back What is animation?

Animation literally means ‘to breathe life into some thing’.

All films, including animations, are made up of individual frames (or pictures) that each contain a slight change of movement in them. These frames are played in a sequence (one after another) at a rate of twenty-five frames per second.

Our eyes can’t actually keep up with the speed of the changes in each image and so we join them up together in our mind. This effect is called ‘persistence of vision.

Planning an animation project

Animation is great fun but it is also a very time consuming way of making films! In order to make the most of your time, it is best to have a well-planned story and method of shooting before you begin. Like any film, animation has a pre-production, production and post-production phase. Be sure to study the aspects of planning a film in the Video section of this website before starting an animation project. Having a clear idea of your story, including a well-planned storyboard will save you lots of time in the long run. 

Using animation in multimedia

Animation is a skill that multimedia professionals use in a number of different ways. Animation can be seen in websites, computer games such as play station and Wiis, television programs, advertisements, music video clips and feature films. Even ATMs, mobile phones and mp3 players use animation.

There are many different ways to make animations. It is a good idea to experiment with the traditional types of animation before moving on to computer animation. The traditional animation techniques can teach you all the basic principles you need to know.
try it How to make a flipbook
video See an example here
Traditional animation techniques

Hand drawn animations
Traditional animation can also be called cell-animation or hand-drawn animation. Each frame is drawn and coloured by hand and then the next frame will be drawn slightly differently until twenty-five frames are put together to make a second of animated film.

Excerpt from The Dressmakers Daughter by Huni Bolliger (click to play)

A flipbook is a book with a series of pictures on each page (usually in the corner). The picture on each page is slightly different from the one before it. When the pages are turned very fast, the pictures seem to animate or give the illusion of movement.

Flipbooks are easy to make and they are a good way to learn how to make pictures come alive. 


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