Computer Animation History And Explanation Computer Science Essay

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Carry out some research into the history of animation to discover when and how people first explored animation. Use your findings to explain what the physical effect of 'persistence of vision' is and how it affects animation. Demonstrate this by creating a simple 'flick book' animation. [P1]

Persistence of vision is a commonly-accepted although scientifically unfounded theory which states that the human eye (and/or brain) always retains images for a fraction of a second. This means that everything we see is a subtle blend of what is happening now and what happened a fraction of a second ago.

History of animation

There are lots of animations formats are: Cave paintings; Pottery of Persia; Egyptian murals; Zoetrope; Leonardo shoulder study (ca. 1510); the magic lantern; Flip book (1868); Praxinoscope (1877); Phenakistoscope (1831); Thaumatrope (1824); Stop motion; CGI animation and Animated humans.

The magic lantern: The magic lantern is the predecessor of the modern day projector. It consisted of a translucent oil painting and a simple lamp. When put together in a darkened room, the image would appear larger on a flat surface. Athanasius Kitchen spoke about this originating from China in the 16th century. Some slides for the lanterns contained parts that could be mechanically actuated to present limited movement on the screen.

The magic lantern

Flick book animation: A flick book animation is a book with a numbers of pictures that are different from one page to the next page, so that when the pages are turned quickly, the pictures appear to animate by simulating motion or some other change. Flip books are not always separate books, but may appear as an added feature in ordinary books or magazines. This principle is what allows people to see the series of frames in a motion picture as a movie, rather than a set of still photographs. You may have noticed that changes in frame rate and explanation may change the way the animation appears, creating a flicker which can be quite distracting. Flicker book first introduce in 1868 as a kineograph, literally a "moving picture." The developer of the kineograph realised that images could be existing in a linear sequence, rather than being mounted on a circular drum or disc and rotated.

Example of how flickers book animation:

Task 2 P2

There are many different users or applications of animation. Some examples are advertising, creative arts, entertainment, education, simulation (military, architecture etc). Pick three of these users, and describe those using suitable examples. [P2]

Animation on Education:

Animation is a great classroom activity, allowing teachers and students to explore and develop a more creative curriculum, in literacy, science, citizenship, and many topic areas. It helps learns to understand learning easily. Fun, creative hands on learning, animation motivates and engages both teachers and students, to make it more interesting and interactive using simple IT practice, suited to the education environment. Also education games to improve knowledge and help to develop new skills. There are many educational games available and most rely on animation to ensure users find them entertaining while they learn.

Animation on advertising:

Animation is the most popular form of animation used in advertising. Most people used animation to advertise because it is more timeless than casting lead actors in commercials. It will catch people attention and some even say that animation will stay in the mind of consumers longer. Animations advertise can be exciting, imaginative, funning, strong and reliable that will encourage people to buy the produce. Although animation can be expensive, it can also be easier to edit, enhance and reformat in need it. For example, kellogg's has used animated characters throughout a long- running series of adverts for Coco pops. The characters are now well-known to the television-viewers people, even thought they are only on-screen for couple of minters at a time.

Animation on entertainment:

In entertainment industry animation today is increasingly moving towards to 3D movie. Animation used for entertainment can take several forms, from a cartoon 'short' lasting only a few minutes between programmes to feature-length films. The first full-length animation film was snow white and the seven dwarfs. They used special effects to make the movie more realistic and fantasy image to mimic reality. Audiences can watch unrealistic animation and understand that it is simulation. It makes the movie more exciting they can also watch real humans acting and understand that they are watching real. For example in the Xbox 360 game 'Gears of War' the main character Marcus Fenix is very realistic in the way that he moves.

Task 3 P3, M1

Describe the features, advantages and limitations of animated GIFs and one other animation format. [P3, M1]


GIFs stands for Graphics Interchange Format, a bit-mapped graphics file format used by the World Wide Web, CompuServe and many Bulletin Board System. GIF supports colour and various resolutions. It also includes data compression, but because it is limited to 256 colours, it is more effective for scanned images such as illustrations rather than colour photos.

GIFs Advantages:

GIF's advantages is that it is supported by practically all web browsers, can include transparent backgrounds and supports interlacing. Providing a low-resolution preview of the graphic with this file format is typically small in size, and therefore downloads and display faster. GIF makes sharp, crisp images and can be used in web design.

GIFs Disadvantages:

GIF's disadvantages are that it can only support 8-bit colour (or a palette no greater than 256 colours). It may also handle dithering poorly, which is the result of pixels in a graphic that try to mix themselves up to emulate different colours. They can't be edited once they are encoded as an animated gif. If you do edit the gif, you will lose the animation sequence on Save.


A Flash animation is an animated film which is created using Adobe Flash or similar animation software and often distributed in the swf file format. Adobe flash was introduction in 1996; since Flash has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages. Using adobe flash you can manipulate vector and raster graphics, and supports the ability to move, transfer or transmit in both directions streaming of audio and video.

Flash Advantages:

Flash advantages it is vector-base, so images are always are clear therefore smaller file size also resizable with zero quality lost. It can be used to make interactive movies or games also you can have sound in Flash animation. Flash animation is easy to create and easy to view and better compression compared with GIFs.

Flash Disadvantages:

With all the formats though come their disadvantages however, there are not many with SWF but a major one is compatibility. One cannot play an SWF video unless it has Macromedia Flash installed on the computer. The time taken to load a flash animation is noticeably higher than most other animations

Task 4 M2

Compare two different specialist software package or programming techniques used to create computer animation. [M2]



Flash is used for web site animation

Shockwave is used for interactive Graphical

Flash can Create and import media elements, such as images, video, sound, and text.

Shockwave can create 3D animation

Flash is used by many designers and it can be made using several programs.

Shockwave has a greater selection of files that can be loaded into the system

Flash animation is cheaper to use then shockwave

Shockwave also has the ability to communicate with web server programs.

Does not require much technical knowledge and it Works in the SWF flash format.

Shockwave require some technical knowledge and it works in the SWF file format.

Flash files are in vector file format, they can be used to transfer animation to 35 mm film without any compromise in image quality.

Shockwave is inserted into a web page via a special HTML code that "embeds" it into the page.

The creation of animation using Flash can be easier.