“Animator is an actor with a pencil”, goes the oldest and truest animation cliché. Animation is the rapid display of successive frames of still images and text that appears to be animated due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision. Human eye retains the impression of an image up to 1/16th of a second even after it’s removal. This concept is exploited in animations by moving frames at a rate greater than that quoted above making the successive frames blend smoothly and creating an impression of motion.
Animation breathes life into the usual still and dull objects. The animation industry in India has certainly gained its momentum in the 21st century, which is evident from the recent spate of successful Bollywood flicks such as Hum Tum, which saw the cartoon characters adding a new dimension to the script. This extended to complete animation movies such as Hanuman and Lord Krishna that apart from mesmerizing the children also generated interest among other section of the population. Some other well-known cartoon characters of the west that have gained appreciation among the masses are Aladdin, Hercules, Tom & Jerry, the recently released 3d movie Ratatouille, and so on.
The concept of animation is quite broad and starting from the basic 2D clips extends to complex 3D modeling of characters and features. Some of the software which it revolves around is MS Flash (for 2D animations) and 3dsMax, Poser, etc for 3D animations. The real-life modeling is achieved by these software by incorporating the basic scientific parameters experienced by us such as gravity for falling objects, elasticity for colliding bodies, friction and rotation, etc. It basically demands a lot of creativeness on the part of the creator, who has to conceptualize and give his characters identity on screen. He has to convince the audience that the character’s actions are the result of its own inner motives, and not the animator’s inner motives. The technical task of the animator is restricted to defining the initial frame, the intermediate one if a change of path occurs and the final frame of the moving object and the remaining work of giving it a smooth transition is done by the respective software.
The generation of huge amount of interest is linked to the fact that it creates real-life characters that portray human emotions, style of interacting and hence arouse curiosity among the viewers. The animation industry has begun its up trend and is now looked upon as a separate discipline of study.