Animation is a method in which figures
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
(CGI). Computer animation
can be very detailed 3D animation
, while 2D computer animation
(which may have the look of traditional animation) can be used for stylistic reasons, low bandwidth, or faster real-time rendering
s. Other common animation methods apply a stop motion
technique to two and three-dimensional objects like paper cutouts
s, 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.
mechanical animation media that rely on the rapid display of sequential images include the phénakisticope
, flip book
, and film. Television
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
Animation is more pervasive than many people know. Apart from short films
, feature films
, television series
, animated GIFs, and other media dedicated to the display of moving images, animation is also prevalent in video game
s, motion graphics
, user interface
s, and visual effects
The physical movement of image parts through simple mechanics—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
s are artists who specialize in creating animation.
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".
Hundreds of years before the introduction of true animation, people from all over the world enjoyed shows with moving figures that were created and manipulated manually in puppetry
, shadow play
, and the magic lantern
. The multi-media phantasmagoria
shows that were very popular in West-European theatres from the late 18th century through the first half of the 19th century, featured lifelike projections of moving ghosts and other frightful imagery in motion.
In 1833, the stroboscopic
disc (better known as the phénakisticope
) introduced the principle of modern animation with sequential images that were shown one by one in quick succession to form an optical illusion of motion pictures. Series of sequential images had occasionally been made over thousands of years, but the stroboscopic disc provided the first method to represent such images in fluent motion and for the first time had artists creating series with a proper systematic breakdown of movements. The stroboscopic animation principle was also applied in the zoetrope
(1866), the flip book
(1868) and the praxinoscope
(1877). The average 19th-century animation contained about 12 images that were displayed as a continuous loop by spinning a device manually. The flip book often contained more pictures and had a beginning and end, but its animation would not last longer than a few seconds. The first to create much longer sequences seems to have been Charles-Émile Reynaud
, who between 1892 and 1900 had much success with his 10- to 15-minute-long ''Pantomimes Lumineuses
eventually broke through in 1895 after animated pictures had been known for decades, the wonder of the realistic details in the new medium was seen as its biggest accomplishment. Animation on film was not commercialized until a few years later by manufacturers of optical toys, with chromolithography
film loops (often traced from live-action footage) for adapted toy magic lanterns intended for kids to use at home. It would take some more years before animation reached movie theaters.
After earlier experiments by movie pioneers J. Stuart Blackton
, Arthur Melbourne-Cooper
, Segundo de Chomón
, and Edwin S. Porter
(among others), Blackton's ''The Haunted Hotel'' (1907) was the first huge stop motion
success, baffling audiences by showing objects that apparently moved by themselves in full photographic detail, without signs of any known stage trick.
'' (1908) is the oldest known example of what became known as traditional (hand-drawn) animation
. Other great artistic and very influential short films were created 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
During the 1910s, the production of animated "cartoons
" became an industry in the US. Successful producer John Randolph Bray
and animator Earl Hurd
, patented the cel animation
process that dominated the animation industry for the rest of the century. Felix the Cat
, who debuted in 1919, became the first animated superstar.
Golden age of US animation
In 1928, ''Steamboat Willie
'', featuring Mickey Mouse
and Minnie Mouse
, popularized film with synchronized sound and put Walt Disney
's studio at the forefront of the animation industry. In 1932, Disney also introduced the innovation of full color (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 the 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
(1932) and Donald Duck
(1934), Warner Bros. Cartoons
' Looney Tunes
characters like Daffy Duck
(1937), Bugs Bunny
(1941/1942), Sylvester the Cat
(1945), Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner
(1949), Fleischer Studios
/Paramount Cartoon Studios
' Betty Boop
(1941) and Casper
(1945), MGM cartoon studio
's Tom and Jerry
(1940) and Droopy
, Walter Lantz Productions
/Universal Studio Cartoons
' Woody Woodpecker
/20th Century Fox
's Mighty Mouse
(1942) and United Artists
' Pink Panther
Animated features before CGI
In 1917, Italian-Argentine director Quirino Cristiani
made the first feature-length film ''El Apóstol
'' (now lost
), which became a critical and commercial success. It was followed by Cristiani's ''Sin dejar rastros
'' in 1918, but one day after its premiere the film was confiscated by the government.
After working on it for three years, Lotte Reiniger
released the German feature-length silhouette animation
''Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed
'' in 1926, the oldest extant animated feature.
In 1937, Walt Disney Studios
premiered their first animated feature, ''Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
'', still one of the highest-grossing traditional animation features .
