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What is animation?

To breathe life into some thing

Animation is a visual technique that
provides the illusion of motion by
displaying a collection of images in
rapid sequence
Animation is not the art of drawings
but the art of movement that are
drawn. What happens between each
frame is much more important than
what exist on each frame.

Animation is generally defined as the

creation of an illusion of movement
by assembling a sequence of still

Types of Animation

Stop-motion animation , 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 type
of media used to create the animation

Graphic animation uses non-drawn

flat visual graphic material
(photographs, newspaper clippings,
magazines, etc.) which are
sometimes manipulated frame-byframe to create movement. At other
times, the graphics remain stationary,
while the stop-motion camera is
moved to create on-screen action.

Clay animation

Clay animation, often abbreviated as

claymation, uses figures made of clay or a
similar malleable material to create stopmotion animation. The figures may have an
armature or wire frame inside of them,
similar to the related puppet animation
(below), that can be manipulated in order to
pose the figures.

Wallace and Gromit

Chicken run

Cutout animation is a type of stopmotion animation produced by

moving 2-dimensional pieces of
material such as paper or cloth.
Examples include Terry Gilliam's
animated sequences from
Monty Python's Flying Circus

Silhouette animation is a
monochrome variant of cutout
animation in which the characters
are only visible as black silhouettes.

Model animation refers to stopmotion animation created to interact

with and exist as a part of a liveaction. Examples include the work of
Ray Harryhausen, as seen in films
such Jason and the Argonauts (1961),
and the work of Willis O'Brien on
films such as King Kong (1933 film).

Puppet animation typically involves stopmotion puppet figures interacting with each
other in a constructed environment, in
contrast to the real-world interaction in model
animation. The puppets generally have an
armature inside of them to keep them still
and steady as well as constraining them to
move at particular joints. Examples include
Le Roman de Renard (The Tale of the Fox)
(France, 1937), the films of Ji Trnka,
The Nightmare Before Christmas (US, 1993),
and the TV series Robot Chicken (US, 2005present).


Rotoscoping is an
animation technique in
which animators trace over
live-action film movement,
frame by frame, for use in
animated films. Originally,
pre-recorded live-action film
images were projected onto
a frosted glass panel and redrawn by an animator.

Computer Animation

2D animation
Figures are created and/or edited on the computer using
2D bitmap graphics or created and edited using 2D
vector graphics .
This includes automated computerized versions of
traditional animation techniques such as of tweening ,
morphing , onion skinning and interpolated rotoscoping.
Examples: Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends , Jib Jab,
Mickey the Squirrel

3d animation
3D animation
Digital models manipulated by an
animator. In order to manipulate a
mesh, it is given a digital
armature (sculpture). This process is
called rigging. Various other
techniques can be applied, such as
mathematical functions (ex. gravity,
particle simulations), simulated fur
or hair, effects such as fire and
water and the use of Motion capture
to name but a few. Many 3D
animations are very believable and
are commonly used as
special effects for recent movies.

History of Animation

predecessor of today's
comic strip can be found in
an Egyptian wall decoration
in circa 2000 B.C.

1600 BC the Egyptian

Pharoah Rameses II built a
temple to the god Iris. It had
110 columns. Each hold a
painted figure of the Goddes
in Changes position. To the
horsemen riding past- Isis
appeared to move.

History of Animation

In one of Leonardo da Vinci's

most famous illustrations, he
shows how the limbs would look
in various positions.
The Japanese used scrolls to tell
continuous stories.
The ancient greeks sometimes
decorated pot with figures in
successive stages of action.
Spinning the pot would create
the sense of motion.

History of Animation

Since the
beginnings of time,
human beings have
tried to capture a
sense of motion in
their art. From the
eight-legged boar
in the Altamira
caves of Northern
Spain 35000 years

The earliest form of

animation is a 5,200
year old earthen bowl
found in Iran in
Shahr-i Sokhta has five
images painted along
the sides. When the
bowl is spun, it shows
a goat leaping up to a
tree to take a pear.

History of Animation

In 1640, a Jesuit priest

named Athonasius
Kircher invented a
device called the Magic
Lantern. It was a box
with a lantern, and glass
discs with images;
essentially a slide

History of Animation

By late 17th century,

Johannes Zahn
mounted the glass
slides on a revolving
disc which gave the
illusion of motion.
These devices were
used to entertain the
royal courts in Europe.

