Types of Computer Animation

CG Animation from Wikipedia, Stop-motion puppet 20 million miles to earth Ray Harryhausen, Character Build Toon Boom Animation, Paper Cut out Animation Terry Gilliam

Most versions of computer animation have real world counter parts. For instance 3D animation takes the sculpted and three dimensional forms that we’re used in Stop motion. We created virtual cameras, lenses, and lights. This wasn’t how it was developed, but I think the comparisons hold.

The computer brings it’s own characteristics. We’ve taken advantage of things that computers do not having gravity, so puppets don’t fall down on their own. We’ve also created new features, the computer gave us near infinite space, and infinite edibility. The computer also can interpolate positions of objects, helping create inbetweens.

Computer animation done in Toon Boom or Flash has more in common with paper cut-out animation than hand drawn 2D. Paper cut-out animation works by manipulating pieces of paper under the camera. Or swapping out new pieces. But the computer again brings infinite edibility, interpolation, infinite space, and invite drawing substitutions.

What’s interesting is that we don’t have a digital version of hand drawn animation. Something that brings the efficiency of computer animation to traditional animation. There is some interesting attempts with applications like Cacani. And there is some interesting research into building tools that speed up hand drawn animation. It hasn’t been figured out yet, but it’ll probably happen soon.

Originally published at www.lukecoleman.com.