Claymation Or Stop Motion Computer Science Essay

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Claymation is a type of stop motion animation where a scene is set up, a picture is taken on camera, then the scene is moved to another position and again picture is taken on camera, then another shot is taken with the animation in different position and so on. Claymation gives the artist 3D effect which is more impressive then 2D.

Some classic examples are; Morph, Wallace and Gromit; Nightmare before Christmas'. Another example is that of Ray Harryhausen's film. Other example is the makers of the film James and the Giant Peach. Models are made out of plasticine, clay, wire, plastic or puppets. This is how animation has developed gradually and now it has reached a fascinating stage of colourful animation programme.


Movement is the development of an object from position A to position B. The tweening technique is used to achieve movement frame by frame. An example of this would be a ball bouncing from the top left hand corner all the way to the bottom right hand corner. In each frame the ball is slightly moved downwards and so on to create the effect of bouncing ball.


These are animation first printed on to cels (a kind of transparent film) and overlays are used to build up images and the background could be reused. Some example are that of Hanna Barbera cartoons like Scooby Doo, Wacky Races and Flintstones etc. The method used to create animation is a similar way to a flipbook as each frame is drawn slightly differently from the previous one. When played at speed the frames create a movement.

The above method is time and money consuming therefore film makers use limited animation images drawn on cels and then overlay to create a composite image. One cel would contain the background while the others would contain moving parts.


When you create a layer with a background then add some way to reveal that layer by sliding layer away from it. An example of this could be if you wish to do a quiz with the question being the first layer, then sliding that layer to the right to find out if that question is right. Masking can be created using Flash and Action script and you would have to create two layers. For example a lighthouse at the bottom layer and the spotlight on the top layer. Scripting to be added inorder to get the proper effect.

Cut out

Cut out animation uses a similar method to claymation - parts are moved then a shot is taken, then moved again and short taken again and so on. A background is created then the cut outs are placed on top. This is quick way of creating animation. But there could be jerky movement in this technique.

Some example of cut out animation are that of Matt Stone and Trey Parker which have become popular worldwide. South Park is another example where cut out animation technique has been used. They have used a computer to stimulate the effect of cut out.


When one image is gradually turned into another image is known as Morphing. Morphing animation technique is very neat trick and can create smooth effects on faces and places that have been changed. For example of a school photo taken over the year will show how a certain person has changed over the years; say about 10 to 15 years time. flash can be used to do the morphing using tweening effect where one photo of a person would slowly morph into the next photo and so on until a sequence is complete.

Task 2 Uses of animation (P2)


With the rise of CGI, advertising on T.V. is a regular affair using animation for impressive advertisement, for example the 'Tiger' and 'Meerkat'. 'Meerkat almost looks real animals because the way they are made and presentation. The voices behind the animation are very impressive you feel like watching them again and again. Web advertising where movements are important because they catch viewers' attention. Banners, pop ups and adverts take up quite a great deal on the day's T.V. programmes and internet. Billboard advertisings are put up in the most visited areas like London Piccadilly Circus, New York City, Tokyo, Las Vegas etc. These advertisement are large billboard spread on the buildings and display areas but animation is not being used.

Television advertising make good use of animation to provide imagery which is usually unobtainable in the real world. Advertisements on T.V. make the product amusing and they are very effective; specially those advents aimed at children. Most of the cereal brands do make use of moving animation to sell their products. During the breaks, which are several, there are always advertisement on products and services which are displayed to audiences through very colourful, funny and life like imagery. With the rise of popularity of the internet there has been increase opportunities for advertisers on the Web. Internet use banner adverts which are usually seen either across the top of web page or down the side of the web-page. Pop-up adverts which open in a new window when a web page is opened. Centre screen flash cards are also used on computer advertisements.


Classroom learning has become lively during these modern times; thanks to computer animations. A boring and lifeless science or maths lesson is made lively, interesting and even amusing. This is done inorder to capture the interest of the students. For example in a secondary school class room a difficult science lesson can be demonstrated on the large screen using computer animation. The students learn through stimulated senses rather than a long boring lecture. Educational games develop skill among the children. Such education games not only entertain children but also boosts their learning. The animation again is used by driving schools for adults. These are simulations which give an impression of reality.

Creative arts & entertainment

In the entertainment the animation is used extensively. The popularity of cartoons, feature-length films, video games, website design etc use animation widely. For example, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was a successful animated film. The experience of technique used during that 1937 film goes on and on and is being researched and expanded to make more animated movies.

CGI is now the most common movie animation format. With Pixer's Toy Story CGI is leading the revolution in using live action instead of traditional special effects. Although 'traditional' animations is still on but they are suitable for 'Indie' movies in different cultures. Modern animation films mostly use computer techniques throughout and the example in front of us is that of films such as 'The Incredible,' 'Ice-age' and 'Toy Story'.

