Animation is the artful manipulation of still images so that they appear to be moving, to generate the illusion of movement. Sounds simple enough? Well, there are many intricacies to this art, especially when it comes to style and technique.
Animation is all about bringing the most realistic and the most fantastical ideas to life by visualizing them to tell stories. As such, there are countless styles of animation- the possibilities are as endless as the limits of the imagination!
However, animation skills are almost always available in specialized packages. There are thriving motion graphics animation companies which are distinct from companies that focus on 3D walkthrough animation, both of which coexist in the city, along with 2D animation companies in Mumbai, too. So, there are various specializations within the field of animation, along concrete general categories.
More pragmatically, then, animation is usually categorized into five overarching genres based on the styles and demands predominant in the industry. With the year, and the decade, coming to an end, it is important to make relevant choices in animation coming from an informed perspective.
Depending on the medium, mechanisms, and markets in play, there are 5 different types of animation:
- Traditional animation:
Traditional animation involves hand drawing your scene, frame by frame, on a transparent piece of paper which are then photographed or recorded. Each frame is only infinitesimally different from the one before it to successfully create the illusion of actual motion.
As the name suggests, traditional animation is one of the oldest forms of animation, with most animated films of the 20th century being traditionally animated. As for the concept itself, animation has traditionally existed from as early as 5000 BC and it is only in the late 1800s and 1900s that animation transitioned into films. This is because animators could finally fit enough number of frames into each second for it to appear like real-time motion.
Today, however, traditional animation can be done on a computer using a tablet, and does not require actual photography of individual frames. As the new decade begins, this kind of animation continues to evolve to match the needs of the time.
This method is not only expensive, it’s also time-consuming and labour-intensive. Being proficient in traditional animation is thus a great skill to master. Though the newer styles have made it seem somewhat redundant, true artistic quality of content is possible via this medium. Even in 2020, old is gold!
- 2D vector-based animation:
The traditional hand-drawn animation was succeeded by 2D vector-based animation in the late 90’s due to the advent of the computer. This animated adopted all the techniques of traditional animation, only with the added advantage of no physical equipment but the computer needed as well as the interpolation which could be used on a computer.
However, vector-based animations allowed for creating standard rigs which relieved animators from drawing characters over and over for each frame. This is why they constitute a whole distinct genre by themselves.
Such flexibility eliminates the need for strong drawing skills. Moreover, though initially expensive and time-consuming, this type of animation is now fast, accessible, easy to use, and rather inexpensive. It is mostly used in creative industries like advertising, movies, video games, and so on.
All in all, for decades now and the foreseeable decades yet to come, it has remained to be one of the most efficient and economic options available- and thus, so overwhelmingly popular! The vast number of successful 2D animation companies in Mumbai alone are evidence enough.
- 3D computer animation:
3D animation adds a crucial element to the animated world- depth. This animation is the closest we have come to portraying the illusion of movement, composition, realism: it offers the illusion of life itself. It is incredibly life-like because every minute detail can be manipulated, down to the facial movements, body movements, shadows, or lighting.
While this kind of animation follows the same principles- of movement and composition- as the first two, it requires very different technical skills with which to digitally model animated scenes.
3D computer animation involves digitally designing skeletons posed for key frames while the computer interpolates the movement of this model between the key frames itself. This reduces the effort needed from the animator significantly.
So, not only are 3D renditions like 3D walkthrough animations more realistic and accurate, but they also save up on time and effort.
- Motion graphics:
Motion graphics, or motion capture, utilizes special sensors to capture real-life motion so as to then make animated characters and objects replicate it on-screen. Actors and objects are made to wear special suits with censors which record their actions, speeches, facial and bodily movements.
Here, motion graphics animation companies follow a process which is sort of the opposite of traditional and computer animation: here, you first configure the movements and then build on the details of the skeleton!
Today, motion graphics animation is extremely popular in films, commercials, news shows, sporting events, and online videos.
- Stop motion:
Stop motion animation involves physically manipulating real-world objects, on a frame-by-frame basis, which are then shot to create the illusion of movement. It is also called Claymation (clay animation) because the figures used are generally made of clay.
In a way, stop motion animation can be called the 3D version of traditional animation. In traditional animation, two-dimensional drawings are photographed, whereas with stop motion, holistic three-dimensional scenes are set up and shot.
Stop motion animation is usually less expensive than computer animation. However, it requires a lot of time. It is labour-intensive, too, as each frame requires an inch-by-inch adjustment of each object. It was hence usually used only to add special effects. Now, though, feature-length stop motion films as well as extensive stop motion advertisements are growing increasingly popular, because of the fluidity of motion that the medium allows.
In conclusion, what kind of animation to use depends on your industry, needs, budget, time sensitivity, and many other factors. The city offers a diverse range of animation solutions from a 3D walkthrough animation agency, a stop motion studio, to a motion graphics animation company; even providing the help of traditional animators and 2D animation companies based in Mumbai. From such extensive options, selecting the right kind of animation for you requires true 2020 vision! So, which one are you looking for?