The Basic Types Of Animation For Beginners

There are several different options or choices in animation styles and techniques that an animator can use to create specific effects. With more training and experience, students learn the specific techniques and types and when and how to use them most effectively.

There are actually five different types of animation that are considered the basics of any training program. While they progress from the more traditional and low-tech options to the high-tech processes, having a good understanding of each is important for an animator.

Hand Drawn

This is a fairly self-explanatory type of animation, but it requires a lot of attention to detail, artistic experience, and the ability to conceptualize movement from a 2D, immobile drawing or cel.

In this type of process, the animator will literally draw a series of images that are in a sequence. By then flipping through or moving these images quickly, the   movement is developed. The more attention to detail and the smaller the increments in positioning the figure the smoother and more natural the movement will appear.

New options in online animation software can also be used to create traditional types of animation.

Vector Animation

This type of process uses Flash technology to create the movement through the same process as the hand drawn option, but the image is drawn just once on the computer, and then the subsequent drawings are created by the system.

This is most commonly used for small animations, but new tools allow for easy positioning of the characters to create the animation.

Computer Animation

This is a more complex option in the types of animation and may be called 3D or CGI (computer generated images) animation. This allows the developer to create a three-dimensional model of the image that is then refined through specific tools that also are used to create the movement. The emphasis in this option is more on utilizing the right tool to create the visual effect as opposed to the actual rendering of the initial image.

Motion Graphics

A good way to think of motion graphics is a moving logo or moving text or images. It is not traditional animation, but more the opportunity to bring specific elements to life for focus, attention, or to add movement to an otherwise still display.

Specialized software is used to create the movement and motion, and it is much more technically based than artistically based.

Stop Motion

If you love photography, stop motion animation is one of the types of animation you will enjoy. This uses photographs taken in a sequence and then compiled together to create the look of movement.

This is almost a retro option to the traditional hand drawn animation. However, with the detail and visual clarity of the photograph the result is absolutely accurate in every detail to howthe object appears in real life.

At Hi-Tech Animation, our industry leaders and expert instructors will demonstrate the various types of animation and how they are used in production. To find out more go to

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