In some film productions the real actors and actresses perform beside animated cartoons. The dialogue between the real actor and animated characters are quite fascinating to watch. The landmark film like 'Who Framed Roger Rabit?' the animated characters and humans have been used in a real environment. Some more example of animated characters and human actiting side by side are: Space Jan (1996); The Page master (1994) and Casper (1995). CGI is used widely in modern films and can create fantastic scenes. Example is that of film Jurrassic Park(1993) which has revolutionised CGI (Computer Generated Imagery).


Simulated animations are very effective as they show gradual progress of an event such as a volcano erupting. Such simulations are widely used in education, science and industry. Training pilot simulation, driving simulations, car racing, weather prediction charts simulation and even in medicine. Simulation captures the viewers interest and educate a person at the same time. Television weather forecasting exposes a huge amount of people to high-quality graphics every day. Nowadays animation are used to show more details and accurate forecasts showing triangular weather fronts and arrows showing the direction of winds.

Task 3(P3) Animated GIFs

Animated GIF has Bitmap format. It has maximum palette of 256 colours. Each pixel is saved in its location like a map. GIFs are more suitable for images with fewer colours such as logos, graphics, cartoon and clip-art.


GIF files can be partially transparent showing the page background image or colour through image GIF has only file format that can be animated. GIF files can be enlarged many times without quality loss and only marginal file size increase. It has relatively small file sizes. It is also suitable for inclusion in online contend.


GIF files are limited to using only 256 colours. It can have too much compression of photographs 1 images with many colours. These colours seem to appear 'blocky' in photographic quality images. GIF banner are not interactive. Banners can be quite annoying. GIF banners cannot be engaged as the flash ones. The quality of images created can be poor. Animated GIFs need a licence per images use because they fall under CompuServe license enforcement.

GIFs can be used or animated in browsers that support animated gifts. They normally do not animal on a file system explorer. To create animated gifs you need modern special tools. And then again the gifts animated images cannot be edited once they are encoded as an animated gif. In such a case animation sequence on save is lost.

Task 4(M1) Persistence of Vision

The persistence vision is based on the theory on the fact that our eye is able to retain the image it has seen for a fraction of a second. When we see a rapid series of images, the brain will process them as a continuous image - movement. In this case the brain and eye work together. Animation is a series of still images, projected rapid enough that our eyes and brain puts them all sequences together.

The myth of persistence of vision is the belief that human perception of motion is the result of persistence of vision this is related to brain and eye perception. A more acceptable theory to explain motion perception are two distinct perceptual illusions = phi phenomenon and beta movement.

The more frames of images are displayed per second the smoother and sensible animation will appear. Movies run at 24 frames per second whilst cartoons on T.V. may run much lower, anything over 10-12 fps will appear pretty smooth to most of the people. There is always a debate between fidelity and smoothness. The views have their own taste.

In the realm of cinema history and theory Persistence of vision is still the accepted term. In the early days of film innovation, it was scientifically determined that a frame rate less than 16 frames per second caused the mind to see flashing images. Audience still will interpret motion at rates as low as ten frames per second or slower as in a flipbook but the flicker caused by the shutter of a film projector distracting 16 frame.

According to psychologists the "Positive after images" can be described as when a person stares at a light, he or she can still see it after the light has been turned off. Positive after images retain the colour and brightness relations of the original stimulus. A positive after image is acceptable explanation of motion perception in film since it allows one image frame to 'bleed' into another. The fusion between the film frames occurs regardless of whether motion is perceived or not. The appearance of continuously visible series of images is a phenomenon distinct from the appearance of motion.

Task 5(M2) Format comparisons





DHTML format was available in late 1997 with the release of Internet Explorer 4 and Netscape Navigator 4. Dynamic HTML is a form of HTML combined with client side scripting language such as JavaScript, CSS and DOM. DHTML can be used to create animation on a webpage such as rollover buttons or drop down menus. It is also use to make browser based games. However due to the different ways browsers interpret web languages there were platform problems with DHTML. This platform has become less popular in recent days and the features of DHTML are nowadays created in CSS languages by themselves. The features can be also be made in Flash, therefore Flash websites are becoming more popular these days. DHTML can be used for adding motion and user interaction to a HTML web page.

The advantage of DHTML is that it can be used to create animation on web pages for example rollover buttons. DHTML is zippy and fast. It will load the content on screen pretty fast. A user can save a lot of time by loading the content part that will be needed to alter. DHTML will be used on any type of plug ins because most of the feature are already present in the browser. The DHTML feature will help the web designer to create a web page that looks different. The web page will have different graphical effects and provides more functionality. This can hold more text or content at the same time.

DHTML has costly editing tools. The editors available for that in the markets are quite expensive. For example DHTML editing softwares like Dreamweaver and Fusion are very expensive. DHTML has long and complex coding. For instance to code DHTML, you will need experts like JavaScript and HTML programmes which will write the complex codes. DHTML has browser support problems. For example a code that has been written for a web browser Google, Chrome will not work on Internet Explorer.


It is a format for animation. It was introduced before Flash. Adobe shockwave was Macromedia's first successful multimedia player. Flash focuses mostly on 2D animation, while shockwave focuses on 3D animation. It has streaming videos and has a faster rendering engine. Shockwave was designed to work with the Director application which can compile several types of asset into one multimedia product on quite a large scale than Flash.

