Introduction to animation

  • Posted on: 6 May 2020
  • By: dexter

What is animaton?

Animation is a word which has been derived from the Latin word anima meaning "breath, soul" and animare meaning to breathe life into. Basically in animation we create a series of images/pictures in a sequence, in which the next image is a bit different than the previous one.

When someone looks at these images in successions, say I have 8 pictures and change these images in front of your eyes one after another in a rapid succession, you will get an illusion of movement of the image.  This so produced life like movement is refereed as animation.  See the following images:
Bouncing ball frames

In this there are 8 images, showing the ball falling to ground and then bouncing and moving to forward direction.  Now when these are changed in succession they give an illusion of movement.

Bouncing ball

( To see how the above was done in using ImageMagik see this link: How to convert set of image to GIF using ImageMagick. )

In the above GIF you can see a bouncing ball, but is the ball really moving?

The answer is No.  The images are being changed in a rapid succession and you get a feel that the ball is moving/bouncing.  In reality the images are just being replaced one after the another,

This happens only when the images are changed in succession at a fast rate, if the change is going to be slow then it will not look like a movement.  So animation is also an optical illusion which fools the bran in seeing the movement.

Now have a look at the image below, in this the change is fairly slow and you will not feel as if the ball is actually bouncing.

Bouncing ball

The above is a simple example of animation and does not require much skills.  But better and complicated animations requires one to have good artistic skill, one should be able to draw/design the images properly. If the animation contains characters, where expressions and other things are involved one should also be able to recreate the same.  

A standard confusion among people today is that animation is just picking up some 3D/2D animation tools and get going, No it is not like that, one need good imagination, story telling power and good artistic skills.  Even though you many not be a very good artist but one should at least brush up some art skills before jumping into the same.  Computers will be tools to further help you enhance your animations.

More later.



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