[* Total prior to 50th anniversary reissue: ] [* 1987 and 1993 grosses from North America: ]
The Fleischer studios followed this example in 1939 with ''Gulliver's Travels
'' with some success. Partly due to foreign markets being cut off by the Second World War, Disney's next features ''Pinocchio
'' (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, until Ralph Bakshi
became the first to also release more than a handful features. Sullivan-Bluth Studios began to regularly produce animated features starting with ''An American Tail
'' in 1986.
Although relatively few titles became as successful as Disney's features, other countries developed their own animation industries that produced both short and feature theatrical animations in a wide variety of styles, relatively often including stop motion
and cutout animation
techniques. Russia's Soyuzmultfilm
animation studio, founded in 1936, produced 20 films (including shorts) per year on average and reached 1,582 titles in 2018. China, Czechoslovakia / Czech Republic, Italy, France and Belgium were other countries that more than occasionally released feature films, while Japan became a true powerhouse of animation production, with its own recognizable and influential anime
style of effective limited animation
Animation on television
Animation became very popular on television since the 1950s, when television sets started to become common in most developed countries. Cartoons were mainly programmed for children, on convenient time slots, and especially US youth spent many hours watching Saturday-morning cartoon
s. Many classic cartoons found a new life on the small screen and by the end of the 1950s, production of new animated cartoons started to shift from theatrical releases to TV series. Hanna-Barbera Productions
was especially prolific and had huge hit series, such as ''The Flintstones
'' (1960–1966) (the first prime time
animated series), ''Scooby-Doo
'' (since 1969) and Belgian co-production ''The Smurfs
'' (1981–1989). The constraints of American television programming and the demand for an enormous quantity resulted in cheaper and quicker limited animation
methods and much more formulaic scripts. Quality dwindled until more daring animation surfaced in the late 1980s and in the early 1990s with hit series such as ''The Simpsons
'' (since 1989) as part of a "renaissance" of American animation.
While US animated series also spawned successes internationally, many other countries produced their own child-oriented programming, relatively often preferring stop motion
over cel animation. Japanese anime
TV series became very successful internationally since the 1960s, and European producers looking for affordable cel animators relatively often started co-productions with Japanese studios, resulting in hit series such as ''Barbapapa
'' (The Netherlands/Japan/France 1973–1977), ''Wickie und die starken Männer/小さなバイキング ビッケ (Vicky the Viking)
'' (Austria/Germany/Japan 1974), and ''The Jungle Book
'' (Italy/Japan 1989).
Switch from cel animation to computer animation
was gradually developed since the 1940s. 3D wireframe animation started popping up in the mainstream in the 1970s, with an early (short) appearance in the sci-fi thriller ''Futureworld
''The Rescuers Down Under
'' was the first feature film to be completely created digitally without a camera.
It was produced in a style that's very similar to traditional cel animation on the Computer Animation Production System
(CAPS), developed by The Walt Disney Company
in collaboration with Pixar
in the late 1980s.
The so-called 3D style, more often associated with computer animation, has become extremely popular since Pixar's ''Toy Story
'' (1995), the first computer-animated feature in this style.
Most of the cel animation studios switched to producing mostly computer animated films around the 1990s, as it proved cheaper and more profitable. Not only the very popular 3D animation style was generated with computers, but also most of the films and series with a more traditional hand-crafted appearance, in which the charming characteristics of cel animation could be emulated with software, while new digital tools helped developing new styles and effects.
In 2008, the animation market was worth US$68.4 billion. Animated feature-length films returned the highest gross margin
s (around 52%) of all film genre
s between 2004 and 2013. Animation as an art and industry continues to thrive as of the early 2020s.
Education, propaganda and commercials
The clarity of animation makes it a powerful tool for instruction, while its total malleability also allows exaggeration that can be employed to convey strong emotions and to thwart reality. It has therefore been widely used for other purposes than mere entertainment.
During World War II, animation was widely exploited for propaganda. Many American studios
, including Warner Bros. and Disney, lent their talents and their cartoon characters to convey the public of certain war values. Some countries, including China, Japan and the United Kingdom, produced their first feature-length animation for their war efforts.
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 Kellogg's 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.
Spin-off enterprises: other media, merchandise and theme parks
Apart from their success in movie theaters and television series, many cartoon characters would also prove extremely lucrative when licensed for all kinds of merchandise and for other media.
Animation has traditionally been very closely related to comic book
s. While many comic book characters found their way to the screen (which is often the case in Japan, where many manga
are adapted into anime
), original animated characters also commonly appear in comic books and magazines. Somewhat similarly, characters and plots for video game
s (an interactive animation medium) have been derived from films and vice versa.
