back Computer animation

There are two main kinds of computer animation. 3D animation and 2D animation.

3D animation

In 3D animation, objects are modelled on the computer. Human and animal characters are given virtual skeletons and then the skin and facial features are added. The animator is able to construct objects and characters from every point of view so that they can be turned around and look three-dimensional.

The latest type of 3D animation uses a technique called motion capture. This uses live action actors who actually act out the characters movements. His or her movement is then fed into the computer program and applied to the animated character.

3D animators use a range of different types of software such as 3D Studio Max, Maya, Lightwave 3D , Houdini and Cinema 4D.

If you want to have a go at 3D animation there are a few free software options that you can download from the web.


2D animation

2D animation describes a whole range of animations made in a 2D or two-dimensional environment. This includes frame-by-frame animation techniques such as cell animation, hand drawn, sand or paint on glass and any animation made in a 2D piece of software.  

Examples of 2D animation software are Flash, Adobe Aftereffects, Toon Boom and Gif Animator.


links There are thousands of websites devoted to all areas of animation. Explore them here.