Animation is art in movement. More precisely, it is the “art of movement.” Whether it is a drawing or a lump of clay, a pup-
pet or paper-cut collage, the animator infuses life and meaning into his or her idea by making it move.
The illusion of movement in animation is created by a physiological phenomenon called persistence of vision. When a single
image is flashed before a human eye, the brain retains that image longer than it is actually registered on the retina. So when a
series of images with slight variations or changes are flashed in rapid succession before our eyes, the effect is one of move-
A Brief History of Animation
The element of motion has intrigued artists for thousands of years. From cave paintings created over 25,000 years ago to
Eadweard Muybridge’s photographic studies of human and animal locomotion during the late 1800s, we can trace efforts to
depict movement that foreshadowed contemporary animation techniques.
Film animation burst on the scene in the early 1900s. J. Steward Blackton produced the first stop-frame animated cartoon,
titled Humorous Phases of a Funny Face, in 1906. Another early landmark was Winsor McCay’s Gertie the Dinosaur (1914), a pop-
ular animated feature consisting of 10,000 illustrations hand-drawn on rice paper by the McCay and an assistant.
The best known of these pioneering film animators was Walt Disney, who in 1928 produced Steamboat Willie starring Mickey
Mouse, and who in 1937 brought to the American movie screen the first full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven
Dwarfs. Disney introduced numerous technical refinements and innovations intro his animated features in order to provide
greater realism and to heighten the illusion of depth.
Since the early days, animators have used new technologies to their advantage. Some of the techniques used by animators
nowadays include cel animation, clay animation, pixelation, rotoscoping, photo montage, puppetry, cut-paper animation, and
computer animation, Although the artist remains a dominant fi