Any motion is an instance of animation. When representational art tries to capture the motion and its attendant movements, then an animation movie is created. Computer animation refers to the use of computer technology to create animation. It is a sub-field of computer graphics and animation. Although hand-made animation is a very old concept (all original Disney movies were hand made animations), increasingly computer animation is being created through use of 3D and 2D software.
To create the illusion of movement, an image is displayed on the computer screen, and then quickly replaced by a new image that is similar to the previous image, but shifted slightly. This technique is identical to how the illusion of movement is achieved with television and motion pictures. The illusion is possible because of a physiological phenomenon called ‘persistence of vision’. Today, vastly superior computer programs are used to enhance photorealistic effect, especially in the movies. Computer games graphics rendering comes close to photorealism, even though they are generated in ‘real time’. Animation is a comprehensive genre, and is used not only in cartoon or animated movies or computer games, but everywhere. A simple graph can be animated for an enhanced user experience.
Today, Macromedia Flash animations are used as advertisements, banners, even headlines. GIF animations have been used for many years to show many animated features, even icons. Presentation software too use the animation feature to create a sophisticated look. As technological barriers are overcome and computers conquer newer avenues, one does not know where the future of computer animation lies. The computer generated movie industry is pushing the limits of photorealism, and that day might not be far away where one can altogether dispense with human actors.
In this section of the webdirectory we provide links to vendors offering animations (both ready made and custom made), and other resources.