\u201cTo animate\u201d means \u201cto give life to\u201d. Animations are created from a sequence of still images. The images
are displayed rapidly in succession so that the eye is fooled into perceiving continuous motion. This is
because of the phenomenon called Persistence of Vision. This is the tendency of the eye and brain to
continue to perceive an image even after it has disappeared.
Animation generally deals with hand drawn images in contrast to motion video which deals with actual
photographs of real-world objects taken through a camera, although both uses the concept of displaying a
sequence of images one after another to depict motion.
In the later half of 19th century John Marey and Edward Muybridge developed devices that took sequences of photographs of moving objects, and used it to take pictures of galloping horses along a racetrack in California. The next big technological advance came with Thomas Edison\u2019s invention of the Kinetograph, which was a type of camera that could take upto10 photographs per second.
In the beginning of the 20th century short animation films were created in which each frame was a separate drawing on paper. In 1928 the Disney production studio produced the first full color cartoon with sound, staring Mickey Mouse. Computers entered the picture after World War II, with simple experiments in computer generated graphics during the 1959s. The integration between computer graphics and film was first done in the 1970s for creating special effects in feature films like 2001: A space Odyssey. Throughout the 80s and 90s companies such as Industrial Light and Magic, Pacific Data Images and Pixar brought ever more sophisticated computer generated imagery to video and film, culminating in the release of Toy Story by Pixar in 1995 \u2013 the first completely computer generated animated feature film.
This increases the interest of viewer and creates a lasting impression. By adding the appearance of movement to a static object, the resulting image stimulates emotion and builds excitement. Due to this reason, animation is at the heart of most computer games.
Basically, the animation becomes much more effective than motion video in situations where the ultimate
goal of a picture is to convey information to the viewers. A picture that is free of complications of the
shadows and reflections in its real environment that is, simpler, may be more useful to visualize an abstract
concept than a photographic realism. It is often more effective to alter the reality intentionally to get the
simplest view of a complex process by applying the technique of animation.
In traditional animation lead animators or experts draw the most important frames, where there is a major
change in the course of action. These frames are called \u2018key frames\u2019. The intermediate frames between
keyframes are drawn by the assistant animators. This process is called \u2018tweening\u2019 derived from \u2018in-
For example, for depicting the motion of the rectangle moving from lower left corner to the upper middle
portion and again to the lower right corner, the keyframes where the course of action changes are shown in
the Fig:2. The middle frames between the keyframes are the intermediate frames.
Computer based animation production is much quicker than the traditional process and requires less effort.
The drawings are more accurate and are of better quality. Computers can be used to assist in producing
animation, by employing them to draw the in-between frames. Using computer software the lead animator
draws the keyframes and stores them electronically within the computer. The computer then generates or
tweens intermediate frames by interpolating between key frame pairs.
\u2018Cel Animation\u2019 is a term from traditional animation. The word \u2018cel\u2019 comes from the word \u2018celluloid\u2019 the
material that made up early motion picture film and refers to the transparent piece of film that is used in
hand-drawn animation. Animation cels are generally layered, one on top of the other, to produce a single
animation frame. Layering enables the animator to isolate and redraw only parts of the image that change
between successive frames. A frame consists of the background cel and the overlying cels. By drawing
each frame on transparent layers, the animator can lay successive frames one on top of the other and see
at a glance how the animation progresses through time.
Computers can be used to produce another type of animation different from rendered animation. It involves movement of a sprite along path. A \u2018sprite\u2019 is a graphic element, which changes over time. A sprite can be made to move over a path that is represented internally within the computer as a mathematical formula. During playback, the formula is used to generate the path on the screen and the sprite is made to move along it. In this case there are no frame sequences or rendering, and hence it is different from rendered animation. This type of animation is called Path animation or Sprite animation. Since there are no frame sequences, the file sizes are smaller than rendered animation.
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