Computer Animation Compared to Traditional Animation

August 31, 2016
August 31, 2016 Kirsten M.G.

Computer Animation Compared to Traditional Animation

The differences between computer animation compared to traditional animation boil down to the creation process. Various skill sets are involved to develop traditional animation as opposed to computer animation. However, techniques associated with traditional animation are making their way into computer animation.

From the early days of cell-based animation to stop-motion and, finally, all the way to three-dimensional cinematography, animation has come a long way from its origins to the sophisticated high-tech industry that it has become today.

The traditional animation uses methods that don’t involve any kind of digital tools, while computer animation process uses computers. Another way of distinguishing the two is virtual vs. physical; traditional animation uses physical materials and activities, while computer animation uses virtual materials in a digital space.

It’s interesting to note the different types of animation that is put to use today, most of which we are familiar with. The three most popular avenues of animation are the computer, traditional and stop motion. All three have engaging qualities, I like to see the differences in animated film techniques and what goes into each process.

Stop Motion:

Stop-motion animation has been an anchor in motion picture special effects for almost as long as films have been around. Stop-motion animation is one of the most basic, most fun animation strategies.

You see stop-motion animation all the time– in commercials, music videos, television shows and feature films– even if you don’t recognize it. While it is common for people to assume of stop-motion as just one distinct type, such as clay animation, the reality is that stop-motion techniques can be utilized to generate a wide range of motion picture styles.

Mix parallel parts digital camera, computer, and imagination, and you’re on your way. Though the flashier computer-generated animation is in style, stop-motion has a rich culture of its own. This type of animation is not only limited to claymation, either– Tim Burton used stop-motion and puppets to generate The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Comedy Central’s Robot Chicken uses stop-motion with action figures and toy props.

 

Traditional Animation:

Two-dimensional cel animation and stop-motion animation both fall under the category of traditional animation, even if both may use digital approaches of recording in the end. What really matters is the technique of creating the animation itself; cel animation generally consists of hand-drawing, hand-inking, and hand-painting each structure on physical paper and cels, while stop-motion entails working with physical designs and objects taken on camera one frame at a time.

With traditional animation, you get your basic cartoon movie, like Mulan. It’s a process that involves drawing pictures, taking photographs of the pictures and then creating a movement process by differing the original drawings just slightly.

Computer Animation:

Computer animation produces the effect electronically by either 2D or 3D models. Two-dimensional computer animation often entails a virtualization of the conventional two-dimensional animation workspace, bringing pen and paper into the digital environment to redesign cartoon animation workflows and styles. Three-dimensional computer animation tends to include a hybrid of workflows following traditional timelines adjusted to working in a virtual three-dimensional space. Either way, if you’re animating on-screen you’re working with computer animation. Notable motion pictures similar to Avatar and Antz contain 3D animation, while Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon will use 2D for a large number of their cartoon features.

Pixar’s animation format is three-dimensional computer animation. It involves the use of computers to animate within a three-dimensional environment.

Today computer graphics and animation are used in every form of audio-visual, starting from movies to a product commercial. This is in order to create objects, places, and characters that would be otherwise impossible or difficult to create in real life. Animation, today, has become a part of our daily lives. It is used for entertainment, education, as well as various other industrial uses.

Animation has come a long way from the days of thaumatropes and zoetropes in just under a century. This makes the future of animation worth watching out for.

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