2d & 3d Animation Techniques

Cel-shaded animation creates a cartoon with black contour outlines.

An animator takes a series of images and creates an optical illusion of movement. 2D animation utilizes bitmap technology and vector graphics to format styles such as tweening, morphing and onion skinning. 3D animation creates movement with the help of polygons. 3D animators often use models, known as armatures, to capture motion. With computer technology, animation has advanced in many ways. Some standard techniques use old-school processes and develop them to the digital level.

Cel-Shaded Animation

Cel-shaded animation is a computer graphic that appears to be hand drawn. In many ways, cel-shaded animation is reminiscent of the old-style storyboard productions used for cartoons. In cel shading, you begin with a typical 3D model drawn on-screen. The rendering engine than takes the model and creates a black ink line from the contours. Drawing the vertices multiple times and slightly altering the translation makes the lines thick. The process produces a silhouette of the model. The resulting product is a cartoon-styled object with a black outline. The TV series “The Family Guy” is one example of cel-shaded animation.

Flash Animation

When discussing computer animation, the subject of Flash is bound to be part of the conversation. Flash animation began as a personal project of programmer Jonathon Gay. After many stages of construction, the process became more widespread with the introduction of the Macromedia Flash software. Flash animation takes the storyboard style and makes it digital. Within Flash, you can draw, edit and program a movie, frame by frame. The use of 2D vector artwork with Flash brought a new leadership to computerized animation projects. An example of Flash animation is the tweened method, in which the use of start and ending keyframes creates the illusion of movement. Modern-day Flash software comes from many sources. One of the most recognized companies for Flash application is Adobe. Additionally, you can create Flash with Toon Boom, Express Animator and Anime Studio.

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Motion Capture Animation

Motion capture animation began in the late 1970s. According to the ACM SIGGRAPH organization, the use of this arrangement is just now becoming widespread. Motion capture records movement using delayed review. The process in computer animation for 3D projects involves mapping true motion onto a computer character. Disney Studios used motion capture to make the original “Snow White” movie. ACM SIGGRAPH reports that Disney animators used live actors to play out scenes and then traced animation over the film footage to make the cels for the film. Motion capture, often called rotoscoping, is a method of creating action for a cartoonlike image using a live model as the armature.