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What is Animation and How to Make It: A Beginner's Guide

What is Animation and How to Make It: A Beginner's Guide

Almost everyone knows What is Animation and How to Make It. I say this because nowadays, everyone has some knowledge about animation. However, it is also important to learn how to create more animations. Children, for instance, often know more about cartoons and animation than adults. This is probably because complex concepts can be made more engaging through computer animation and graphics. For example, if a mathematics problem is explained using pen and paper, a child might take longer to understand it. But if animation is used to explain the same problem, the letters and numbers appear colorful and interesting on a TV or computer screen. This makes the concept more engaging and easier to visualize.

As we become more technologically advanced, almost everything we do is becoming digitalized. In such a scenario, why should animation lag behind? Due to the growing interest in animation, the demand for animation work has increased significantly. Therefore, the field of animation offers a substantial platform for students who can choose it as a career option. By doing good work in the field of animation, you can work in industries like the film industry, media houses, advertising agencies, digital agencies, and e-learning, and earn good money like in other professions. But before all this, you need to understand what animation is, what its types are, and how to build a career in it. For complete information, you need to read this article thoroughly, and by the end, you will definitely have a lot of information about What is Animation and How to Make It. So let's get started.

What is Animation and How to Make It

What is Animation? 

What is the meaning of animation? Animation is a process that involves designing, drawing, creating layouts, and preparing photographic sequences, which are then integrated into multimedia or gaming products. The principle behind animation is to manipulate still images in such a way that an illusion of movement is created. These images are displayed rapidly in succession to create the appearance of motion, with the images differing from each other only slightly. When we continuously view these static images in sequence, it creates the effect of video animation, where characters or objects appear to be moving.

Modern entertainment industries, such as film and television, have reached great heights because animation, graphics, and multimedia have made significant advancements in their fields. For example, television advertisements, cartoons, serials, presentations, and model designs all utilize animation and multimedia techniques.

Types of Animation

There are many different types of animation, but here we will focus on some important ones:

  1. Traditional (Cel) Animation: Cel animation, also known as hand-drawn animation, involves creating frames by hand. Each picture is slightly different from the next, creating the illusion of movement when played in sequence. Transparent sheets called cels are used to trace these drawings. To make cel animations more attractive, music, sound effects, and proper timing are added. For example, in a cartoon show, 10-12 frames per second are played in rapid succession to create motion.
  2. Stop-Motion Animation: This technique involves photographing objects in different positions to create the illusion of movement. Puppetry is a prominent form of frame-by-frame stop-motion animation. Famous movies like "King Kong" "The Dinosaur" and "The Lost World" use stop-motion effects.
  3. Motion Graphics: These are pieces of digital footage or animation that create the illusion of motion, often combined with audio. Unlike traditional animation, motion graphics are typically used in non-story-based formats, such as logos and abstract shapes.
  4. Computer Animation: This modern technique includes 2D animation, 3D animation, and VFX. It enhances hand-drawn characters and makes them appear more realistic compared to earlier animations.

  • 2D Animation: Used in PowerPoint and Flash animations, 2D animation is similar to cel animation but uses scanned drawings on a computer. Adobe Flash is a popular software for creating 2D animations.
  • 3D Animation: This is used in filmmaking to create objects or characters that are difficult to display otherwise. For example, 3D animation can create large crowds or detailed landscapes. Popular 3D animation software includes Maya, 3D Max, and Blender.
  • VFX (Visual Effects): VFX integrates live-action footage with digital imagery to create realistic environments that are otherwise impractical or impossible to film. CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) is often used to create these effects.

Using these types of animation, we see advancements in fields like web design, film, and media. Animation has also become a popular Internet marketing strategy, helping to engage visitors on websites and blogs for longer periods.

How to Make Animations

Animation is both an art and a science, a new art form that has evolved from technical innovations in frame projector science. To understand how animation works, you must first grasp the scientific principle behind it.

The Principle Behind Animation

The principle behind animation is simple and based on the theory of Persistence of Vision. According to this theory, the human eye retains an image for a short period. When multiple images are projected rapidly, the eye maintains each image long enough to create the illusion of continuous motion. This is the foundation of animation.

Why 24 Frames Per Second?

