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Animation techniques

• Claymation is a stop-motion animation process using clay or Plasticine figures that are moved incrementally to create a lifelike look when
the captured film frames are viewed in rapid sequence.
• Clay animation has many benefits. It preserves a unique authentic look for physical animation. It can also be done with very few resources.
One of its disadvantages is the labour-intensive process of repositioning clay objects between each of its frames. Industry experts believe
that a 30-minute clay animation video contains thousands of frames, each of which requires small tweaks to the physical clay models.
• The first surviving clay animated movie was 'The Sculptor's Nightmare', which was a spoof of the Presidential Election of 1908. It was
produced by Edison Manufacturing Co.
• The term 'Claymation' was decided by Will Vinton, who has trademarked the name. He is famous for his Claymation cartoon character 'The
California Raisin'. Will is the founder of Will Vinton Productions which is then later known as Will Vinton Studios. His first venture in a
Claymation movie was 'The Adventures of Mark Twain' in 1985.
• Some famous tv shows and movies that use Claymation are:
• Chicken run (film)
• Wallace and Gromit (film)
• The Gumby show (show)
• Pingu (show)
• Mary and Max (show)
Optical illusion of motion (persistence of
• The term illusory motion, also known as motion illusion, is an optical illusion in which a static image appears to be moving due to the
cognitive effects of interacting colour contrasts and shape position. Apparent motion is the most common type of illusory motion and is
perceived when images are displayed in succession at a specific frame rate such as in a movie.
• “Persistence of vision refers to the wonder of the eye where an afterimage is thought to persist for approximately one twenty-fifth of a
second on the retina, which has lead scientist to believe it is responsible for motion perception”.
• In terms of Media, this only explains why the black intervals between images on a movie reel are not visible to the human eye when in
motion. Persistence of vision is the well known theory regarding a humans awareness of motion. Unfortunately the theory was proved
incorrect in the year 1912 by Wertheimer.
• There is now and more new and believable theory for the persistence of vision which involve two perceptual illusions which are Phi the
phenomenon and the Beta movement. The Phi phenomenon refers to an optical illusion in which a sequence of images can trick the brain
into seeing moving images and is caused by a changing static image. The beta movement also refers to a series of static images on a screen
which can trick us into seeing a fluid movement animation, provided the frame rate is greater than 10-12 individual images a second, and is
caused by the ‘apparent’ motion between different lights sources that are switched on and off periodically similarly to ‘chase lighting’.
Stop motion
• Stop motion is a optical illusion where a sequence of images that have been stitched up together and have a few to no differences between
them. When these images are shown to someone the images give a optical illusion that they move due to the persistence of vision and the
beta movement. Images being used for a stop frame can work in two different ways. They can either be put together one after another in a
key frame or they can be change the images individually using a digital animation programme.
• Stop motion can take place by a camera or digital and typically it will be performed by figures, people, objects, push dolls and clay puppets.
Any type of physical item can be used for stop motion .
• Traditionally when animating is done through a key frame, images will be shown every two key frames which typically will run for around 24
frames each second. This means that there are 12 drawing each second to achieve a smooth animation.
• Aardman is one o the most famous stop motion animation companies in the world and they use the stop motion idea in the form of clay to
create films and TV shows. One of the biggest Films Aardman has created is Wallace and Gromit.
Computer generation- frame rates and frames
Frame rates
Within a cartoon animation, moving characters are often shot "on twos", one drawing is shown for every two frames of film (which commonly
runs at 24 frames per second), and this means that there are only 12 drawings per second. In animation sequences where a certain movement
is preformed faster, the frame rate is usually reduced to animating “on ones” rather than “on twos "whilst not negatively affecting the fluidity
of the frame rate.
The temporal sensitivity and resolution of human vision varies depending on the type and characteristics of visual stimulus, and it differs
between individuals. The human visual system can process 10 to 12 images per second and perceive them individually, while higher rates are
perceived as motion.
Looking at image recognition, people have been found to recognize a specific image in an unbroken series of different images, each of which
lasts as little as 13 milliseconds
A frame in an animation refers to the image played per second. A good example would be to look at 2D animation and consider stop-frame
animation. Each time the puppet is manipulated a photograph is taken and hundreds of these photos will be taken in order to create a
sequence of images which make up a scene, these photos will be uploaded to a computer and then they will be played in a consecutive order
to create the animation. Each individual photo once assembled on a timeline is called an animation frame
Key frames, onion skinning and tweening
Key frames
Key frames are the frames that contain the image frame. Within a timeline for animation the sequences are there many key frames and these
are like tiny insets where a user can add a frame. Sometimes key frames ca be made to edit the footage as they can be used to extend a frame
where this will then slow down the animation or the speed can be increased by increasing the frame.
Onion skinning
This term applies to 2D animated cartoons, it is a way of editing stop motion films which allow the editors to view many different frames all at
once. It will give a translucent view of a image of the previous frames and you will be able to go back to number select the frames. Usually
animations would be drawn on onion skin paper over a light tablet. The paper would be opaque and viewed normally which will then become
tracing paper when it is again the light. This is good when making sure that each of the frames is I the correct place.
Tweening is the process used to generate a intermediate frame between two different images that will then create a smooth animation
transition between two separate frames. Tweening can be a important process within animation. Whether the software being used to tween is
new or old it depends on how easy it will be to tween a animation. The more modern the software the tweening animations will be easier to
apply transitions using tools. Older programmes will be more time consuming.
• There are many different ways to create animation including Claymation, CGI and stop motion.
• To conclude there are many different animation techniques within the creation of animation. Traditionally animation
would be drawn on then moved to look as if the animations were moving around. Now there are different mays of
creating animation for example Claymation. Claymation uses clay to sculpt out characters and create frames using the
sculptures to put together and make a animation.
• Nowadays most animation is created using computer- generated imagery. Different skills are now needed to create a
successful animation skills such as onion skinning which allow the creator to view all of the frames at once and edit them
to their preference. Back when animation was first discovered none of these skills would have been necessary.