What is Animation and What are the Types of Animations?
27 May 2021

What is Animation and What are the Types of Animations?

The word–Animation–should not sound strange to you. Its meaning might be unknown to you, but it is for sure that you have heard the term at least once.

When a sequence of pictures creates the simulation of movement, it is Animation. 

Wait, do not take for granted that you now know everything about Animation as that is only a layman’s definition, given the involved complexities.

So, before we delve into what animation is all about, let us start with the animation definition

The Definition of Animation

Animation is a technique that creates an illusion of movement in a sequence by photographing successive drawings or models.

The rationale behind the technique is that a human being’s eyes can retain an image for only one-tenth of a second. So, when several photos appear before human eyes in quick succession, the brain interprets them as a single moving image.

In the traditional method, pictures were drawn or painted on transparent celluloid sheets, and those were photographed subsequently. But, that technique has become obsolete. Today, animations are made using computer-generated imagery.

The frame rate, or the number of sequential images displayed each second, makes computer-based animations work. One picture is displayed for two frames. In one second, 12 images are shown, but it may look rough. Ideally, a frame rate of 24 frames per second is necessary for smooth motion.

So, what is animation? You now know what it is.

History of Animation

Animation originated from the art of storytelling. Although it is not clear when animation came into existence, what is for sure is that the concept of storytelling has been around for centuries. 

Relevant instances, such as shadow puppetry in about 200 A.D., to the magic lantern, the first image projector, in the 1650s, storytelling through motion has been happening forever.

But things took a different turn in 1832 when Joseph Plateau invented the Phénakisticope, which you can regard as the first animation device in the world.

The device was based on the persistence of the vision principle to create a fluent illusion of motion. Persistence of vision refers to multiple images blending into a single moving image in the human brain.

Types of Animation

After knowing about the definition of animation, it is time to explore the different types of animations.

Animations, broadly, are of five types. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of the types.

It is up to the artist to decide the type to use, depending on his convenience and needs.

The following are the animation types:

1. Traditional Animation

It is also called cell animation. The animator needs to draw every frame by hand to create an animation. He usually uses a light table to see the previous drawing through the top layer of paper. And there is no requirement for specific tools for traditional animation.

Today, artists do traditional animation on computers with special tablets.

2. 2D Animation

The popularity of 2D computer animation is growing day by day because of the easy access to the technology. 

The vector-based animation technology allows the artist to create rigs for the characters and move single body parts simultaneously rather than redrawing the characters. However, it also allows the artist to edit frame by frame.

Beginners find this option beneficial because it allows more flexibility as they need not rely heavily on their drawing skills.

2D Animation is vector-based animations, akin to the ones used in Flash.

3. 3D Animation 

Also known as computer animation, 3D animation is the most commonly used animation form. 

Regardless of its stark difference with the traditional style, it requires the artist to share the same principles of movement and composition in animation.

Technically speaking, 3D animation has more to do with moving a character in a program than drawing.

The animator needs to create the keyframes or specific movements, and the computer fills in the rest.

4. Motion Graphics

Motion Graphics represent a departure from the animation techniques mentioned above because characters or storylines do not drive them.

The artist’s focus should be to move graphic elements, shapes, and text in this technique.

Usually, Motion Graphics is in Animations for television promotions, explainer videos, and animated logos.

As there arises no need to mimic body movements or facial expression, the artist doesn’t need to possess the skill set necessary for the other animation techniques.

5. Stop Motion 

 It is more or less similar to traditional animation as the technique involves combining slightly different still images to show movement. While the striking difference is that stop motion uses photography and captures real objects.

The artist needs to take a photo of an object or scene and slightly move the objects before taking another photo. The artist has to repeat this process until he completes the entire scene.

Animation Improves SEO

Nowadays, video consumption accounts for one-third of internet usage. And animation is one of the most impactful ways of leveraging the consumption trend. It is a creative and versatile way to communicate with your audience.

With superior animation, you can demonstrate quality to your audience. At the same time, your site, with animations, tells search engines that your site is rich in great media content.

Search engines will rank your website higher in search engine results if it contains an animation to cater to the demand of users for more visual content.

Final Say

Now, you know what animation is all about—what it is and its types. We tried our best to cover the best information in the article so you can choose the one that suits your needs and skills. Let us know your views in the comments below.

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By Himanshu Pataria

This post is written by Himanshu, a happy-go-lucky Social media and PPC expert. He is fond of sharing interesting posts to encourage people through his writing. He loves doing research to enhance knowledge in his free time. Stay tuned with us to make yourself updated with the latest stuffs.

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