What is animation? It’s more than just making simple sketches in a book and flipping the pages. Contrary to popular belief, animation is not the process of making images move–animation is the process of drawing movement or manipulating images to make them appear to be moving when shown in succession. A sight to behold, animation takes a great deal of skill and time to perfect.
Animated content is now more popular than ever, appearing in commercials, video, and feature-length films, putting animators in high demand. Because of the versatility of animation, more businesses are incorporating it into their marketing strategies as well. Video delivers powerful results, giving way to high levels of customer engagement and the potential for going viral.
Those who are not animators, don’t give animation much of a thought. Most people don’t know about the different types and styles, and are likely unaware that there are not one, not two, but six different types of animation. Amateur and professional animators can agree on one thing–each style has its similarities and differences, and everyone has their own unique preference.
Learn more about the 6 different types of animation, and what they look like. You’ll enjoy trying to spot them when you watch various TV shows and movies!
6 Types of Animation: An Overview
With so many different types of animation available, illustrators and animators have a variety of different methods they can use to tell their story. Artists have their own preferred methods and style, with the end goal of creating memorable art; art that captivates audiences.
Traditional animation–traditional animation is perhaps the most popularly known, the style most people envision when they think of animation. This is also known as hand-drawn or cell animation, and it’s been around for more than a century. In its infancy, artists drew individual images by hand onto sheets of acetate, creating cells one at a time, frame by frame. Since every cell was drawn separately, each one was drawn to be slightly different from the previous cell. Cells were then photographed separately onto individual frames of film. When pieced together, these individual cells created the illusion of movement. Disney popularized this technique, giving their films a realistic and instantly recognizable look.
Stop-motion animation–stop motion animation is easy to create, but time-consuming and tedious. These videos are shot frame-by-frame, where the objects are moved slightly for each individual shot, which are then pieced together to create the illusion of movement. Many stop-motion animations incorporate everyday objects into the mix, like clay, paper, or toys. Stop motion can consist of one of three sub-types, including claymation (using clay as the primary object in each shot), cut-out animation (using paper cutouts for characters or objects), or pixelated (taking photos of real people and environments).
2D animation–2D animation, or vector-based animation is one of the most popular animation styles today. Animators use computer programs like Adobe AfterEffects, Flash or TV Paint to create digital animations that can be easily adjusted or changed. This process is generally faster and more precise than hand-drawn animations. Though a less popular method for commercial animated films and shows, businesses are using 2D video extensively to explain concepts and sell products.
3D animation–3D animation is more complex, using computer technology to create realistic characters. 3D animation is considered the most realistic, allowing artists to show things like a real working human heart or actual facial expressions. 3D animation can be as intricate or expansive as a person’s imagination will allow.
Motion capture animation— This process strives to make 3D animation as realistic and lifelike as possible. An actor is fitted with special cameras and sensors on their body and face. A digital character is then created, which the animator controls. This technology has been popularized by films such as Avatar and Planet of the Apes. Here a real actor doesn’t necessarily have to be rigged, it can be created on computers as well.
Whiteboard animation–this process shows someone drawing images and words onto a whiteboard, while they tell the story about the objects being drawn. Whiteboard animation is typically used for educational purposes. But lately businesses have used them to explain concepts, services, products or ideas in an engaging, interesting way to hold the user’s attention. These videos are an excellent way to teach someone a new task, and build engagement over a short period of time. These videos do a great job of taking a complex concept and making it easy to understand.
Animators now have access to more tools than ever before to create their art. If you are looking to hone your skills, or just learn a new method of animation, there are a variety of tutorials available online. Like other fellow artists, animators are always seeking the next big thing to elevate their art.
Learning new animation skills may require you to obtain more training, by way of continuing education or taking college courses, or through on-the-job training. The possibilities are endless.
You Need to Be Using Video
If your business still hasn’t integrated video into your marketing strategy, now is the time to start. Video is perhaps the most effective method for telling your story and keeping your users engaged. If your company does not have access to a team of animators but you want to create video content, choose Ripple Animation. Our team has created winning videos for companies all across the globe, like Amazon, Samsonite, Hewlett Packard and many more.
Ripple Animation focuses on creating animated videos which drive business results. Contact us now to discuss your video creation goals. We’ll help you bring your vision to life.