How Does Computer Animation Work

Wondering how does computer animation work? Computer animation can be seen across the Internet, in television and in the movies. It is responsible for bringing some of the most unforgettable characters to life in ways that simply weren't possible in years past. Do you remember how awesome it was to see the T-1000 shift shape into a liquid mass and walk through metal bars in pursuit of Sarah Connor? "Terminator 2" was one of the first movies to make extensive use of computer graphic animation, setting a trend for big-budget blockbusters to come. To understand how computer animation made liquid metal look so cool, it is best to compare computer animation with traditional animation.

Traditional animation relies on frames.
Traditional animation is created by breaking down the action of a scene into a series of pictures known as frames. The frames are shown at a rate of 30 per second, which gives the appearance of motion to the human eye. Cartoons such as "The Simpsons" use traditional animation. A scene of Homer eating a doughnut is first broken down into the important parts, such as grabbing the pastry and then chewing. These are known as key frames. But, in order for the scene to look fluid, hundreds of frames need to be created in between to show Homer's arm rising to his mouth. These frames need to be painstakingly drawn out by hand.

Computer animation turns to tweening.
Computer animation uses a process known as tweening, which looks to cut down on the work of drawing hundreds of frames. A computer animator illustrates the key frames and uploads them into a program. The program's job is to fill in the in-between frames in a logical way known as interpolation. The program uses advanced algorithms to calculate how the object should look when it moves. Though the computer replaces the need to draw out every single frame, the results of interpolation aren't always what the animator wants it to be. It is a delicate process that takes some time to master.

Related Life123 Articles

Animation software once fell entirely into the realm of those dedicated few with the soul of the artist and the geek fused into one obsessive whole. Animation software can help anyone, even a child, create 2D or 3D animation.

"I want to make a short animated cartoon." If you have a good character and an interesting story, then you can produce a cartoon using several different methods.

Frequently Asked Questions on
More Related Life123 Articles

To make an animated GIF, you can turn to several free programs to capture short bursts of movement in files that won't take up too much space on a Web page.

To make Flash animations this simple tutorial will show you the basic principles needed.

If you've seen the works of Pixar, DreamWorks, Blue Sky or any of the countless others you've no doubt wondered how they do it. You may have even wanted to do it yourself. So how does one get into the 3D industry?

© 2015 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company