While 12 frames per second can be used, it doesn't produce appealing motion. Live-action movies typically use 30 frames per second, and TV animations often double-expose each drawing. To produce one second of animated action, 12 drawings are needed, which equals 24 frames. This provides smoother motion.

Measuring Animation Length

Animation length is measured by footage. In animation, footage refers to the length of the animation measured in feet. Typically, 1 foot of animation equals 16 frames. Therefore, 1 second of animation equals 1.5 feet.

  • 1 foot = 16 frames
  • 1 second of animation = 24 frames = 1.5 feet

Frame Rates

Frame rate is crucial for the final quality of animation. It determines how many frames per second are displayed during playback. Higher frame rates produce smoother animations, while lower frame rates can make animations look choppy. For drawn animation, 12 frames per second (FPS) is recommended, which is half the frame rate used in films.

Typical Frame Rates

  • 12 fps: Common in cartoon animation, referred to as "drawing on twos."
  • 15 fps: Rarely used.
  • 24 fps: Standard for film.
  • 25 fps: Used in PAL (European) television.
  • 29.97 fps: Used for color television standards, with occasional frame dropping ("drop frame") to accommodate the extra color signal.
  • 30 fps: Standard for black and white NTSC (US) television.

Career Options in Animation

There are many career opportunities for animators, including roles such as:

  1. Graphic Designers
  2. Multimedia Developers
  3. Game Developers
  4. Character Designers
  5. Keyframe Animators
  6. 3D Modelers
  7. Layout Artists

Animators can work in various sectors:

  • Advertising
  • Online and Print News Media
  • Film & Television
  • Cartoon Production
  • Theater
  • Video Gaming
  • E-learning

Both government and private sector enterprises offer numerous opportunities in the animation industry. To pursue a career in animation, acquiring strong animation skills is essential.

What is an Animation Course?

Animation courses provide students with comprehensive knowledge of animation. These courses teach animation software and market trends, equipping students with the skills needed for animation design and job opportunities in the field. Completing an animation course is crucial for securing jobs in the animation industry.

Types of Animation Courses

There are many different types of courses available to learn animation. However, the main official courses are:

  1. Animation Degree Course
  2. Animation Diploma Course

A diploma course typically lasts one year, while a degree course lasts three years.

Qualifications for Animation Degree Course

To gain admission to an Animation Degree Course, the following qualifications are required:

  1. Students must have passed the 12th grade.
  2. A minimum score of 45% in the 12th grade (+2) is required.
  3. Some colleges may require an entrance examination for admission. You need to apply for this in advance.
  4. Many course options are available, and you can select according to your preference.

Qualifications for the Animation Diploma Course

To gain admission in an Animation Diploma Course, the following qualifications are required:

  1. Students must have passed the 10th grade.
  2. A minimum score of 45% in the 10th grade is required.
  3. Some colleges may require an entrance examination for admission. You need to apply for this in advance.
  4. Many course options are available, and you can select according to your preference.

Skills Needed for Animation Courses

If you have decided to learn animation, this is great news as it can be a very rewarding career if you are dedicated and hardworking. Based on the courses, you can join a Diploma or Degree Course after completing the 10th or 12th grade from a recognized board. Here are some important tips to help you succeed in this course:

  1. Have good observation skills.
  2. Be creative.
  3. Drawing and sketching skills can be very helpful.
  4. Patience and concentration are crucial.
  5. Understand the character being created and immerse yourself in it.
  6. Good communication skills.
  7. Proficiency with computers and software.
  8. Strong teamwork abilities.

Animator Salaries

Animation is a very promising career option. After completing in-house training at a leading animation production studio, a candidate can work as a junior animator with a salary ranging between Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 18,000. As animators gain expertise and experience, they can receive promotions and salaries ranging from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 40,000.

Importance of Animation

Animation is a significant art form that plays a crucial role in our lives, especially on the internet. It allows us to see reality in cartoon form, making it more impactful. The human brain remembers things better when they are seen and heard repeatedly, making animation an effective way to convey information to many people simultaneously.

Animation provides employment to millions, including artists, animators, producers, and technicians, who create diverse animated content in high demand worldwide. The use of animation is not limited to animated films; up to 90% of films and television shows rely on visual effects artists.

