Animation has gone a long way from its early 1900s debut. The methods animators employ to bring characters and tales to life have vastly advanced over time, but there are still just three main types: traditional animation, stop-motion animation, and computer animation.

Traditional animation

Traditional animated films, which came out about the same time as live-action films, have come a long way since the days of crude drawings and experimental plots. On the other hand, traditional animation began in 1906 with the short film Humorous Phases of Funny Faces.
The frame-by-frame modification of drawings and pictures creates the illusion of moving movement. Although computer technology has aided animators, the core method of creating an animated film has stayed the same—drawing frames one by one.
Animators no longer had to sketch the same image over and over again, as see-through «cels» carrying a character or object in motion could be set on top of a motionless background. With the premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, the Hollywood community and public began to take traditionally animated films seriously.
Due to the high cost and time involved in producing traditional animated films, big American studios are increasingly rare.

Stop-Motion Animation

Stop-motion animation is rarer. Stop-motion animation precedes hand-drawn animation: The Humpty Dumpty Circus was first released in 1898. Stop-motion animators handle objects made of clay or similar flexible material to give the appearance of movement.
Animators must move an object one frame at a time to mimic movement, which takes time. Given that movies are typically 24 frames per second, capturing only a few seconds of material might take hours.
Although the first full-length stop-motion cartoon was released in 1926, the Gumby television series brought the genre to a wider audience. After that, the first full-length stop-motion picture made in the United States, Willy McBean and his Magic Machine, was produced by famed stop-motion pair Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass.
While computer animation has soared in popularity, stop-motion has witnessed a rebirth in recent years, thanks to films like Coraline and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Computer Animation

Before it became a dominant force in the film industry, computer animation was mostly utilized to improve traditional special effects production. Thus, in the 1970s and 1980s, computer-generated graphics was utilized sparingly, with its first major use in a feature film in 1982.
Luxo Jr., Pixar’s debut short film, won an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short Film in 1986, proving that computers could do more than merely assist spectacular effects. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and Jurassic Park (1993) were milestone instances of what computers might do as hardware and software advanced.

In 1995, Pixar published the world’s first computer-animated film, showing audiences and executives the technology’s potential. Other studios soon wanted in on the CGI action. The lifelike imagery and jaw-dropping aesthetics of computer-generated cartoons rapidly ensured their success over their 2D rivals. Aside from Pixar (now owned by animation pioneers Disney), there have been many other successful instances of the genre in recent years, with the series raking in well over two billion dollars globally.

3D animation Revolution

Toy Story (1995) was the first full-length 3D computer-animated film. The 3D animated film revolutionized the animation industry. Another 3D animation trend is photo-realistic animations created with state-of-the-art motion capture and high-end computer processing. All of these films, as well as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Avatar, are good examples.

The computer renders each frame individually after modeling and/or animation, which can take a lengthy time depending on the needed image quality. Curves describe the movement of body components in 3D animation, and this is what 3D animators do the majority of the time. In contrast to traditional animation, the body parts of the character are always visible and should be taken into account.

It’s not uncommon for characters in 2D animation to be redrawn between each frame. From the side, only half of the character can be seen. There is no such thing as it. The animator does little more than a rough drawing of the character on a piece of paper. n The physical components of a 3D character are always apparent. Even though one of your hands is hidden, you still have a grasp on it. This necessitates that the animator is always aware of the entire character.
3D animation has a wide range of frame rates. Traditional animators generate new drawings every 2 frames by working in multiples of two, allowing them to extend the life of a drawing. 3D animation, with the exception of aesthetic pieces that intentionally try to look distinct, is always fluid. In 2D animation, this is a lot simpler to get away with than in 3D animation.


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Reference Sources:

  1. Animation World Network:
  2. Cartoon Brew – Technology:
  3. Befores & Afters – Visual effects and animation journalist:
  4. Bloomberg News:
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  7. Inverse: