Traditionally, animation always used to be done in the manual way. The most popularly adopted method was to create a series of cartoon frames, which were then combined into a film. Another method was by using physical models, which were placed in a certain place and the image was captured; the model was then moved and the next image captured; and the process used to continue.
But, the conventional way has been replaced by computer animation. Computer animation, which is a part of computer graphics, is the technique of creating moving images with the use of computers. It is created by means of 3D or 2D computer graphics. Computer graphics is also referred to as 'Computer-Generated Imagery'. An image is shown on the computer screen, which creates an illusion of movement and this is replaced by a new image, which is slightly different from the previous image. Sophisticated computer animation involves moving the camera or the objects in a more refined way, wherein, the law of physics is used for achieving this.
Computer animation can be created with the help of a computer and animation software. Cinema 4D, Amorphium, Poser, and Ray Dream Studio are some examples of animation software. Many software options are available and prices vary according to the sophistication of the programs.
Computer animators are creative artists who use high-tech tools for achieving their creative perfection, but the ultimate reason for their achievement is their creative vision.
Forms of Animation
There are different types of animation available:
o Scripting Systems was the earliest system used for motion control, where the computer animator writes a script in animation language. One of such scripting languages is Actor Script Animation Language.
o Procedural Animation (which defines the movement over time), uses the law of physics for generating a movement. For example, consider a motion, which is the result of another action, as in the case of a ball, which if thrown towards an object, hits that particular object and causes it to move in the desired direction.
o Representational Animation is a technique, wherein an object changes its shape during animation. This is sub-divided into three categories - articulated object animation, soft object animation, and morphing.
o Stochastic Animation, which controls a groups of objects like fireworks and waterfalls.
o Behavioral Animation, where a group of objects behaves according to a set pattern as indicated by the animator.
Computer generated animation is used in various diverse fields such as films, television, videos, advertising, gaming, website designing and in a host of other situations. Due to its wide range of application, computer animation has seen a spurt in growth in the last few years.
Audiences all over the world, especially young audiences, are captivated by the extreme graphics and sound effects, which have been introduced in television programs, movies as well as in commercials. Use of multimedia makes the presentation even more attractive and effective.