Animation


My personal enjoyment with animation has inspired me to write this essay,
pertaining to animation. Since I was a child I have been fascinated with
cartoons; from when they started out to be black and white, and until now with
full colour and computer effects. To better perceive what my personal feelings
about animation are, I must first discuss in full detail, a general overview of
how animators bring traditional animation alive with motion.

Animation seems like a smooth movement of drawn sequences of artwork,
pasted together to form a single sequence of animation. This is the basis of
animation, but animation is far simpler than it may seem. "The true meaning of
animation is that it is a series of drawings strung together to create the
illusion of smooth fluent movement."1 But the process of creating this so-
called illusion, is a pain staking process during which artists must spend
tremendous hours of agony to produce only seconds of animated film.

Before an animator goes about creating an animation he or she must have
the knowledge of several rules of animation, which animators around the world
follow. The first rule of animation is that an animator must hold the
understanding of the techniques used to produce single cells of animation.
Second rule, and one of the most important ones is that, the animator must have
great patience, so that his or her piece of artwork is not rushed, to prevent
the animation from looking choppy and not as smooth as it should look. Finally
what is required from an animator is "it takes commitment and effort to make the
basis of animation come alive with fresh ideas."2 The following is not a rule of
animation, but is often taught to animators around the world. "Animators were
often taught that animation is only limited by the imagination and skills of its
creators."3 Using these rules animation companies hire artists who are familiar
with the rules previously discussed, but to create a feature full-length
animation you need more than just these rules. Below the process of creating a
feature full-length animation will be discussed in further detail.

To create a traditional animation requires a team of cooperative artists
and editors. It also demands a collective, creative approach, within which the
individual artists and editors of the team must harmonize and communicate well
with the other members of the team, for the final product to be successful.
Because so many personnel are involved in producing a single piece of animated
film, creation of this is very costly. Companies must create a team of animators
that are willing to work together to get the finished product perfect the first
time around. No matter how modest or ambitious the project, the team of
animators follow a strict number of structured procedures, and must possess the
understanding of the concepts and terminology in traditional animation.

When the team has been assembled. The team begins a long process of set
procedures, which all animators worldwide use. Below the many set procedures are
described in full detail.

1.Script
The script is the first stage in all film production. In an animation
script, the visual action in the plot and performance is far more important than
the dialogue.

2.Storyboard
The storyboard is a series of roughly drawn images that convey the
action described in the script. This scene-by-scene portrayal helps the writer,
director and animation team to access the content of the project and to correct
any deficiencies in the scripted story.

3.Soundtrack
After the script and storyboard are completed, the recording of any
dialogue or key music is undertaken. Since traditional animation relies on
perfect synchronization of the picture to the soundtrack, the animator must
receive the recorded track before beginning to draw.

4.Design
Designers create visual interpretations of all the actors in the script.
When these interpretations are approved, the actors are drawn from many angles
on a model sheet which the animators will use as a reference.

5.Leica Reel
A Leica reel is a filmed storyboard which can be projected in
synchronization with the soundtrack. It helps the director see how the film is
shaping up and make any changes to its visual aspects before animation is begun.

6.Line Tests
Line tests are animation drawings, produced in pencil on paper, filmed
to the precise timings of each scene. As line tests are approved they are cut
into Leica reel, replacing the original drawings and giving the director an even
better idea of how the final film will look.

7.Cleanup
Cleanup artists take the animation drawings now and clean them up, to
give them a consistent visual style.

8.Trace and Paint
When a cleaned-up line test