History & Future of Animation

Animation history stretches back to the early 1920s

Moving Figures

While the concept of moving figures has been around as long as the ability to depict them, it was not until the 19th century that we had more practical means of creating the illusion of movement, from simple devices for simulating art in motion to cartoons on film. The animation was fast-growing and ever-evolving. In Cartoon Animation History, starting from the early 1800s, the first milestone in modern animation came about in 1824, a toy known as the Thaumatrope.

What’s a Zoetrope?

As the disc spins, it is viewed through a lens, and the passing images create the animation. In 1834 the Zoetrope was conceptualized, and from 1860 onward, it was referred to as such. The Zoetrope was a cylinder with a strip of images around the inner circumference, which, when viewed through slits in the sides while the tube is spinning, created an animated sequence. Flipbooks, which are still popular today (and easily replicated with a pad of sticky notes), was patented in 1868 as the Kineograph. Due to their simplicity, they were easily replicated, enabling them to reach an audience. Kineo Graphs are a collection of pages with images on each page, and as the pages are flipped through by hand, the animation is created.


Felix the Cat

1920 marked the debut of Felix the Cat, whose character gained enough popularity to become the first merchandised cartoon. Skipping forward in time to 1928, the world was introduced to the Disney studio’s first successful contribution to the world of comics, Steamboat Willie. The short also marked the first appearance of total sound production in cartoons, made possible by transferring the proper format to the film. Later in 1932, Disney would produce the first cartoon in Technicolor, which earned it an academy award, and set a new industry standard.


Introduction of Computer Graphics

Computer graphics first began in 1952 with the “Whirlwind” computer used to help calculate missile trajectory. This led the way to the first digital “cartoon,” a 30-second clip of a car traveling down a road, broadcast on National Television in 1961 called Rendering of a planned highway. In 1963, a sketchpad was first created, which allowed users to sketch drawings on computers that would finish them. This program was quickly expanded on. By 1966, 3D images could be made.


Future of Animation

Almost everything in the media is animated, from educational television shows to the background of movies. Animation is a visual technique that creates that illusion of motion rather than recording motion through live-action. It is most prevalent in creating cartoon movies. In the past fifty years, animation has taken significant steps in improvements to what it is today. It has changed in many ways from techniques to their usage in entertainment.

Animation is Evolving

What makes Animation a new media is the fact that it is constantly evolving into something that is innovative and becomes a method of art, expression, communication, and learning. By using animation, people can get messages across in entertaining and fascinating ways. When it comes to animation, education and children are our first priorities. The future of animation will be based on that.

According to the “Animation Anomaly,” there are five predictions for the Animations Future.

  1. Economics will force a return of shorts. The way the internet and viewing habits are going, the short is likely to return to prominence as a form of entertainment. They may have been rendered obsolete by a wide variety of causes (chief among them the end of the package films) but in an internet age when viewing habits generally favor short-form content that can be turned out quickly and cheaply, the short is ripe for renewal.
  2. Mature animation will become even more widespread. Block like adult swim has shown that mature animation has a place in western entertainment. In the years to come as teenagers now turn into adults, expect them to continue to demand animation to satisfy their needs. Mature animation will continue to proliferate the entertainment world and will continuously improve in quality too.
  3. Economics will kill off the expensive animated feature. Toy Story 3 had a budget rumored at around the $300 million mark. In the years to come, that will be an exorbitant amount of money to spend on a feature, even one with as much recognition as Toy Story. The economics that will force a return to shorts will also severely impact the budgets of feature animation too. Animated films can and have been made on a shoestring for a long time, so it should be expected that we will see some truly great films made for much less than the hundreds of millions that major studios throw at them.
  4. Merchandise will become the primary revenue source. Merchandise is already a major form of revenue generation for animated films (both big and small), however, expected it form a much larger share of the digital revolution eats away at the traditional streams. Cinemas will continue to exist and TV will never go away, but when people get used to viewing content for free, it will become ever harder to persuade them to part with their hard-earned cash just to simply watch something: at least at the cinema, you get a giant screen and sound loud enough to set off seismic meters.
  5. Animation’s stature will equal that of live-action. Yes, it kind of echos the number five from the article, but that one only went so far as to say that animation would not be seen as the ugly sister of live-action. I firmly believe that animation will come to be seen as the equal of live-action in terms of skill and variety. Right now, we’re seeing an epic shift in how animation is perceived. No longer is it simply “for the kids”. Live-action directors like Wes Anderson and Gore Verbinski have shown that there is a sincere interest on the part of live-action directors to embrace animation as a creative technique. We can look forward to a lot more cross-pollination in the future. The animation will become even more widespread. Many people will see and use it daily basis.

Takeaway on Animation

Overall, it is clear that animation has a huge impact on our lives and that animation services should be taken seriously. Without much of the technology, we use today would not even have the ability to function or even be created in the first place. Also, what makes animation is how it can be used for any purpose and adapted to work with humans. It teaches the public the meaningful things in life. Its technology is also constantly advancing in all the fields, especially in business and work, education and children, and entertainment. Animations Future is not around the corner, but already here!



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