television series * Medical animation * Morph target animation *
Machinima Machinima, originally machinema () is the use of real-time computer graphics engines to create a cinematic production. Most often, video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input devi ...
(recording video from games and virtual worlds) * Motion capture * Procedural animation * Ray tracing (graphics), Ray tracing * Rich Representation Language * Skeletal animation * Timeline of computer animation in film and television * Virtual artifact * Wire-frame model * Twelve basic principles of animation


References


Citations


Works cited

* * * * * * * * * *


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Computer Animation Computer animation, Computer graphics, Animation Animation techniques Articles containing video clips