Animation is the art of creating the illusion of motion, this can be achieved by using a series of slightly varying images, moving at high speeds. Animation can be found all around us, in your favourite movies, tv shows, music videos and more. It has a history dating back to the 1800s, with there being three main periods of animation. These can be divided into the pioneers and animation techniques before being developed for film, the development of animation techniques, and finally the more recent contemporary and digital animation techniques.”The beginnings of modern animation can perhaps be traced back to a paper published by Peter Roget in 1824 for The British Royal Society, “The Persistence of Vision with Regard to Moving Objects”. This theory referred to the phenomenon whereby the eye’s retina retains an image briefly after it had disappeared, which means that if the images are flashed in rapid succession they appear to the human brain as one continuous image” (Cavalier 2011 p.34).This can easily be observed when a sparkler is moved around quickly, it is seem as a lasting trail of light known as the ‘sparklers trail effect’. The phenomenon of persistence of vision was key to the development of early animation techniques. Enabling this phenomenon a sequence of still images could be moved rapidly to produce what the viewer would see as a continuous moving image. Many novelties were created to demonstrate this theory as early as the 1800’s such as the thaumatrope and the zoetrope.The first device that used persistence of vision was created by Dr. John Paris in 1825, the thaumatrope. It was made of a round disk with a bird drawn on one side and cage drawn on the other and held together by strings. When wound and then released it would spin quickly enough that the images would appear to blend together to create a solid image of the bird within the cage, as shown by the image to the left. Later in 1834 a more complex device was developed, taking great influence from previous works predating the 17th century, such as the thaumatrope. The zoetrope was created by William Horner and was a major advancement in the evolution of animation, as pictured to the right. This device too relies on the persistence of vision principle in order to create the illusion of fluent motion. It is made out of a simple drum and axis, a series of images on the inside of the drum can be seen through equally spaced slits around the outside of the drum. When spun, these stills create the illusion of movement. Even today this simple visual effect, like that created by a zoetrope, can be used to create animated GIFs.One of the largest and most successful animation companies today, Pixar, have also used a Zoetrope In order to simply demonstrate to the public how animation really works. Pixar created their own zoetrope made from 18 spinning sculptures illuminated by a strobe light. A picture of it is shown to the left.Another device that supports the illusion of vision theory is the kinetoscope pictured to the right. The Kinetoscope was designed by thomas edison in 1888 for films to be viewed by an individual at a time through a small peephole. It again creates the illusion of movement by conveying a strip of perforated film containing sequential images over a light source with a high speed shutter. Although it was not a movie projector it did inspire the concept from which cinematic projection was born, the cinematograph. As word of the Kinetoscope spread it gained notice on the other side of the Atlantic and in 1894 the Lumière brothers became inspired by this device. This would lead to their success as the people who would then go on to develop the first commercially successful movie projection system.This was called the cinematograph, as pictured to the left, the Lumière brothers wanted to further develop the kinetoscope to also include a projector for mass viewing. They corrected the flaws of the kinetoscope, designing a machine with both sharper images and better illumination. A private screening was first held on the 28th of december 1895, and following this the cinematograph became a popular attraction for people across the globe. The Lumière brothers quickly became known as the fathers of cinema, going on to make many more films for the screen. There have been many massive advancements in animation techniques throughout the history of animation. The early days of animation involved drawing frames onto glass sheets and then filming each frame one at a time. The process was very time consuming at first but led to the development of celluloid sheets (pictured to the right). These sheets were flexible and easier to work with, making the process of drawing frames a lot simpler.The walt disney company is one of the worlds most successful animation studios. Disney’s nine old men were the walt disney company’s core directors and were responsible for refining the 12 principles of animation. In traditional hand-drawn animation, cels were used. Outlines of the characters were drawn in ink on the fronts of the sheets, while the opposite side consisted of the colors and details of the characters. The cels, were then placed over painted backgrounds and photographed by a movie camera one cel at a time. Playing the chain of images on a projector displayed the illusion of motion. In a short film shot in 1957, Walt Disney described the multiplane camera. The multiplane camera could shoot several independently moving backgrounds instead of just one, thus creating a sense of depth and perspective. Before the multiplane camera, animators found it hard to create a successful tracking shot using traditional animation methods. Furthermore, the act of animating the forward motion was both costly and time-consuming. The multiplane camera solved this issue as it creates a realistic sense of three dimensional depth in a cartoon setting. The most famous multiplane camera was invented by William Garity for the Walt Disney Studios to be used in the production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. By the 1920s, cartoon animation using either cels was established as the superior mode of production in the animation industry. Unsurprisingly conventional three-dimensional forms such as clay were used less as the cel method became favoured. This is mostly due to the extremely laborious and time consuming work needed for claymation. Claymation being one of many forms of stop motion