Animation Techniques Research

Traditional/Classical/Cel/Hand-Drawn Animation:

Cel Animation Reference
This form of animation makes use of sequential hand drawn frames, usually done on a stack of paper. This allows the animator to flip the pages back and forth, checking the sequence of movements in a way similar to that of a flip book. To aid with this process, of which is time consuming, key frames, storyboards, and final designs are usually established before the main body of animating work is commenced. Once the animation is mostly complete, the drawings will be traced onto plastic cells (transparent sheets), painted and then compiled together over the background to create the final animation.
Adobe Photoshop
Toon Boom
Anime Studio

Vector Animation:

Vector animation entails shapes, created using digital software, being manipulated, rigged and moved. Usually, one would create several ‘assets’ that are interchangeable, layered and with several variations. This allows the animator to move the elements ‘through’ 3D space while using 2D vectors. Commonly, plugins, scripts and rigs are used for for efficiency, allowing the animator to rig a character with bone and join structures, allowing him/her to manipulate the nodes, of which then influence the parent-child relationship of the other, attached, nodes.
Adobe Flash
Adobe After Effects
Anime Studio

Stop Motion:

Usually, stop motion is created through the taking of a series of photographs. Clay, plasticine and wire are common materials for models that are used in stop motion animation, manipulated and moved each time before taking another image. The amount of photos you have per movement influences your frame rate. The sequence of photographs, when played as though they are a slideshow, give the impression of video, motion and animation. Stop motion allows the animator to experience a more tactile and physical form of animation, manually manipulating the clay and creating armatures by packing that clay over wire frames.

CGI/Computer/3D Animation:

3D animation makes use of a series of software packages, allowing users to model, rig and then animate their creations. Once a 3D model has been created, a rig (similar to an armature) can be created and then manipulated. The motions, since you are working inside 3D software, can be manipulated using X,Y and Z axis, allowing you to move the model through space. Once the animation is complete, the models textured, the lighting and physics established, the overall animation is rendered and has post-production effects and edits applied to it.
Autodesk Maya
Autodesk Softimage
Autodesk 3DS Max
Cinema 4D

Abstract Animation:

The main goal of abstract animation is to communicate emotion through the use of motion, colour, light, music, rhythm and composition. Usually, these types of animations lack story, but are instead visual and sound experiences intended for the interpretation of each individual viewer.

Motion Graphics:

Motion graphics, or animated type/font, is used widely in animation, film, TV, video and websites, especially during the title sequences of films. Although this form of animation may seem rather unique and different from the others, it is created in a similar way to vector animation, using software such as Adobe Flash and After Effects.
Adobe After Effects
Cinema 4D

Flip Book:

Flip book animation is similar to traditional animation in the sense that it makes use of a series of sequential drawings on paper, drawn in a way that allows the viewer to flip the sheets back and forth, seeing the illusion of movement as the pages are hidden and revealed. Each page is a frame of animation, the more pages per movement, the higher the frame rate.


For this form of animation, a series of images are drawn on a drum that is then rotated, as it turns in a circular direction the viewer experiences the illusion of movement.
Animation Moodboard:
Animation Moodboard.jpg


Bloop Animation. (2017). The 5 Types of Animation – A Beginner’s Guide. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Abstract animation. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Animation techniques. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Cel. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Celluloid. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Traditional animation. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Virtual cinematography. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Film Education | Events | Primary animation | Animation techniques. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
Studies, (2008). Animation Techniques. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). 20 Different Types of Animation Techniques and Styles. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

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