Some of the original content produced for the screen can be used and marketed in other media. Stories and images can easily be adapted into children's books and other printed media. Songs and music have appeared on records and as streaming media.
While very many animation companies commercially exploit their creations outside moving image media, The Walt Disney Company
is the best known and most extreme example. Since first being licensed for a children's writing tablet in 1929, their Mickey Mouse
mascot has been depicted on an enormous amount of products
, as have many other Disney characters. This may have influenced some pejorative use of Mickey's name
, but licensed Disney products
sell well, and the so-called Disneyana
has many avid collectors, and even a dedicated Disneyana fanclub (since 1984).
opened in 1955 and features many attractions that were based on Disney's cartoon characters. Its enormous success spawned several other Disney theme parks and resorts
. Disney's earnings
from the theme parks have relatively often been higher than those from their movies.
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.
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 Animation
has 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 Feature
* Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film
Several other countries have instituted an award for the 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), César 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 endeavour. 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 Feature
* Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject
* Annie Award for Best Animated Television 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 artist
s develop every single scene through storyboard
s, 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 film's 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 sheet
s 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, maquette
s 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.
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 cel
s, 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 animator
s' 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).
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
(''The Little Mermaid
'', ''Beauty and the Beast
'', ''The Lion King'') 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.
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 (the work of Hanna-Barbera, Filmation
, and other TV animation studios) and later the Internet
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
'' (Japan, 2013).
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), ''Volere volare
'' (Italy 1991), ''Space Jam
'' (US, 1996) and ''Osmosis Jones
'' (US, 2001).
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 Jiří Trnka
and the adult animated sketch-comedy television series ''Robot Chicken
'' (US, 2005–present).
, 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.
* Clay animation
, or Plasticine
animation (often called ''claymation'', which, however, is a trademarked
name), 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 Švankmajer
's ''Dimensions of Dialogue
, 1982), ''The Trap Door
'' (UK, 1984). Films include ''Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
'', ''Chicken Run
'' and ''The Adventures of Mark Twain
** 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.
* Cutout animation
is a type of stop-motion animation produced by moving two-dimensional pieces of material paper or cloth. Examples include Terry Gilliam
's animated sequences from ''Monty Python's 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 Nívola Uyá, Spain 2014).
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).
* 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
and the work of Willis H. O'Brien
on films, ''King Kong
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 1981 film ''Dragonslayer
* 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 (photographs, newspaper clippings, magazines, etc.), 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.
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
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
'' by Norman McLaren
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.
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
s 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."
3D animation is digitally modeled and manipulated by an animator. The 3D model maker usually starts by creating a 3D polygon mesh
for the animator 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 key frame
s to create movement.
Other techniques can be applied, mathematical functions (e.g., gravity, particle simulations), simulated fur or hair, and effects, fire and water simulations
. These techniques fall under the category of 3D dynamics.
* 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
'' (1999, United States) ''Appleseed Ex Machina
'' (2007, Japan), ''The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
'' (2002, Japan), ''The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
'' (2017, Japan)
– 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
* 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)
* Computer 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)
* Physically based animation
is animation using computer simulation
is the use of mechatronics
to create machines that seem animate rather than robotic.
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.
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.
Other animation styles, techniques, and approaches
* Hydrotechnics: a technique that includes lights, water, fire, fog, and lasers, with high-definition projections on mist screens.
* 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
* Paint-on-glass animation
: a technique for making animated films by manipulating slow drying oil paint
s 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 Dumała
for his auteur technique of animating scratches on plaster.
* 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.
* Sand animation
: sand is moved around on a back- or front-light
ed piece of glass to create each frame for an animated film. This creates an interesting effect when animated because of the light contrast
* Flip book
: a flip book (sometimes, especially in British English, called a flick 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
* Special effect
* 12 basic principles of animation
* Animated war film
* Animation department
* Architectural animation
* Avar (animation variable)
* Independent animation
* International Animation Day
* International Animated Film Association
* International Tournée of Animation
* List of film-related topics
* Motion graphic design
* Society for Animation Studies
* Wire-frame model
The making of an 8-minute cartoon short"Animando"
a 12-minute film demonstrating 10 different animation techniques (and teaching how to use them).
Bibliography on animation – Websiite "Histoire de la télévision"
Commonly used programs
Some programs used for video making digitally include FlipaClip, Vyond
, and Animaker
Category:Articles containing video clips
Category:Film and video technology