Here is a term that has not been heard of too often, Phenadistoscope. If you are familiar with it then you might be giving away your age. Actually, this was the technique used to give the animation effects. It was a matter of simple drawings that were made to move simultaneously.
We do the same thing today but with much, more advanced methods. The general concept is still there it is the way that results are achieved that is so dramatically different. The techniques of phenadistoscope became extinct by the end of the 21st century when a more exciting and innovative way to get the job done surfaced. If you have not guessed what that is, then it is the computer. Naturally, these dynamic pieces of technology are just never ending in what they can do.
What happened now in the world of animation was that the drawings could be scanned into the computer or even better created on it. The computer has the capability of rapidly displaying all those images that depict movement at a very rapid rate. These are images created from models of 2D or 3D artwork. They are then put into a sequential order, which the computer takes and is able to create the illusion of movement.
The characters of animation today have taken on a dramatic look of realism thanks to the ability to view them from all angles.
The computer is successful at achieving these great results by being able to perform a variety of techniques.
It is capable of making a comic book or cartoon character look as if it were drawn by hand. This is done by a technique knows as cel-shading. To achieve the animation features of skin and facial expressions and cloth as well a technique called morph target animation is implemented. This means that the movements are stored as vertex positions. They in every major frame the vertex will move to a different position.
The works not done yet though. There is skeletal animation that has to be comprised meaning rigging, which is a vertebrate technique. It entails the designing of bone that comprise a portion of the character to allow for visual representation.
After the above has been carried out, a procedure had to be put in place to record the movement. Much like those in video games, called motion capture. Then another exciting aspect is known as crowd simulation. You know those pictures where you see multitudes of people; well this is the technique that is responsible for the realism of these shots.
Often people think of 3D animation as only relating to cartoons. They fail to realize that many other moving objects as seen on the computer for example are animation as well. Perhaps you have viewed the beating heart on a medical site, or seen a 3d plan on a decorating internet show. What you are seeing by way of the presentation is all due to the amazing capabilities of the 3D animation. Therefore, as you can see this technology goes far beyond the use of just entertainment. It has a place in many different industries.