Traditional cel animation consists of photographs of drawings (frames), each of which differs slightly from the next, arranged in sequence on film. In order to create the illusion of movement without jerkiness, between 12 and 70 frames per second must be created.

For 2-D computer animation (computer-assisted animation), the images consist of bitmap or vector graphics, which are either created using specialist software, or drawn on paper before being scanned and edited digitally. A technique called ‘keyframing’ can be used, where images for particular frames are created, and the positions of the frames in between are calculated using mathematical algorithms. The process of calculating these frames is called ‘tweening’, or ‘morphing’.

In 3-D computer animation (computer-generated animation / imagery, or CGI), three-dimensional digital models are created, either using specialist software, or with a material such as clay, which is then scanned using a 3-D scanner. As well as using keyframing techniques, the movement of models is controlled by giving them a digital ‘skeleton’, or ‘wireframe’, which can be programmed to move and react in a particular way. In some cases, motion capture techniques are used.

Related methods include: 2D Modelling – raster, 2D Modelling – vector, 2D Scanning, 3D Modelling - vector, Image enhancement and Motion capture.

tool: FocusOPEN Digital Asset Manager

Open source Digital Asset Management solution designed for medium size preservation, cataloguing, media archiving and batch transcoding.
Methods relating to this toolCategory
AnimationPractice-led research
Cataloguing and indexingData structuring and enhancement
Collaborative publishingData publishing and dissemination
CollatingData analysis
Content analysisData analysis
CurationStrategy and project management
Data miningData analysis
General project managementStrategy and project management
Graphical interaction (synchronous)Communication and collaboration
Graphical renderingData structuring and enhancement
Image feature measurementData analysis
Image manipulationPractice-led research
Image segmentationData analysis
IndexingData analysis
Manual input and transcriptionData capture
OverlayingData analysis
PhotographyPractice-led research
PreservationStrategy and project management
Record linkagesData structuring and enhancement
Resource sharingCommunication and collaboration
Server scriptingData publishing and dissemination
Statistical analysisData analysis
Streaming mediaData publishing and dissemination
Text encoding - presentationalData structuring and enhancement
Text encoding - referentialData structuring and enhancement
Text miningData analysis
Text recognitionData capture
Textual interaction (asynchronous)Communication and collaboration
Textual interaction (synchronous)Communication and collaboration
Use of existing digital dataData capture
User contributed contentData publishing and dissemination
Video and moving image compressionData structuring and enhancement
Video editingPractice-led research
Video post productionPractice-led research
Video-based interaction (asynchronous)Communication and collaboration
Lifecycle stage:

tool: Autodesk 3ds Max

Autodesk 3ds Max (formerly 3D Studio MAX) is an open source graphics software tool used by video game developers, motion picture studios and architectural visualisers for modelling and animation projects. One of the most advanced 3D modelling tools in the industry, 3ds Max has been utilised by many CGI-animated films such as Avatar and 2012 to generate computer graphics alongside live acting.
Methods relating to this toolCategory
3d graphic designPractice-led research
3d modelling - interactiveData structuring and enhancement
3d modelling - vectorData structuring and enhancement
3d modelling - vectorPractice-led research
AnimationData structuring and enhancement
AnimationPractice-led research
Interface designData publishing and dissemination
Resource sharingData publishing and dissemination
Lifecycle stage:
Alternate tool(s):

Maya, Poser, Blender

tool: Adobe After Effects

After Effects is a digital motion graphics and compositing software. After Effects allows users to animate, alter, and composite media in 2d and 3d space with various built-in tools and third party plug-ins, as well as individual attention to variables like parallax and user-adjustable angle of observation. The latest version, CS4 (9.0.2), is the eighteenth generation in the product line.
Methods relating to this toolCategory
3d graphic designPractice-led research
AnimationData structuring and enhancement
AnimationPractice-led research
Image manipulationPractice-led research
Moving image capturePractice-led research
Lifecycle stage:
Alternate tool(s):

Autodesk Combustion, Flame, Inferno, Apple’s Shake, Boris RED, Pinnacle Commotion, eyeon Fusion, The Foundry's Nuke

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