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In this chapter, you will learn how to:

Define animation and describe how it can be used in

multimedia Discuss the principles of animation Discuss the animation techniques of cel and computer animation and choose the correct file types for animations Create computer-generated animations from multiple still images

By definition, animation makes static presentations

come alive. It is visual change over time and can add great power to your multimedia projects and web pages. Many multimedia applications for both Macintosh and Windows provide animation tools.

The Power of Motion

You can animate your whole project, or you can

animate here and there, accenting and adding spice. For a brief product demonstration with little user interaction, it might make sense to design the entire project as a video and keep the presentation always in motion. For speaker support, you can animate bulleted text or fly it onto the screen, or you can use charts with quantities that grow or dwindle; then, give the speaker control of these eye-catchers. In a parts-assembly training manual, you might show components exploding into an expanded view.

The Power of Motion

Visual effects such as wipes, fades, zooms, and

dissolves are available in most multimedia authoring packages, and some of these can be used for primitive animation. For example, you can slide images onto the screen with a wipe, or you can make an object implode with an iris/close effect.

The Power of Motion

But animation is more than wipes, fades, and zooms.

Animation is an object actually moving across or into or out of the screen; a spinning globe of our earth; a car driving along a line-art highway; a bug crawling out from under a stack of papers, with a screaming voice from the speaker telling you to Shoot it, now! Until video became more commonplace, animations were the primary source of dynamic action in multimedia presentations.

Principles of Animation
Animation is possible because of a biological phenomenon

known as persistence of vision and a psychological phenomenon called phi. An object seen by the human eye remains chemically mapped on the eyes retina for a brief time after viewing. Combined with the human minds need to conceptually complete a perceived action, this makes it possible for a series of images that are changed very slightly and very rapidly, one after the other, to seemingly blend together into a visual illusion of movement. The illustration shows a few cels, or frames, of a rotating logo. When the images are progressively and rapidly changed, the arrow of the compass is perceived to be spinning.

Principles of Animation
With animation, a series of images are changed very

slightly and very rapidly, one after the other, seemingly blending together into a visual illusion of movement. Digital display video builds 24, 30, or 60 entire frames or pictures every second. Movies on film are typically shot at a shutter rate of 24 frames per second.

Animation techniques of cel

Cel animation, an animation technique made famous

by Disney, uses a series of progressively different graphics on each frame of movie film. Cel animation artwork begins with keyframes; these are the first and last frames of an action. Tweening is an action that involves creating the frames to depict the action that happens between keyframes.

Cel animation

Path Animation
Moves an object along a predetermined path on the screen. The path could be a straight line or it could include any number

of curves.

Computer animation
Computer animation programs typically employ the

same logic and procedural concepts as cel animation. You can usually set your own frame rates on the computer, but the rate at which changes are computed and screens are actually refreshed will depend on the speed and power of your display platform and hardware.

3-D animation

3 steps involve: modeling, animation, and rendering. Modeling: process of creating 3-D objects and scenes. Animation: involves defining the objects motion and how the lighting and views change during the animation. Rendering: is the final step in creating 3-D animation and involves giving objects attributes such as colors, surface textures, and degrees of transparency.




Animation Process
The phases to be followed in producing animation are: Organize the execution in a series of logical steps. Decide on an animation tool best suited for the job. Build and tweak the sequences. Post-process the finalized animation.

Kinematics and Morphing

Kinematics is the study of the movement and motion

of structures that have joints. Inverse kinematics is the process in which you link objects such as hands to arms and define their relationships and limits, then drag these parts around and let the computer calculate the result. Morphing is an effect in which one image transforms into another.

Morphing software was used to seamlessly transform the images of 16 kindergartners. When a sound track of music and voices was added to the fourminute piece, it made a compelling QuickTime video about how similar children are to each other. Matching key points (red) in the start and end image guide the morphing transition.

File types for animation

Some file formats are designed specifically to contain

animations, and they can be ported among applications and platforms with the proper translators.

File Formats used in Animation

.dir and .dcr - Director files. .fli and .flc - AnimatorPro files. .max - 3D Studio Max files. .pics - SuperCard and Director files. .fla and .swf - Flash files.

Computer-generated animations from multiple still images

Multimedia authoring systems typically provide tools to

simplify creating animations within that authoring system. The most widely used tool for creating multimedia animations for Macintosh and Windows environments is Adobes Flash. With the simplest tools, you can make a bouncing ball to animate your web site using GIF89a. Making animations appear natural requires a basic understanding of the principles of physics. You should compose your animations using these principles, tempering them always with commonsense physics to give them the ring of truth.

Making Successful Animations

Use animation carefully and sparingly. High quality animations require superior display platforms

and hardware, as well as raw computing horsepower. File compression is very important when preparing animation files for the Web.

Making Successful Animations

Some animation tools are: Macromedia's Flash. Kai's Power Tools' Spheroid Designer. Alias|Wavefront's Maya. NewTek's Lightwave.

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