Introduction to animation
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:
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.
( 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.
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.