WHAT IS AN ANIMATION?
Animation is the illusion of movement by showing still images at different rates. It is used to make cartoons move. All animation is made up of frames. Frames are images displayed at a specific times in the animation sequence.
FPS or "Frames Per Second", refers to how many images are shown in one second. Up to 24 images per second.
WHAT CAN ANIMATIONS BE USED FOR?
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF ANIMATIONS
DIFFERENT STYLES OF ANIMATION
WHICH ANIMATION STYLE WORKS FOR YOUR PROJECT?
In traditional animation, each frame is drawn by hand. First with rough sketches, then clean lines and color. This was originally done on paper, and an artist would flip between drawings to see the motion (or the illusion of motion). The use of this technique resulted in the creation of "flip books".
Now this style of animation is done digitally, with digital tablets and pens. Each frame is drawn individually to create animations.
2D RIGGED ANIMATION
This animation style is similar to traditional animation, but instead of creating a new drawing for every frame, each part of a character is only drawn once and assembled together to move at pivot points. Animators pose characters by rotating and stretching these pieces --or even swapping them out for new ones. Rigged animation can also use a technique called "tweening". In tweening, the animator creates the main poses of an action and the computer helps to fill in the motion in-between each main frame.
STOP MOTION ANIMATION
Animators move puppets one frame at a time to capture each pose on camera. The process is: pose the puppet, take the picture, and repeat. When the pictures play back in sequence, the character moves. Stop motion puppets can bend and twist, because they are usually built with flexible armatures underneath like metal wires.
Stop motion animation combines live action film principles with traditional character animation. It uses photos of real life materials instead of drawings. A common form of stop motion is "claymation". The practice of claymation involves working with clay or play dough characters that can easily be manipulated for animation. Advanced claymation, uses metal skeletons, on which the clay is then molded, for more steady rigs. Some use regular puppets instead of lay ones. (Usually also built with some sort of skeleton rig. The faces of the characters can be replaced based on their expressions or controlled within the rig.
COMPUTER GENERATED ANIMATION
Much like Stop-Motion Animation, this style of animation uses armatures --or digital joint chains to create the frame of a character, which is sculpted from a mesh of squares to be fully 3D. Controllers allow animators to move each joint, and tweening fills in the motion in-between poses. The actions in the animation are also fine tuned with motion graphs. These graphs adjust things like direction and speed.
Motion Graphics animations are not character or story driven animations. This style exercises the art of creatively moving graphic elements of text. It is usually used in commercial or for promotional purposes. Motion graphics are also commonly used for: animated logos, explainer videos, app commercials, television promos, and even film opening titles. The skills for motion graphics do not always translate to other types of animation because they do not require body mechanics or acting. However, they do have some things in common, such as understanding good composition, and camera motion.
CUT OUT ANIMATION
Cut Out animations use construction paper or cardboard characters and placing them on paper while shooting the animation from above. A well known example of this style of animation is "Southpark" when it originated.
Silhouette animation uses cardboard or some other kind of flat material, but the objects are all dark, and the shot is depicted with silhouettes only. This is one of the oldest forms of stop motion animation.
ACTION FIGURE ANIMATION
Action Figure animation is another form of stop motion animation that uses action figures, dolls, and/or legos for the animation. This style is very popular on Youtube. A well known example of this style is "Robot Chicken".
Pixelation is another form of stop motion animation that uses real people and environments to create animated videos.