Computer animation – past, present and future

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Animation is now part of our every day lives – in particular we see a lot of animation within film and television but where animation was once reserved for productions targeting primarily children it is now loved by all and in fact some of the biggest screen animations now target a much wider audience than just children.

As well as film and production pieces, animation is also a popular medium for advertising as well as a tool used by many companies to build brand awareness and understanding.

A brief history of animation

The first experimentations into animation were seen around the 1940s at the time one of the pioneers in animation, John Whitney was creating short animations using customized  ex-anti-aircraft analog computers but it wasnt until nearer to 1960 that he released his first motion controlled animations.

One such animation was titled “catalog” and was released around 1961. Many similar animations followed this one as other pioneers entered the animation race.

Around the same sort of time period digital imagery wasalso being intermingled with these early animation efforts and by 1968 we saw the first animated character published – an animated cat – produced by a team of mathmaticians headed up by Nikolai Konstantinov.

Digital animation in Film

In more recent times we have seen animation evolve massively with 3D animation now being at the forefront of the technology and with films really showcasing everything that animation has to offer.

In fact some of the most successful films of the 21st century have been exclusively animation based films. Frozen, released by Walt Disney Animation Studios being a prime example of how animation can capture the worlds imagination.

Current Animation Trends

Animation still has its heart in comics and thus strives to capture the imagination by showing the surreal and fantastic worlds that traditional film mediums cannot.

“Literature and comics remain a strong source of inspiration when it comes to producing great animations”. said Marc Holt, spokesperson for Fuse Animation

Whilst these fantastic worlds continue to come from the minds of the animators and the inspiration that they thrive on we are also seeing a strong sense of realism within animation – many modern animation pieces are so real that you get completely enveloped within them and in fact sometimes you mistake them for real life rather than comptuer generated objects, people and places.

The future of animation

Following this trend of realism, coupled with advances in modern technology animation is likely to become more and more like real life, mimicking it in every way.

Coupled with the fantastical world from which animation studies take their inspiration we are likely to see some amazing things to come from animation – especially in the motion picture space – and as the portrayal of fantastical worlds becomes more and more realistic it will make for some wonderful show pieces.

In addition, as virtual reality and the technology surrounding it develops and becomes obtainable for the general public, we are likely to see it being coupled with the best animation tactics to produce a new level of virtual reality, game play and so on.

We may even see virtual reality and animation combined with the Internet so that we can peruse the web via a virtual landscape – meeting up with our digital friends, visiting all the places within our digital world and perhaps even pseudo-physically interacting with every aspect of our lives connected by the Internet of things, woven into an animated and virtual world.


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