Animation

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Animation is the process of creating the continuous motion and shape change[Note 1] illusion by means of rapid display of a sequence of static images that minimally differ from each other. The illusion — like in motion pictures in general — is thought to rely on phi phenomenon.

Animexample3edit.png

The bouncing ball animation (below) consists of these six frames.

Animexample.gif

This animation moves at 10 frames per second.

Animations can be stored or recorded on either analogue media, such as Flip book, motion picture film, video tape, on digital media, including formats such as animated GIF, Flash animation or digital video. To display it, a digital camera, a computer, or a projector are used.

Animation creation methods include the traditional animation creation method and those involving stop motion animation of two and three-dimensional objects, such as paper cutouts, puppets and clay figures. Images are displayed in a rapid succession, usually 24, 25, or 30 frames per second.

Etymology[edit]

From Latin animātiō, "the act of bringing to life"; from animō ("to animate" or "give life to") and -ātiō ("the act of").[citation needed]

History[edit]

A phenakistoscope disc by Eadweard Muybridge (1893)

Early examples of attempts to capture the phenomenon of motion into a still drawing can be found in paleolithic cave paintings, where animals are often depicted with multiple legs in superimposed positions, clearly attempting to convey the perception of motion.

A Chinese zoetrope-type device had been invented in 180 AD.[1]

The Voynich manuscript that dates back to between 1404 and 1438 contains several series of illustrations of the same subject-matter and even few circles that – when spun around the center – would create an illusion of motion.[2]

These devices produced the appearance of movement from sequential drawings using technological means, but animation did not really develop much further until the advent of cinematography. The cinématographe was a projector, printer, and camera in one machine that allowed moving pictures to be shown successfully on a screen which was invented by history's earliest film makers, Auguste and Louis Lumière, in 1894.[3]

The phenakistoscope (1832), zoetrope (1834) and praxinoscope (1877), as well as the common flip book, were early animation devices to produce movement from sequential drawings using technological means, but animation did not develop further until the advent of motion picture film.

The first animated projection (screening) was created in France, by Charles-Émile Reynaud, who was a French science teacher. Reynaud created the Praxinoscope in 1877 and the Théâtre Optique in December 1888. On 28 October 1892, he projected the first animation in public, Pauvre Pierrot, at the Musée Grévin in Paris. This film is also notable as the first known instance of film perforations being used. His films were not photographed, but drawn directly onto the transparent strip. In 1900, more than 500,000 people had attended these screenings.

Praxinoscope, The first projection (1877)

The first film that was recorded on standard picture film and included animated sequences was the 1900 Enchanted Drawing, which was followed by the first entirely animated film - the 1906 Humorous Phases of Funny Faces by J. Stuart Blackton, and is because of that considered the father of American animation.

The first animated film created by using what came to be known as traditional (hand-drawn) animation - the 1908 Fantasmagorie by Émile Cohl

In Europe, the French artist, Émile Cohl, created the first animated film using what came to be known as traditional animation creation methods - the 1908 Fantasmagorie. The film largely consisted of a stick figure moving about and encountering all manner of morphing objects, such as a wine bottle that transforms into a flower. There were also sections of live action where the animator’s hands would enter the scene. The film was created by drawing each frame on paper and then shooting each frame onto negative film, which gave the picture a blackboard look.

The author of the first puppet-animated film (The Beautiful Lukanida (1912)) was the Russian-born (ethnically Polish) director Wladyslaw Starewicz, known as Ladislas Starevich.[citation needed]

The more detailed hand-drawn animations, requiring a team of animators drawing each frame manually with detailed backgrounds and characters, were those directed by Winsor McCay, a successful newspaper cartoonist, including the 1911 Little Nemo, the 1914 Gertie the Dinosaur, and the 1918 The Sinking of the Lusitania.

During the 1910s, the production of animated short films, typically referred to as "cartoons", became an industry of its own and cartoon shorts were produced for showing in movie theaters. The most successful producer at the time was John Randolph Bray, who, along with animator Earl Hurd, patented the cel animation process which dominated the animation industry for the rest of the decade.

El Apóstol (Spanish: "The Apostle") was a 1917 Argentine animated film utilizing cutout animation, and the world's first animated feature film.[4] Unfortunately, a fire that destroyed producer Frederico Valle's film studio incinerated the only known copy of El Apóstol, and it is now considered a lost film.

Computer animation has become popular since Toy Story (1995), the first animated film completely made using this technique.

In 2008, the animation market was worth US$68.4 billion.[5]

Techniques[edit]

Traditional animation[edit]

Traditional animation (also called cel animation or hand-drawn 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 that are first drawn on paper. To create the illusion of movement, each drawing differs slightly from the one before it. The animators' drawings are traced or photocopied onto transparent acetate sheets called cels, which are filled in with paints in assigned colors or tones on the side opposite the line drawings. The completed character cels are photographed one-by-one against a painted background by a rostrum camera onto motion picture film .

