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Computer Animation Takes The Lead


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There’s really no stopping the various types of media from going high-tech. Technology used from the broadcast and print media to the multimedia is advancing almost every day. Animation in the movies and television is just one example.

Animation is responsible for the funny, adorable and sometimes tough cartoon characters we love to see on TV and in the movies. Before, it the making of cartoons was just done manually (drawn by hand) but now, computer animation is the latest trend. Walt Disney used to be synonymous to cartoons but today, numerous companies have gotten into the business of animation. The latest buzz is that Disney Animation officers are planning to return the Walt Disney studios in Burbank, California to its original status as an exclusive hand-drawn animation company. “Lilo and Stitch" was Disney’s last hand-drawn and big hit animated film.

Computer animation makes use of two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics. When used in films, it is referred to as computer generated imagery or imaging (CGI). This digital technology has somehow replaced the stop motion animation of 3D models and frame-by-frame animation of two-dimensional illustrations.

In making 3D animations, objects or models are normally built on the computer monitor and 3D figures are manipulated with a so-called virtual skeleton. For 2D animations, separate drawings and separate transparent layers are used even without a virtual skeleton.

Computer-animated films usually cover animal characters such as in “Finding Nemo, " fantasy characters like “Shrek" and “Monsters, Inc. " as well as humans that are still cartoons such as “The Incredibles. " A more realistic simulation of humans has been attempted via the movie “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" but it needs further improvement.

Other than the U. S. , another highly-developed country that has a great fascination for animation is Japan. Anime (short for animation) in Japan became famous because of its unique format of storytelling compared to the country’s live-action industry. Japan is known for its robot anime like the Gundam, Voltes V and Mazinger Z that became classics in the 1980s. The origin of Japanese anime can be traced to the early 20th century when Yamamoto explored the techniques in animation that were being done in Germany, France, Russia and the United States at that time. Anime has also been greatly influenced by the Japanese manga and light novels and covers genres such as action, adventure, children’s stories, drama, comedy, fantasy, horror, science fiction and romance.

Animation companies actually have a staff of creative people who can really draw well. Some of them have also outsourced their services and have put up offices in countries whose citizens are blessed with great talent in drawing and have a passion for animation.

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