History of Animation

In 1824, Peter Mark Roget discovered Persistence

of Vision With Regard to Moving Objects. Its about
phenomenon that occurs in human vision where an
image lingers even after the light from the source
has ceased.

If this did not occur, we would see a pronounced

flicker in all films and on all televisions and monitors.
This phenomenon makes animation possible.

Persistence of Vision

The principles gave birth to;

The thaumatrope

It was a disc with a string or peg

attached to both sides. One side of the
disc showed a bird, the other an empty
cage. When the disc was twisted, the
bird appeared in the cage

The Flipbook

familiar to most of us. Sequential images

are stacked in a small book, and when
you flip through the pages with your
thumb, you can see the images animate

History of Animation

The phenakistoscope,
invented by Joseph Plateau in 1826, two
disc mounted on a shaft- fornt disc has slits
around the edge and the rear disc has a
sequence of drawings. Look through the
openings and as the discs revolve we have
illusions of motions

The Zeotrope.
In 1860, Pierre Desvignes, inserted a strip of
paper containing drawings on the inside of a
drumlike cylinder. The drum twirled on a spindle,
and the viewer gazed through slots ot the top of
the drum. The figures on the inside magically
came to life, endlessly looping in an acrobatic

Thomas A. Edison develop the

motion camera and projector
provided the first real practical
means of making animation.

animation was done in the simplest of

means. Stuart Blackton, issued a
short film in 1906 entitled Humourous
Phases of Funny Faces,he drew
comical faces on a blackboard,
photographed them, and he erased it
to draw another stage of the facial
expression. This "stop-motion" effect
astonished audiences by making
drawings comes to life.

In 1873 Eadweard
Muybridge conducted an
experiment to resolve a
friends bet about whether
when a horse run, theres a
point at which all four legs
are off the ground.

Muybridge set up a row of

cameras and was able to
trigger them sequentially
so that each camera
captured a single frame of
the motion.

This led to two folio sets of sequential photographs,

Animals in Motion published in 1899, and The Human
Figure in Motion published in 1901. Both of these volumes
are still considered standard references today.
In 1888, Thomas Edison produced a device for recording
sequential images. The resulting images are then shown on
a Mutoscope, which is a device somewhat like an
automated flipbook. Mutoscopes were very popular in
penny arcades.

In 1914, McCays film Gertie the

Dinosaur revolutionized
McCay brought a sense of life and
self-awareness to Gertie through
the animation.
Today animators still study his films
to get insights in subtleties of
character animation.

In 1915, Earl Hurd patented the clear celluloid

sheet, also known as the cel.

it made it possible to draw the background

only once, and animate characters on top of it.

Not only did this greatly reduce the work of

retracing a background frame by frame, but it
later led to the cartoon look of black outlines
filled with color that we are used to today.

In 1915, Max Fleischer

patented the Rotoscope.
The rotoscope used a
technique that involved
filming live actors in
costume, projecting the film
frame by frame onto a glass
plate, and tracing the figure
adding other additions to
create the final animated
The result is very realistic
motion. This technique is still
being used, and is used in 3D
animation software packages
like Animation:Master.

Early Animation Studios

As people started going to movies, the demand for short

animated films grew to a point where a real industry could
develop, and animation studios could grow.

Fleischer Studio - 1916 through 1929 they produced the

very successful Out of the Inkwell Koko the Clown. These
films combined animation and live action.

Sullivan Studios and Otto Messmers created

Felix the Cat films.

Messmer made Felix much more expressive.

This led to Felix being the first real cartoon

Not only were the Felix films very popular, but

so was the Felix merchandise. This was the
first time that an animated character garnered
as much or more attention than a movie star.

But Felix never adapted to sound this

may led their popularity waned,
unfortunately they stop felix in 1933

Disney Enters Picture

The history of animation that most people

are familiar with is the Disney version.
You can clearly see that to this point, there
were many people and studios that came
before Disney.
But, the influence of the Disney animated
films should not be understated.

In 1920 Walt Disney and Ub

Iwerks started the Laugh-OGram company in Kansas City.

During the end of this time,

they produced the first Alice
in Cartoonland film.

But, they had lost so much

money with the earlier films
that they declared bankruptcy
in 1923.

