First, let’s understand what animation is exactly. Animation is an illusion of motion (movement) created by a sequence display of static images. So to create an animated video (or even movie), the animation technique is used and captured into frames or film. When the frames are strung together, there is an illusion of continuous movement, which we give us the output of an animated video or movie.
Back in the older days, there were numerous methods used to create animations. One particular method I remember was the ‘Flip Book’. Basically, the ‘Flip Book’ works by drawing a series of animation images onto a small springy book. You then bend the pages and let the pages spring free one by one, thus creating your animation. The images were mostly hand-drawn and can take up to hundreds of pages (and more!) to get the desired effect. Now, don’t be surprise, but the ‘Flip Book’ method is still quite popular even till this day, mostly created as a hobby but nevertheless still pretty much impressive to look at. This is one of my favourites:
However, with today’s technology, it is much easier to produce animation works (hence animated videos). There are many ways to create animations, and some methods require very simple procedure that people without any real tech skills may be able to create them. The graphics file formats like GIF, MNG, SVG and Flash allow animation to be viewed on a computer or over the Internet.
Example of an Animation
To better understand how animation works, I’ve created the following example for you. For this example, I created all the images in Photoshop in 10 different frames. As you can see in frame No1, the whale was not visible. The whale only starts to emerge from the water on frame No2 and stop moving at frame No7, after which you see the 3 water splash animation.
Here I’ve saved my animation in GIF format and set the timing in between the frames to ‘no delay’, which makes the animation moves pretty fast from one frame to the other. You can see also that after frame No10, the animation goes back to frame No1 again because I have set the animation to loop continuously.
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