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A Look at the History of Animation
by eguaogie-eghosa Feb 02, 2022 Views (1.5K)

Animation has a long and illustrious history. Animation has existed in many forms, evolving into the technological feat we see today. From ancient Greek pottery to seventeenth-century ocular toys to twenty-first-century computer-generated imagery (CGI).

What Is Animation?

Animation is the process of using motion pictures to bring drawings or inanimate objects to life. The animation uses pictures and drawings to create the appearance of movement and to tell a story to viewers on a screen. Early Grecian pottery, like a comic strip, depicts scenes of movement and expressions.

What is the History of Animation?

Early animators over the centuries discovered ways to create movies without cameras or recording technology, extending the history of animation far beyond the history of cinema. J. Stuart Blackton's 'The Enchanted Drawing' (1900) was the first animated sequence captured on standard picture film, which used a live-action actor, props, and stop-motion techniques to create a two-minute comedic scene—before Oscar-winning CGI Hollywood blockbusters like Pixar's Toy Story 3 (2010) and Academy Award-winning CGI Hollywood blockbusters like Finding Nemo (2003).

The two-minute stick figure animation Fantasmagorie (1908), created by French cartoonist Émile Cohl, was one of the first cartoons. Gertie the Dinosaur, directed by Winsor McCay, was the first animated film to incorporate keyframing, inbetweeners, and animation loops, laying the groundwork for subsequent animation production techniques. Walt Disney's short film Steamboat Willie (1928) was the first animated film to be fully composed, popularizing Mickey Mouse and the use of sound in animated films.

Six Examples of Early Animation Devices:

Many technologies and toys have existed throughout history that could portray active scenes of animated cartoon characters, people, objects, and events:

1. The magic lantern was a device for projecting images that was invented in the year 1603. This gadget employed a mirror in the back of a light source (initially a candle) to guide light through long glass slides, projecting the drawings on the slides. The magic lantern was the first example of "moving pictures," since the slides were placed together to create movement.

2. Thaumatrope: A thaumatrope was a nineteenth-century optical toy in which an image disk was held in place by two strings. The "persistence of vision," an optical illusion that tricks the eye into seeing movement long after it has ceased, would spin the disk as the strings were twirled, fusing pictures on either side of the disk into one.

3. The phenakistoscope, also known as the Fantascope and occasionally spelt "phenakistiscope," was introduced in 1833 and used spinning, painted cardboard disks reflected in mirrors to produce the illusion of movement. The revolutionary experience of the phenakistoscope could only be enjoyed by one person at a time.

4. The zoetrope was a spinning cylindrical variant of the phenakistoscope that displayed images in sequential stages of motion for several viewers to observe at the same time. The cylinder had numerous vertical slits that served as a device for the eye to keep the spinning images from blurring together in motion.

5. The kineograph (also known as the flipbook) debuted in 1868, and is Latin for "moving picture." The kineograph is a compact book of drawings in which each page depicts a different type of movement, allowing the pages to animate a scene when flipped fast in order.

6. The praxinoscope replaced the zoetrope in 1877, with an inner circle of angled mirrors replacing the latter's narrow vertical slits. These angled mirrors aided in the creation of a more clear image.

When was the first animated film released?

Pauvre Pierrot (1892) by Émile Reynaud was made possible by utilizing a praxinoscope with a longer image roll, allowing for a longer viewing period. Because Reynaud's picture roll was hand-painted with 500 separate images, Pauvre Pierrot has sometimes considered the first animated film (rather than using photographs). Film historians contend, however, that Émile Cohl's Fantasmagorie (1908) is the first real animated film because it was created using traditional animation techniques.

Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906) by British-American producer J. Stuart Blackton is widely regarded as the first animated film. Throughout the three-minute film, Blackton employed stop-motion animation to show a variety of animated characters shifting their actions. The first animated film recorded on standard picture film was Humorous Phases of Funny Faces, which made it the first animated film captured on genuine film.

What Was the First Animated Film of a Full Length?

Walt Disney Studios' Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first animated feature picture (1937). Cel animation was utilized in this film to display two-dimensional graphics on a transparent sheet of celluloid, which is a conventional animation technique. Instead of having to recreate each frame from start, the cel animation approach allowed for the transfer of graphics between frames, which sped up the process and saved time and labour.

What is Computer Animation's Background?

Computer graphics were first used for scientific and research objectives in the 1940s. John Whitney Sr., a composer, animator, and inventor, created the custom computer out of a Kerrison Predictor that he adapted (a World War II-era anti-aircraft fire-control system). They were able to make accurate lines and forms by using mathematics to regulate the gadget in more particular ways. The opening title sequence for Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 film Vertigo was animated by Whitney Sr., with the help of famed graphic designer Saul Bass. One of the first live-action films to employ computer animation was the classic picture.

As more computers became ubiquitous in the 1960s, new digital graphics exploded, and by the 1970s, many people were turning to computer graphics as a kind of art. Government financing for the University of Utah resulted in the birth of innovative animation projects, including one directed by Ed Catmull called Hand/Face (1972). As more people became aware of computer animation's capabilities, it evolved into the CGI masterpieces that now dominate our media.

Film District UK is an award-winning and creative film and video production company in the UK. The company started operations in Dubai and Mumbai in 2010. Film District UK is a Video Production Company that specializes in video production, film production, corporate video production, promotional video production, commercial and music video production, live event video streaming, live event video production, virtual event video production, social media video production, testimonial video production and animated explainer video production.
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