What is Animation?

Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The most common method of presenting animation is as a motion picture or video program, although several other forms of presenting animation also exist. Animation is of various types:1)

Traditional Animation: Also called cell animation, traditional 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, which are first drawn on paper. To create the illusion of movement, each drawing differs slightly from the one before it.


Stop-motion Animation: Stop-motion animation is used to describe animation created by physically manipulating realworld 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 type of media used to create the animation.


Computer Animation: Computer animation is the art of creating moving images via the use of computers. This report is goes into details of Computer Animation.

Computer Animation
Computer animation is the art of creating moving images via the use of computers. It is a subfield of computer graphics and animation. Increasingly it is created by means of 3D computer graphics, though 2D computer graphics are still widely used for low bandwidth and faster real-time rendering needs. It is also referred to as CGI (Computer-generated imagery or computer-generated imaging), especially when used in films. To create the illusion of movement, an image is displayed on the computer screen then quickly replaced by a new image that is similar to the previous image, but shifted slightly. This technique is identical to how the illusion of movement is achieved with television and motion pictures.

Example of animation creation
The screen is blanked to a background color, such as black. Then a goat is drawn on the right of the screen. Next the screen is blanked, but the goat is re-drawn or duplicated slightly to the left of its original position. This process is repeated, each time moving the goat a bit to the left. If this process is repeated fast enough the goat will appear to move smoothly to the left. This basic procedure is used for all moving pictures in films and television.

The moving goat is an example of shifting the location of an object. More complex transformations of object properties such as size, shape, lighting effects and color often require calculations and computer rendering instead of simple re-drawing or duplication.

Creating characters and objects on a computer
Computer animation combines vector graphics with programmed movement. The starting point is often a stick figure in which the position of each feature (limb, mouth etc) is defined by as Avars (animation variable). The character "Woody" in Toy Story, for example, uses 700 Avars, with 100 Avars in his face alone. Successive sets of Avars control all movement of the character from frame to frame. Once the stick model is moving in the desired way, the avars are incorporated into a full wire frame model or a model built of polygons. Finally surfaces are added, requiring a lengthy process of rendering to produce the final scene. There are several ways of generating the Avar values to obtain realistic motion. Motion trackinguses lights or markers on a real person acting out the part, tracked by a video camera.

Or the Avars may be set manually using a joystick or other form of input control. Toy Story uses no motion tracking, probably because only manual control by a skilled animator can produce effects not easily acted out by a real person.

3D computer animation combines 3D modeling with programmed movement. Models are constructed out of geometrical vertices, faces, and edges in a true 3D coordinate system. Objects are sculpted much like real clay or plaster, working from general forms to specific details with various sculpting tools. A bone/joint system is set up to deform the 3d mesh ie. to make a humanoid model walk. In a process called rigging, the virtual marionette is given various controllers and handles for an animator to manipulate.

Computer Generated Imagery
Computer-generated imagery (commonly abbreviated as CGI) is the application of the field of computer graphics (or more specifically, 3D computer graphics) to special effects in films, television programs, commercials, simulators and simulation generally, and printed media. Video games usually use real-time computer graphics, but may also include pre-rendered "cut scenes" and intro movies that would be typical CGI applications. These are referred to as FMV.

CGI is used for visual effects because effects are more controllable than other more physically based processes, such as constructing miniatures for effects shots or hiring extras for crowd scenes, and because it allows the creation of images that would not be feasible using any other technology. It can also allow a

single artist to produce content without the use of actors, expensive set pieces, or props.

Computer animation development equipment
Computer animation can be created with a computer and animation software. Some examples of animation software are: Amorphium, Art of Illusion, Poser, Ray Dream Studio, Bryce, Maya, Blender, TrueSpace, Lightwave, 3D Studio Max, SoftImage XSI, Alice, and Adobe Flash (2D).

Uses of Computer Animation
Computer Animation is used in various areas. Some of them are:1) Special Effects- The decade of the 1990s increasing use of

computer technology to enhance both animated sequences and live-action special effects, allowing lavish computer-animated sequences to dominate both. This new form of animation soon

dominated the world of Hollywood special effects. The film Titanic used computer imagery to enhance nearly every scene in its three-hour length, and this produced a level of realism that helped propel the film to become the biggest box-office smash of all time.
2) Movies- In 1995, Disney partnered with Pixar to produce Toy

Story, the first completely computer-generated feature film. The movie was a phenomenal success, and it created a wild Hollywood following, as other studios looked into producing their own computer-animated (or CGI) films. Animation had become so widely accepted by the beginning of the 21st century that in 2001, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introduced a new Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Shrek, created by Dreamwork Studios, was the first movie to claim the award.
3) Video Games- Video games usually use real-time computer

graphics (rarely referred to as CGI), but may also include prerendered "cut scenes" and intro movies that would be typical CGI applications.
4) Internet Flash Animation- During the late 1990s saw the rise

of Flash animation through the internet. It can be created in Flash or with other programs capable of writing .swf files. A Flash animation or Flash cartoon is created using Adobe Flash animation software and often distributed in the .swf file format. You can find a large number of games, short cartoons, interactive guides using flash. Nowadays websites like cricinfo.com shows replays of cricket matches free-of-charge using animation.
5) Simulators- Simulators, particularly flight simulators, and

simulation generally, make extensive use of CGI techniques for representing the Outside World (OTW). Microsoft Flight

Simulator is a game using animation for creating a simulation of a plane.
6) Digital Grading- One of the less obvious CGI effects in movies

is digital grading. This is a computer process in which sections of the original image are color-corrected using special processing software. A detail that was too dark in the original shot can be lit and enhanced in this post-production process.
7) Computer Games- Animation is used in games as well as to

develop games which can be played on the computers and mobiles.

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