animation. Each object or character is sculpted from clay around a wire skeleton, and then arranged on the set, where it is photographed before being manipulated slightly for the next shot. When playbacked, the mind of the viewer perceives the series of slightly changing, rapid images as motion. Clay-animated films were produced in the United States as early as 1908, when Edison Manufacturing released a trick film entitled The Sculptor’s Welsh Rarebit Dream. Will vinton produced many notable claymation works, this included the california raisins advertising campaign. The campaign became so popular that The California Raisins were appointed as the official mascots of Post Raisin Bran, appearing in commercials and on packaging and they also released four studio albums. This use of animation wasn’t just for entertainment purposes but for advertisement in order to gain profit, demonstrating the broad spectrum of possible uses of animation, which is still growing today. Clay animation has also been used in Academy Award-winning short films such as “Closed Mondays” (Will Vinton and Bob Gardiner, 1974), with more recent successes including the massively popular wallace and gromit by nick park of aardman animations. Another stop motion approach was developed by Ray Harryhausen, the dynamation approach. This is a split-screen process, which allowed viewers to see the actors directly interacting with the animation, like in the example above with a dinosaur and some men. Harryhausen was the stop-motion animator behind such creatures as the fighting skeletons, the cyclops, Medusa, in such classics as “Jason and the Argonauts” ( 1963 ), “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” ( 1958 ), and “Clash of the Titans” ( 1981 ). The split-screen was a simple process that used mattes to block out portions of the film. Because film only develops from the light that escapes through the eye of a camera, any portion of film that is blackened out using mattes remains undeveloped. When the film is rewound the blackened out portion can then be used again. This technique dates as far back as the early 1900s. Dynamation however improved this technique by using a model in between the matte and the background image to create a three layered image. This film was then developed and rear-projected on a screen. Harryhausen would place his model on an animation stand in front of this screen and then place a large pane of glass in front of that, on which he painted in black the foreground that he wished to block out. After filming the animated sequence where the creature interacted with the actors as planned, he then rewound the film and filmed through the glass again, this time with the image he had previously filmed blackened out to create th The first ever 3D animation was created in 1972 by Edwin Catmull and Fred Parke, computer scientists at the university of Utah. The experimental short, a computer animated hand was the world’s first 3D rendered movie, an animation version of Ed’s left hand. After creating a model of Catmull’s left hand, 350 triangles and polygons were drawn in ink on the model, digital counterparts of these polygons would represent the surface of his hand in the computer. The model was digitized and animated in a three-dimensional animation program that Catmull wrote. This animated clip was discovered by a Hollywood producer and incorporated into the 1976 movie, futureworld. The pioneering techniques used here are the basis for the 3d rendering we still use today in video games, movies and special effects. In 2011, the film was inducted in the National Film Registry, labelled “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Library of Congress scholars wrote: “In creating the film, Catmull worked out concepts that would become the foundation for computer graphics that followed.” The process had matured by 1982 when Disney released ‘Tron’ featuring 30 minutes of 3D animation, the movie is heralded as a milestone of computer animation. The first fully 3D piece of animation was Pixar’s Andre and Wally B, it was made in 1984 using c.g.i. and was groundbreaking for its time and marked the start of the film industries fascination with c.g.i. Pixar later went on to create another revolutionary short called Luxo Jr, both of these animations set the groundwork and showed what was capable with computer animation The first completely computer generated feature film was Pixar’s 1995 box office hit ‘Toy Story’, which opened the doors to a new era of mainstream animated feature film. Each character was either created out of clay or was first modeled off of a computer-drawn diagram before reaching the computer animated design. Once the animators had a model, motion controls were coded; this would allow each character to move in a variety of ways, such as talking, walking, or jumping. “Toy Story is a monumental landmark in animation history; it is the seismic moment when John Lasseter and Pixar proved to the world that it was possible to make fully developed, sympathetic characters with human personalities through computer animation” (Cavalier, 2011, p.298). Stop motion has evolved greatly since the likes of claymation. Laika is a stop motion animation studio specialising in feature films, commercial content, music videos and short film. The studio is best known for its stop motion feature films, coraline, ParaNorman, the boxtrolls and kubo and the two strings. CEO Travis Knight stated why they had chose stop motion animation “When we started Laika 10 years ago, we could see the writing on the wall. Stop-motion animation was basically taking its last, dying breath. We had to come up with a way, if we wanted to continue to make a living in this medium that we loved, to bring it into a new era, to invigorate it.” the reason for the decline of stop motion was that in a film industry that favors quick turnaround and endless scalability, stop-motion is a slow, difficult way to tell a story: It involves moving characters around on set by hand, shooting tiny movements individually, at a rate of 24 individual frames of action for each actual second. That’s particularly challenging for animations like Kubo as it is so complicated. But Laika’s version of stop-motion is particularly striking because its characters and backdrops are so detailed, and move so smoothly, that its films could be mistaken for wholly CGI creations, instead of stop-motion with digital assistance.