The traditional cel animation process became obsolete by the beginning of the 21st century. Today, animators' drawings and the backgrounds are either scanned into or drawn directly into a computer system. Various software programs are used to color the drawings and simulate camera movement and effects. The final animated piece is output to one of several delivery media, including traditional 35 mm film and newer media such as digital video. The "look" of traditional cel animation is still preserved, and the character animators' work has remained essentially the same over the past 70 years. Some animation producers have used the term "tradigital" to describe cel animation which makes extensive use of computer technology.

Examples of traditionally animated feature films include Pinocchio (United States, 1940), Animal Farm (United Kingdom, 1954), and L'Illusionniste (British-French, 2010). Traditional animated films which were produced with the aid of computer technology include The Lion King (US, 1994), Akira (Japan, 1988), Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) (Japan, 2001), Les Triplettes de Belleville (France, 2003), and The Secret of Kells (Irish-French-Belgian, 2009).

Excerpt from the 1919 Feline Follies with Felix the Cat.
An example of traditional animation, a horse animated by rotoscoping from Eadweard Muybridge's 19th century photos

Stop motion animation[edit]

Stop-motion animation is 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 medium used to create the animation. Computer software is widely available to create this type of animation; however, traditional stop motion animation is usually less expensive and time-consuming to produce than current computer animation.

Computer animation[edit]

Computer animation encompasses a variety of techniques, the unifying factor being that the animation is created digitally on a computer. This animation takes less time to produce than previous traditional animation. 2D animation techniques tend to focus on image manipulation while 3D techniques usually build virtual worlds in which characters and objects move and interact. 3D animation can create images that seem real to the viewer.

2D animation[edit]

Animation-W.gif

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 interpolated morphing, onion skinning and interpolated rotoscoping. 2D animation has many applications, including analog computer animation, Flash animation and PowerPoint animation. Cinemagraphs are still photographs in the form of an animated GIF file of which part is animated.

2D Terms[edit]

3D animation[edit]

3D animation is digitally modeled and manipulated by an animator. The animator starts by creating an external 3D mesh to manipulate. A mesh is a geometric configuration that gives the visual appearance of form to a 3D object or 3D environment. The mesh may have many vertices which are the geometric points which make up the mesh; it is given an internal digital skeletal structure called an armature that can be used to control the mesh with weights. This process is called rigging and can be programmed for movement with keyframes.

Other techniques can be applied, such as mathematical functions (e.g., gravity, particle simulations), simulated fur or hair, and effects such as fire and water simulations. These techniques fall under the category of 3D dynamics.

3D Terms[edit]

Mechanical animation[edit]

Audio-Animatronic version of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.
Toy Story zoetrope at Disney California Adventure creates illusion of motion using figures, rather than static pictures.

Other animation styles, techniques and approaches[edit]

Awards[edit]

As with any other form of media, animation too has instituted awards for excellence in the field. The original awards for animation were presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for animated shorts from the year 1932, during the 5th Academy Awards function. The first winner of the Academy Award was the short Flowers and Trees, a production by Walt Disney Productions and United Artists.[8] However, the Academy Award for a feature length animated motion picture was only instituted for the year 2001, and awarded during the 74th Academy Awards in 2002. It was won by the movie Shrek,[9] produced by DreamWorks and Pacific Data Images. Since then, Disney/Pixar have produced the most movies either to win or be nominated for the award. The list of both awards can be obtained here:

Several other countries have instituted an award for best animated feature film as part of their national film awards: BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film (since 2006), César Award for Best Animated Film (since 2011), Goya Award for Best Animated Film (since 1989), Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year (since 2007). Also since 2007, the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Animated Feature Film has been awarded at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Since 2009, the European Film Awards have awarded the European Film Award for Best Animated Film.

The Annie Award is another award presented for excellence in the field of animation. Unlike the Academy Awards, the Annie Awards are only received for achievements in the field of animation and not for any other field of technical and artistic endeavor. They were re-organized in 1992 to create a new field for Best Animated feature. The 1990s winners were dominated by Walt Disney, however newer studios, led by Pixar & DreamWorks, have now begun to consistently vie for this award. The list of awardees is as follows:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ With the "squash and stretch" principle often applied in case of character animation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ronan, Colin A; Joseph Needham (1985). The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 2. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-31536-4. 
  2. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgALlSPlZC8
  3. ^ McLaughlin, Dan. "A RATHER INCOMPLETE BUT STILL FASCINATING". Film Tv. UCLA. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "El Apóstol". www.bcdb.com, 4 May 2011
  5. ^ "Animation". boi.gov.ph. Board of Investments. 2009-11. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  6. ^ Disney’s Paperman animated short fuses CG and hand-drawn techniques
  7. ^ A Little More About Disney’s “Paperman”
  8. ^ Flowers And Trees [1932] , Ist Oscar Award Winner 3D Animation Movie | Free Maya Video Tutorials
  9. ^ Shrek (2001) - Awards

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]