Animation Key Terms
Understand animation key terms to increase knowledge of animation film production techniquesThere are many techniques used to create animated films and there are key terms for each of them. These key terms describe each of these techniques and serve as creative shorthand in the creation of animated films. It is vital for all those who work as professional animators and animated film distributors to take the time to learn animation key terms.
Limited animationLimited animation uses less intricate images than other forms of animation. This technique also uses fewer images and less movement than other kinds of animation. Hanna-Barbera created limited animation cartoons including The Flintstones (1960) and The Jetsons (1962).
RotoscopingRotoscoping is a process in which an animator traces live action images to create realistic movements with a rotoscope projector. Today, there are computer programs that make this process easier to accomplish. Films created using rotoscoping include American Pop (1981) and Waking Life (2001).
Stop-motionStop-motion animation is a technique in which three dimensional objects are moved slightly and then shot one frame at a time until the finished sequence gives the illusion of movement. Some of the more famous stop-motion films are The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and any of the Wallace and Gromit films.
Cut-out animationCut-out animation is a stop-motion technique. Images can be hand-drawn or cut-out from magazines or art books and used to create visually exciting animated films. Monty Python's Flying Circus and the television show South Park both use cut-out animation.
Computer animationComputer animation gives animators the ability to create realistic scenes and characters for their films. Computer animated images are used to create special effects in many live action movies. Examples of computer animated films include Toy Story (1995) and The Incredibles (2004).
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