How Does Computer Animation Work?

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Animation has significantly improved over the years, from the old two-dimensional cartoons of old to the amazing, and often believable, three-dimensional animation that can now be seen in many movies.

So, how does computer animation work? In a nutshell, 3D animation is created by using a computer to “give life” to static images. In other words, by quickly running through a sequence of images, a computer can appear to make static objects move. This article will explain the basics of how computer animation works.

How Does Computer Animation Work?

There are 2 types of computer animation. The first is called computer assisted animation and the second type is computer generated animation. There are differences between the two, the most significant being that computer assisted animation creates 2 dimensional, commonly referred to as 2D, images. Computer generated animation creates 3 dimensional, or 3D, objects.

The other major difference is that in computer assisted creation, the artist will draw the original 2D objects either on paper or with the help of a computer. In computer generated graphics, the computer does all of the work, since it’s not possible to create this type of dimension using pencil and paper.

In traditional animation, an artist first draws out his objects, scenes and characters in a sequence. Next, he places the most important elements of the sequence in an outline. These are known as keyframes. Each keyframe represents a significant point of time in the final sequence.

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