Disney then moved to

Hollywood, and continued
making the Alice in
Cartoonland series.

He was later joined by Ub

Iwerks. The Alice films
incorporated a live action
girl in a cartoon world.
Disney produced 57 Alice
comedies between 1923
and 1927.

Disney started with a new character

called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. In
the period from 1927 through 1928,
they made 26 silent Oswald
Disney lost Oswalt to Universal

Disney designed a new character

called Mortimer Mouse. He later
changed the name to Mickey.

They produced two silent films

with Mickey, but it was their third
that was actually released first.

The third film was Steamboat

Willie, which not only made
Mickey a star, but also was the
very first sound cartoon.

1928 through 1937 witnessed a remarkable transformation

of animation innovation at the Disney studio.

Animated films went from silent, black and white cartoons

with simple characters and simple motion cycles to a full
color feature films with rich characters, music, and
animated effects. During this time Disney produced a series
of cartoons called Silly Symphonies.

In 1932 Disney released Flowers and Trees with

Technicolor. it was the first film to win the Oscar for Best
Animated Short.

In 1937 Disney produced The Old Mill, which won

the 1937 Oscar for Best Animated Short.
This film used the Multiplane camera, a new device
patented by Disney.
This device placed a camera at the top a tall rack,
which then shot downward towards multiple layers
of glass plates.
Each of these plates could move independently, in
three dimensions. This not only produced many
layers of detail, but the camera could rack focus
from foreground elements to background elements.
It added a level of three dimensionality to cel
animation. This concept continues today and is
used as a feature of Animation:Master.

Multiplane camera

Other Studios Despite

Disneys domination,
other animation studios
were also going strong.

The Fleischer Studios

started making Betty
Boop cartoons, which
were very popular.

3D Animation

Another very important

development was 3D
animation and stop motion
The man considered the
grandfather of stop motion
is Willis OBrian.
He used a combination of
soft rubber, clay, and
armatures with 3D sets. His
first film was in 1917 and
was called The Dinosaur
and the Missing Link.

he is probably best known for

King Kong in 1933. With this
film, OBrian gave Kong a real
personality, and was able to get
audiences to really feel for him.

In 1949, OBrian animated

another giant Ape in Mighty
Joe Young. One of the other
animators on this film was a
young Ray Harryhausen, who
later became legendary for the
Sinbad films of the 1960s.

Mighty Joe Young went on to

win the first Oscar for special
effects in 1950.

In 1937 Disney broke new ground

by releasing Snow White, their first
animated feature film.
It proved that audience could sit
through long form animation and
led to a long list of high quality
Disney animated films.
It also led to a great deal of
research and development at
Disney in the mechanics of motion
and animation. A greater sense of
weight, momentum and motion of
humans and animals added to the
quality of animation not only at
Disney, but other studios as well.

The films that followed Snow White like

Pinocchio and Fantasia in 1940,

Dumbo in 1941 and Bambi in 1942

contain what is still considered some of
the best animation produced at Disney.

These sets the standard of animation

Fleischer Studios did their best to

compete. In 1939 they released
Gullivers Travels. Gulliver was
animated using the rotoscope process
with the rest of the characters being
more cartoony. It was more rushed than
Show White, so the animation quality is
less consistent.

Then in 1941, they released Mr.

Bug Goes to Town. This film has
some interesting similarities to
Pixars A Bugs Life.

The Golden Age of animation is generally considered to be

the period between 1937 and the late 1950s.
During this time the studios produced some of the best
and funniest cartoons of all time.
Warner Brothers - Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck,
Elmer Fudd,
and the Road Runner.
Terrytoons - Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle cartoons
in the
1940s and 50s.
Disney - Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto.

MGM -Tom and Jerry, Screwy Squirrel, Droopy, and Barney


Fleischer studios - Popeye, amazing Superman cartoons.

Walter Lantz - Woody Woodpecker cartoons.


Bob Clampett - Warner Brothers.

