What is Animation?

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Animation is the term we use to describe any film that is deliberately made one frame at a time by manipulating drawings, puppets or computer generated imagery.

Animation films can be made in many ways.

Animators working in drawn animation often use a model to see how a character might look from a certain position.

Over time, puppets begin to deteriorate due to heat, light and handling.

In stop-motion animation, test models known as 'maquettes' are made before the actual puppets are built.

The maquettes are used in preparation to ensure characters are the right shape and size ahead of filming.

Welsh animation is known throughout the world.

Welsh animated cartoon characters have appeared in their own books and comics, as toys, on cereal bowls and even bubble bath.

Every time we watch an animated film we are in fact seeing 24 pictures or 'frames' a second, each one slightly different from the last.

These tiny moments in time appear to move due to 'persistence of vision', an optical effect where we see a stream of movement.

At the beginning of the 20th century, film-makers discovered that they could change drawings under the camera, or move objects around one frame at a time.


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When the film was projected, these drawings and objects magically sprang to life.

Here's more about the history of animation in Wales.

Where does the future lie?

Today, animation appears in every sort of film and television programme.

It often seems so real it's hard to tell it is animation!