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More on Animation

Animation is the illusion of motion created by the consecutive display of images of static elements. In film and video production, this refers to techniques by which which each frame of a film or movie is produced individually. These frames may be generated by computers, or by photographing a drawn or painted image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model unit (see claymation and stop motion), and then photographing the result with a special animation camera. When the frames are strung together and the resulting film is viewed, there is an illusion of continuous movement due to the phenomenon known as persistence of vision. Generating such a film tends to be very labour intensive and tedious, though the development of computer animation has greatly sped up the process. Graphics file formats like GIF, MNG, SVG and Flash allow animation to be viewed on a computer or over the Internet.


For more in-depth look at the history of animation, please see the Wikipedia articles "Animated cartoon" and "History of Animation". The major use of animation has always been for entertainment. However, there is growing use of instructional animation and educational animation to support explanation and learning. The "classic" form of animation, the "animated cartoon", as developed in the early 1900s and refined by Walt Disney and others, requires up to 24 distinct drawings for one second of animation. This technique is described in detail in the article Traditional animation. Because animation is very time-consuming and often very expensive to produce, the majority of animation for TV and movies comes from professional animation studios. However, the field of independent animation has existed at least since the 1950s, with animation being produced by independent studios (and sometimes by a single person). Several independent animation producers have gone on to enter the professional animation industry. Limited animation is a way of increasing production and decreasing costs of animation by using "short cuts" in the animation process. This method was pioneered by UPA and popularized (some say exploited) by Hanna-Barbera, and adapted by other studios as cartoons moved from movie theaters to television.

Computer animation

Computer animation is the art of creating moving images via the use of computers. It is a subfield of computer graphics and animation. Increasingly it is created by means of 3D computer graphics, though 2D computer graphics are still widely used. Sometimes the target of the animation is the computer itself, sometimes the target is another medium, such as film. To create the illusion of movement, an image is displayed on the computer screen then quickly replaced by a new image that is similar to the previous image, but shifted slightly. This technique is identical to how the illusion of movement is achieved with television and motion pictures.

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