Tex Avery - Warner Brothers, MGM
Chuck Jones - Bugs Bunny
Friz Freleng - Porky Pig, Yosemite
Sam, and Sylvester
Bill Hanna and Joseph Barbera - MGM

In 1941, the Disney studio was rocked by a strike by

animators who wanted to unionize. Many animators
got laid off. In 1943, they formed United Productions
of America also known as UPA. Chuck Jones directed
the first UPA film, which was a political ad for Frankin
The UPA films were a departure from the traditional
cartoon style. They tended to be more political in
nature, and ushered in a new style that was defined
by stark colors, less realistic character motion, and
very graphic look. It was a very anti-Disney look that
caught on throughout the industry. The opening
credits for Monsters Inc. are very much in the UPA

The Decline of the StudiosBy the late 1950s, the

cost of producing animated shorts was getting
prohibitive, and there was a drop in the movie
theater audiences.

These factors combined to make the major

studios shut down or significantly scale back their
animation units. The Golden Age was over.

Movie theaters were seeing a decline

in audiences because of television.

People were staying home more for

their entertainment than going out.

This created a new demand, but

required a new kind of studio, one
that could produce a lot more
animation in much shorter time.

Hanna-Barbera produced their first

made for TV cartoon series in 1957.

In the 1960s as animation production in Hollywood declined,

animation studios started to thrive around the world. The
National Film Board of Canada financed a number of films in
Canada, many of which were very experimental and really
pushed the medium.

Eastern Europe and Russia also experienced a boom in

animation. Despite the tight control the Soviet government
had over filmmakers, animators seemed to have much more
leeway because they often got around the censors with
symbolism. Stop motion also became quite popular there.

Another part of the world that saw an explosion of animation

was Japan. This was the true birth of Anime. Anime grew to
encompass not only animated entertainment for children,
but ultimately covered drama, comedy, action, and even xrated films. It is definitely, not just for kids.

The 1970s

During the 1970s the bulk of animation was on Saturday

morning and dominated by Hanna-Barbera and Filmation
produced kid-oriented fare. Disney continued to make
animated features, but they had dropped in quality and

But, the 70s also saw the rise of independent animators

that wanted to shake things up. Ralph Bakshi was one of
the most prolific. After getting his start at Terrytoons, he
produced the first R-rated cartoon with Fritz the Cat in
1972. Many of his films had a gritty New Yorker urban feel
including Heavy Traffic, Hey, Good Lookin and
American Pop. He also delved into fantasy with Wizards
and The Lord of the Rings. All of his films after Fritz the
Cat used the Rotoscope technique, so they had a stylized
live action feel mixed with the animation.

In 1977, the world changed with Star Wars came out. This
really ushered in the age of the special effects movie. Phil
Tippett was the lead animator and did the animated chess
game between C3PO and Chewbacca.

The 1980s

Hollywood movies heavy on animated special effects really

took off after Star Wars. With the Star Wars films, Indiana
Jones films, Close Encounters, ET, Poltergeist, and countless
other blockbusters, animation moved towards effects.
Industrial Light and Magic, founded by George Lucas,
dominated this field. Much like Disney did in the 1930s, they
invested a lot of energy and money into R&D, and greatly
improved the quality and quantity of animated visual effects.

Computer animation also took off. The original CG studios did

animation for commercials, and flying logos for network TV.
And as the computer hardware dropped in price, newer CG
studios came to take their place. Studios like Pixar, PDI, and
Blue Sky began during this time. Also, in the late 1980s
personal computers were becoming more capable, and the
first desktop CG animation tools started coming out, like
Hashs Animation:Apprentice. Most of todays 3D tools can be
traced back to these programs.

The end of the 80s also saw some new animated features that
breathed new life into the industry and inspired a whole new
generation of animators. These were Roger Rabbit in 1988,
and Little Mermaid in 1989. There was a measurable boost
in interest of CG animation tools, and many young animators
that got started learning animation on personal computers are
now the animators at the top animation studios.

The 1990s To Infinity and Beyond

As the 90s began, the animation world was rocked by Ren

and Stimpy. The man behind this was John Kricfalusi. In
the late 80s, he was director of animation on Ralph
Bakshis The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse. His
influence in that series was clear. Clearly there was a level
of humor that was not directed at children, but more
towards teenagers and adults.

Ren and Stimply ushered in the sick and twisted cartoon.

Kricfalusi combined a strong graphic style with Bob
Clampett animation sensibilities and teenager level humor.
Most of todays cartoon series are influenced by this show.

