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What is Animation?

Animation is the process by which we see still pictures move.

Each picture is shot on film one at a time and is shown at a rate of 24 pictures per second making the pictures appear to move.

Why do we see these images as moving?

The reason our eyes are tricked into seeing movement can be explained by the ‘persistence of vision’ theory.

Our brain holds onto an image for a fraction of a second after the image has passed. If the eye sees a series of still images very quickly one picture after another, then the images will appear to move because our eyes cannot cope with fast-moving images. Our eyes have been tricked into thinking they have seen movement.

Animation Techniques

There are four basic techniques used in animation.

Drawn / Cell animation

This covers any form where one drawing is replaced by another in a

sequence. Each drawing is slightly different from the one before. It works

the way a flip book does. These animated films are made up of thousands

of drawings which are shown on screen very quickly one after the other.

Cut-out animation

This covers any form of animation where cut out shapes are moved

around or replaced by other cut-outs. Flat objects like buttons,

matchsticks and string can also be used in this form of animation. Cut-

outs can also be laid on top of drawings.

Model animation or stop motion animation

This involves the filming of puppets or any form of three-dimensional

models. The materials used could include plasticine, clay or wire. The

puppets are positioned and filmed before being moved ever so slightly and

filmed again. These shots are put together as a piece of film and will give

the impression of the models moving.

Computer animation or Computer Generated Imagery (CGI)

This refers to the drawing of three-dimensional models and sets on the

computer. Images can be scanned into the computer using digital

photography or made within the computer itself. The images begin as wire-

frame models and are gradually built up into a coloured and textured form

which will be recorded onto film.


Popular Styles

Popular animation styles and techniques used today include:

• Traditional animation

• Stop-motion animation

• Rotoscoping

• Computer generated 3D animation

• Clay-mation


STORYBOARD – Describe purpose.

NOISE – Explain what it is and how it occurs. Examples of how to avoid it.

TYPOGRAPHY – Typefaces, types of fonts – Serif, Sans-serif, script (What are they? When should they be used?)

Web Design – planning stages, file names, linking,