Artistically, animation has advanced storytelling significantly. It has been a crucial part of our history in entertainment, art, economy, and culture. Animation is a powerful tool for sharing, promoting, and educating large audiences, whether through educational content for schools, training videos for industries, or informational consumer videos. The economic and practical impact of animation is experienced by millions of people everywhere.

Advantages of Animation

Let's explore some advantages of animation.

  • Skill and Ability Improvement: Interactive animation helps children and adults quickly understand complex concepts, enhancing their skills and abilities.
  • Interactivity: Interactivity involves mutual action between the learner, the learning system, and the learning material. Interactive videos that use audio and video enable quick and efficient learning.
  • Increased Engagement: Interactive learning, including live-action animation, simulations, video, audio, graphics, feedback, expert advice, and Q&A, captivates learners, increasing their engagement.
  • Flexibility and Safety: Animation provides a safe alternative for dangerous real-life experiments in fields like physics and chemistry.

  1. Dangerous experiments can be safely demonstrated through animated videos.
  2. Animation programs can depict hazardous events without any risk.
  3. Learners can repeat experiments without injury if they make mistakes or need further understanding.
  • Motivation: Animation presents information in an inspiring and interactive manner, making it an effective tool for motivation.
  • Eliminates Frustration: The attractiveness of computer animation simplifies the understanding of difficult and complex subjects, reducing learner frustration.
  • Practicality: Animation can present realistic situations that learners face daily. Adults, who are often practical learners, benefit from learning through real problems. Animation supports learn-by-viewing, learn-by-doing, and learn-by-coaching methods.
  • Consistency: All learners receive the same principles and skills, helping them understand concepts in an organized manner.
  • Visualization of Complex Processes: Animation allows visualization of processes that are impractical to show in real life, such as geological events like earthquakes or erosion patterns.
  • Sequential Clarity: Complex sequences can be broken down and visualized separately, clearing any doubts learners may have.

Disadvantages of Animation Technology

While animation has many advantages, there are also some disadvantages.

  • Loss of Practical Information: Some real-life learning information may be lost in animation programs, preventing learners from gaining complete practical knowledge.
  • Curriculum Integration: Despite their technical functionality, integrating animation programs into the curriculum can be challenging.
  • Teacher Expertise: Implementing animation effectively requires teachers to have some experience in programming technology.
  • Memory and Storage: Extensive memory and storage space are needed to store animations.
  • Costly Equipment: Special equipment is required to play animations properly, which can be expensive.

Animation Applications

Animation is widely used in various fields. Let's explore some important areas.

  • Education: Humans remember videos and images better than text. Animation can enhance education by explaining concepts to children more effectively.
  • Entertainment: Animation is extensively used in entertainment, especially in computer graphics. Leading animation companies create animated videos and movies, particularly for children. Studios like Pixar, DreamWorks, and DC Animation Studios are renowned for their animated movies.
  • Advertisement: Companies use animation to make advertisements more interesting and engaging.
  • Marketing: Animation adds creativity to marketing, helping reach a broader demographic.
  • Scientific Visualization: Animation creates accurate and representative scientific visualizations for research and analytical studies, such as 3D medical models.
  • Creative Arts: Motion graphics are widely used to create creative art.
  • Gaming: The gaming industry heavily relies on animation for 3D characters, short videos, texturing, lighting, and rigging.
  • Simulations: Simulations are used for training in dangerous real-life scenarios, such as pilot simulations, providing a realistic yet safe training experience.
  • Medical: Animation helps professionals and medical students understand human anatomy and complex concepts. New students can gain experience through simulations before performing surgeries practically.
  • Architecture and Engineering: 3D animation allows the creation of complex architectural designs to assess their feasibility before implementation.


Compared to traditional education and training methods, computer animation offers numerous advantages, such as motivation and skill improvement. Its primary goal is to reduce learners' time and effort, making learning more practical and task-oriented.

I hope this information about What is Animation and How to Make It has been helpful. If you have any doubts or suggestions for improvement, please leave a comment. Your feedback helps us learn and improve. If you liked this post or found it informative, please share it on social networks like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter to spread the knowledge.


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