What Is Computer Animation How Is It Used In Filmmaking Industry

Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. … This technique is identical to how the illusion of movement is achieved with television and motion pictures. For 3D animations, objects (models) are built on the computer monitor (modeled) and 3D figures are rigged with a virtual skeleton.

9 Types of Animation Styles

The best type of animation style for your production will depend on what you are hoping to achieve with your video. Additionally, different styles have varying cost and time requirements to keep in mind.

From standard 2D animation to stop motion here are 10 of the most popular types of animation styles that you can choose from when creating your own animated video:

1. Traditional / 2D Animation


2D animation probably doesn’t need much of an explanation. It’s used to create flat, 2D characters and environments. While this is one of the oldest animation styles, its flexibility makes it a prominent choice for a variety of applications, including cartoons, promotional videos, explainer videos, and more. 

In traditional animation, each frame was meticulously hand drawn, which can be very time-consuming. Today, animators have access to digital tools and techniques that help to streamline the 2D animation process. 

2. 3D Animation

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3D animation was quite revolutionary when it was introduced. Not only has 3D animation allowed animators to create more immersive, realistic animated experiences, but 3D animation also has practical applications in industries like medicine and architecture.

3D animation is often used for full-length movies, interactive advertisements, commercials, and other marketing materials. However, for simple explainer videos and similar projects, 3D animation isn’t always the best option as it can be much more time and labor-intensive.

3. Stop Motion Animation

Originating over a century ago, stop motion is one of the oldest animation styles and can be seen in many classic animated movies.

To create stop motion productions, creators take pictures of still objects in a specific sequence and string these pictures together to create the illusion of movement. In addition to offering a unique aesthetic, stop motion is a fairly cost-efficient animation style due to a lack of need for expensive equipment and facilities.

4. Rotoscope Animation

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Rotoscope animation involves taking live-action footage and tracing over it with a rotoscope tool—similar to traditional animation styles that involve tracing photographs onto glass panels.

Rotoscoping is often used in situations where it’s necessary for the animated character to interact realistically with the environment. Rotoscope animation is typically cheaper than standard 3D animation and is great for commercials and films.

5. Motion Capture

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Motion capture is a modern form of 3D animation that allows creators to create ultra-realistic animations based on live-action scenes. Motion capture is frequently used in the gaming industry to create realistic character animations and lifelike facial expressions.

The motion capture animation process involves dressing actors up in suits that track their movements and interactions so that they can be recreated with computer graphics.

6. Typography Animation

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Typography animation is the practice of creating animated text. This animation style is often used in movies to create interesting title screens and credit segments.

Businesses can use typography animation to create explainer videos, interactive statistic models, interesting presentations, and employee training materials. This can also be one of the most affordable types of animation styles.

7. Mechanical Animation

Mechanical animation is used to break down the functions and configurations of mechanical products. It involves drawing and animating every detail and mechanism of a machine to create an informative visualization.

This animation style has practical applications in the engineering industry, as it can be used to make adjustments to products before development. Mechanical animation is also great for product demonstrations.

8. Claymation

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Clay animation, or Claymation, is a type of stop motion animation that involves creating characters with clay and photographing their movements in sequences, just as you would with traditional stop motion animation.

Claymation has been most popularly used in classic children’s movies like Chicken Run, as its unique, playful style is appealing to children. It can also be used to create unique shorts and commercials. Claymation is very time-consuming and is often best-suited for short projects.

9. Cut-Out Animation

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Another form of stop motion animation, cut-out animation is probably most recognizable from the popular animated show, South Park. To create a cut-out animation production, creators utilize paper cutouts of characters that are superimposed on animated environments. While this animation style traditionally worked similar to shadow puppets, modern cut-out animation involves using scanned paper cutouts to streamline the process. Cut-out animation is ideal for cartoons, storytelling videos, and explainer videos.

How Is Computer Animation Used in Movies?

Computer animation combines the arts of computer graphics and hand-drawn, two-dimensional (2D) animation to create computer-generated characters, settings and surroundings. The two common uses of computer animation in films are fully computer-animated projects (such as the Pixar films) and the use of computer-generated imagery in live-action films (such as the cyborgs in the Terminator films.

How Animation Is Used

Animated subjects appear to move because images appear on screen and are quickly replaced with a series of similar, slightly altered images in a sequence that suggests walking, waving, jousting or any action the viewer’s eyes perceive to be occurring. Computer animation is favored precisely because it speeds up the process of creating the many images needed for such a sequence.

How Computer Animation Is Used

Computer animation can originate from 2D drawings or be drawn in computer programs. A character will be scanned in to a computer animation program or a virtual skeleton of the character represents them. Once the virtual skeleton is in the program, the animator moves key features, such as limbs and mouth, to key frames, the next major movement of the character. The programs “tween” the differences between these key images and know what movements to fill in to produce the desired movements between key frame A and B. The program then renders the images, enabling it to present a fluid final form. The same process goes for any moving objects or backgrounds around the characters.

How Computer Animation is Used in Live Action

Computer animation in otherwise live-action films is commonly known as computer-generated imagery (CGI), or CG in the motion picture industry. CG is used as a way to facilitate something that would be costly and time-consuming to produce physically. This method can save the producers on large set pieces, scenes and backdrops. It is also used to create special effects that might otherwise not be possible or that would detract from the visual “feel” of the film.

CGI Effects

CGI effects in live action are created the same way as in completely computer-animated projects. The live-action segments are filmed near a blue or green screen backdrop that is then removed in the editing process and replaced with the created CGI in a process commonly known as chroma keying. Sometimes live-action actors and crews are working entirely with a CG backdrop, such as in “Sin City” and the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

Other Uses

CGI is also used to blend live-action characters and backdrops with animated characters and vice versa. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” “Lord of the Rings” and “Cool World” are notable examples. Another form of computer animation in films is projects that use motion-capture technology to film a live actor’s performance and digitize it into a computer-animation program. The performance is rendered into an often photorealistic animated character against an animated backdrop. Examples include the films of Robert Zemeckis and James Cameron`s “Avatar.”

The animation is an art that plays a very crucial role in the business world as well as impacts the lives of general masses. In this era of digital strategy and marketing, a lot of animation is utilized on the internet for promotion amidst the target audience. The need for animation appears as a form of an exceptional means of interaction that helps to convey the message and communicate with the audience.

The animation is a medium that can bring concepts or imaginations to real life through character sketching. Animations are created through a series of breakdown, as shown in the image:

Benefits of using animation for business:

Easy and Quick Communication
Easy and Quick Communication. Implementing colorful and creative animated videos can be used to effectively communicate with the audience.

Educate audience through animation
Animation educates the audience through entertainment. The audience can be explained the use of animation in education through entertainment.

Ability to transfer emotion efficiently
Ability to transfer emotion efficiently. Animation lets you show your thoughts, ideas, and concepts in various fields like marketing, advertising, and business.

Influence audience buying decision using animation
Using animation can greatly influence the audience buying decision. Since, animation takes great advantage of energetic colors, themes, and various other artistic features, it remains deep in the minds of the audience as well.

Increasing website traffic
Increasing website traffic as well as audience engagement with your content. If you have a sound animated video or image animation, the audience would want to observe it and visit your website. This can grow your search engine ranks and can help your brand exceeding any doubts.

Easily shareable
Easily shareable. The chances of sharing your animation are higher if the audience finds it smart and funny allowing you to reach a large amount of audience.

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