What is animation? It is about describing movements by drawing it and making it appear in motion! There are various types of animation & all just as interesting
Movies, TV serials and these days even video and smartphone games, all of these use some or the other types of animation in some of the other function and most of all, we love them the way they are as they manage to create a universe around us which is nothing like we could ever have in real life! But do we realize the hard work that goes into the making of animations? Yes, they have been around as long as we can remember movies BUT that still does not reduce the fact that they are tough to make. Tom & Jerry, Mickymouse, Donald Duck and so many more. They have entertained us like nothing else we could ever know.
And if you have ever observed, the very definition of animation is, well to animate or to make the appearance of an animal! And to do that one has to observe carefully the ways and means of every to-be animated character and replicate those movements in a series which happen at close proximity and run then one after the other. In doing so, we create the illusion of movement. Done is a series of settings, they can help make entire movies, serials and even the background for most games and even informative videos.
For those of you who want to know this, animation can be made using various means such as:
The medium which was used before the advent of machines and as such is also referred to as the Traditional Process. A painstakingly long process, it involves the detailed making of each frame of movement of each character. It could be Micky Mouse’s smile or his trade-mark movement but each of his movement had to be given life by breaking it down into individual frames which when placed one above the other and run like the quick opening of a book, would show the action we are so used to looking at! So, the next time you come across any such Disney movie/ cartoon strips, see them with extra care and respect because a lot of sheer hard-work with truck-loads of patience has gone into it to make it appear what it is!
- After the advent of computers and various programs and software: 2D Animation! Quite similar to yesteryears’ 2D based animation, the vector-based animation methodology uses computer programs such as Flash to create the right impressions with the main and big difference is that animators have the facility of not having to draw each frame individually and can do the same by moving just individual parts of the body to indicate the act of movement. Besides saving on time and efforts, this ie 2D animation is a lot easy to accomplish.
- 3D Animation—We know this by heart! Don’t we! We see it all the time in movies, TV serials and loads of other places. Here very special technical details are used and recorded on the computer like the movements of live action on a screen instead of using frames as is the case with the traditional medium. The special software of various kinds are used to create and record the live action of characters on screen and that too not only in length and width but also depth thus adding extra wow to the act!
- Motion Graphics Animation. Entirely different from all that we have discussed till now, this way of animation uses inanimate objects very creatively like corporate images and logos, pictures of known entities, places and people and even existing photography. By giving them the least bit of movement while being together, the right impression is created and is best to make commercial advertisements, information snippets, and short introduction videos. Their limited movements are both a great help as also its greatest hindrance to making anything which is akin to a full-length feature film.
- Stop Motion Animation. If you possess infinite creativity and even more in the name of patience, this is certainly up your lane. Its forms include categories such as cut-outs, legos, Claymation and the likes and despite its not-so-subtle and smooth movements, it gives the kind of output with its trade-mark rough edges that you would love it- simply because it is anything but smooth and shows the promise of creativity despite the absence of higher levels of technology! Under stop-motion animation, the subject (or object being portrayed) is photographed in a series of poses and positions individually and put together such that despite its not having the smoothness of a computerized animation, it remains fluid with no hard breaks, jerks, and the likes- this even when the subject, story, and plot sometimes takes strange twists and turns!
In a strange way, the story of animation seems to be the story of mankind itself which evolved from crude to the polished with scope still remaining for betterment. In a rather similar way, despite the obvious finesse being developed with time, like humans, even animation seems to lose its child-like innocence with each advancement and development. But thankfully, unlike human development, in the case of animation, there are those who simply love the old and are ready to swear by it, come what may!
Here’s to Animation. It started about animals and their movements and looked where it has moved us too!