There are many advantages using shockwave. Shockwave is able to offer many tools for synchronising media and making custom interacting interfaces. It is also useful for streaming media. It can also playback animation. It combines all of the downloaded media into one single package.

One of the major disadvantage of shockwave is that the user has to download and install extra software for their web browsers. A user will need extra piece of software like for example Active-x-controls or Netscape which can be not only expensive but slight delays for views who will have to download extra software inorder just to view animations. An amateur internet user will find it hard to master Macromedia Director.


RealPlayer is a cross-platform multimedia player. It can support both QuickTime and windows media formats. It could be a solution to the issue of different formats needed for QuickTime and Windows media player. Recently RealPlayer has received a lot of criticism for displaying adverts and popup messages during programme. The reason being that it has an advertising free version for businesses. This stops the user from access to all the features available in the full programme. At present a version of RealPlayer is used by BBC website to play audio files of radio shows in its Listen Again Section.

It can support both QuickTime and Windows formats. It has free advertising version for beneficial to businesses. Another advantage of RealPlayer is that it allows the viewer to play media file like other players. It also allows the user to also burn VCD, DVD and SVCD using RealPlayer. A user can also record videos. CD's can also be written on RealPlayer. Music can be arranged in jukebox style and also be embedded on web browsers if running MS Internet Explorer. Media can also be transferred on to devices such as MP3 players and iPod's using RealPlayer.

The disadvantages of RealPlayer are quite substantial. If a user has an old computer then it will be a tedious job because a large file requires a lot of RAM not available on old computers. RealPlayer, to start with will load a lot of things and pop ups which the user will get fed up of. It requires a powerful computer to load a large file and everyone cannot afford such a computer.


Flash is a multimedia authoring application. The term 'Flash' is also used for Flash Player, a machine which is used to run animation run by Flash. The programme allows users to create animations, frame by frame using vectors or bitmaps and also includes scripting in Action Scrip. A user can include sound as well as video in Flash programme. It is one of the most popular animation formats used on Internet. It is also used to power websites such as 'YouTube'.

It is installed on almost all Internet browsers worldwide and offers a range of features including fully interactive. Adobe Flash can be used for entertainment purposes. The complete website can be made in Flash. It is convenient to use and has a friendly interface. The user can if he or she wishes to prepare flash slide shows and introductions. It is cost effective as no programmes need to be hired for things like flash presentations as the software is fully intuitive. There are many readymade templates that can be manipulated easily to suit the user needs for presentations or animation. Special effects can also be added to the flash website with the help of flash software.

The disadvantages of using flash is that if the flash animation is on a website then people will have to download the flash software to be able to watch the animation. That can effect the number of viewers who would be willing to view the site. The visitors who have not downloaded the flash player will need to be redirected to somewhere where they are able to download it. Another disadvantage is that if Flash animation is on the website, it reduces the site ranking on search engines as search engines do not register with flash content. If the flash is on Internet it will site holding and will take longer to load and viewers will simply switch on to another site.


It is a plug-in which allows you to play audio-clips, video clips and also certain types of virtual reality. A user having Netscape Navigator 3.0 then he or she has already QuickTime plug-in. QuickTime is Apple's multi platform with multimedia software architecture. It is used by software architecture. It is used by software developers and hardware manufacturers. The creators of contents use it to author and publish synchronised graphics, sound, video, text, music, VR and 3D media. QuickTime is widely used in digital video editing for output back to video tape. It is also used for putting movies on the World Wide Web.

The advantage of QuickTime player is that the large files start to play before downloading the complete file, this is known as streaming. This allows the viewer to watch quicker than having to wait for it to fully download. QuickTime is free to everyone who wants to use it, because it is an open source software. It also supports animation, sound, video and other types media clips.

The disadvantage of QuickTime is that if the user has a slow connection or if the movie was made at a high data rate, there will be a delay before the movie start playing. One of the major disadvantages of QuickTime is that a viewer requires to stream video from a server. A QuickTime has a lower quality than other modern formats such as Flash.

If a viewer has poor internet connection then the quality of film will be slightly poor to watch.


It is a Microsoft web application that delivers media over the web. It is supported by a browser plug-in that runs applications developed with the Microsoft Silverlight framework. It is a rival software to Flash and has many similarities with Flash. Silverlight is based on the WPF animation model which time-based instead of frame-based. Silverlight size is usually large because it uses XAML for it description language.

It is optimised on web browsers. It is easier to use because of its time-based system. It can be used with any type of programming languages like Visual C#. Net, Visual Basic.Net including JavaScript. It supports cross domain applications and the plug is only 1MB.

It requires a plug which not all computer and browsers support. The users are put off as they have to download a plug. Another disadvantage of Silverlight is that it has a smaller market share in comparison to flash. Silverlight is harder to find on computers. Silverlight uses no compression in images or texts, therefore its file size is much larger. Another disadvantage of Silverlight is that it does not allow the user to use webcam.