The 90s

In 1995, Pixar proved that a CG

feature film was not only possible,
but could be profitable. Taking a
lesson from the early Disney days,
story is the most important element
to an animated film. Its a lesson
that Disney also seemed to relearn
when they released The Lion
King. It was the most profitable
film they ever made. Many of their
previous films had actually lost

But, Pixar opened the door to many

other CG feature film, not just from
them, but from studios like
PDI/Dreamworks, and Blue Sky.

The Principles

12 principles of animation

Squash and stretch

Straight ahead action and pose to pose
Follow through and overlapping action
Slow in and slow out
Secondary action
Solid drawing

Squash and stretch

Defining the rigidity and

mass of an object by
distorting its shape during
an action.
Although the squash and
stretch effect can be
exaggerated, it is
important that the mass
of whatever is being
transformed is preserved.


The preparation for

an action.
to direct the
attention of the
audience to the
right part of the
screen at the right
This is essential for
preventing the
audience from
missing some vital


emphasize heavy weight, as

for a character picking up an
object that is very heavy
a device to catch the
audiences eye, to prepare
them for the next movement
and lead them to expect it
before it actually occurs.
Before a character reaches
to grab an object , he first
raises his arm as he starts at
the article, broadcasting the
fact that he is going to do


Staging is the
presentation of an idea so
that it is completely and
unmistakably clear.
To stage an idea clearly,
the audience's eye must
be led to exactly where it
needs to be at the right

Andrea cute's
scratch was
staged to the
side (in
for clarity and
because that is
where his itch


It is important, when
staging an action. that
only one idea be seen by
the audience at a time
If a lot of action is
happening at once, the
eye does not know
where to look and the
main idea of the action
will be overlooked.

Straight ahead action and pose to


Straight Ahead
Straight Ahead action
usually has a fresh
spontaneous look to it.
Pose to Pose
creates quite a
controlled clean look.

Straight ahead action and pose to


Straight ahead animation starts at

the first drawing and works
drawing to drawing to the end of a
scene. You can lose size, volume,
and proportions with this method,
but it does have spontaneity and
freshness. Fast, wild action scenes
are done this way.

Pose to Pose is more planned out

and charted with key drawings
done at intervals throughout the
scene. Size, volumes, and
proportions are controlled better
this way, as is the action.

Follow through and overlapping


While anticipation is the preparation of an

action, follow through is the termination of
an action. Actions rarely come to a sudden
and complete stop, but are generally
carried past their termination point.

In figure movement, actions of the parts are

not simultaneous, some parts initiate moves,
while others follow. For example, the wrist
leads the hand and fingers in a gesture.

overlapping action

An action should never be brought to

a complete stop before starting
another action. Overlapping
maintains a continual flow between
whole phrases of actions


slow in and out

in animation, the acceleration and
deceleration of action, i.e.
the way that an action begins slowly,
moves quickly through
the main action, and then slows down as it comes to a stop
y one position to another.
rather than moving linearly from
The ball on the left moves
at a constant speed witho
no squash/stretch.
The ball in the center does

slow in and out with a

The ball on the right
moves at a constant
speed with squash/stretch.


The meaning of exaggeration is, in general,

obvious. However, the principle of
exaggeration in animation does not mean
arbitrarily distorting shapes or objects or
making an action more violent or unrealistic.
The animator must go to the heart of
anything or any idea and develop its
essence, understanding the reason for it, so
that the audience will also understand it.
If a character is sad, make him sadder; if he
is bright, make him shine; worried, make
him fret; wild, make him frantic.


If he is angry, make him furious


Expressive Motion
The visual path of action from one
extreme to another is always described
by an arc. In nature, arcs are the most
economical routes by which a form can
move from one position to another

secondary action

A secondary action is an action that

results directly from another action.
Secondary actions are important in
heightening interest and adding a
realistic complexity to the animation.

The secondary action of Luxo Jr's forward motion is the rippling of his power

secondary action

Generally, in facial animation, the

movement is a secondary action,
subordinate to the bodies movement.
The danger with facial animation isn't
that it will dominate the scene, but that it
will not be seen. The change in
expression should happen before or after
a move, changes in the middle of a major
move will mostly likely go unnoticed.


Where the live action actor has charisma, the

animated character has appeal.
Audiences like to see a quality of charm, pleasing
design, simplicity, communication, or magnetism. A
weak drawing or design lacks appeal. A design that
is complicated or hard to read lacks appeal. Clumsy
shapes and awkward moves all have low appeal

Drawing Animation