Monday, August 9, 2010

Tej Kohli explains 2D Animation Software for Beginners

In the previous post, Tej Kohli discussed about the various 2D animation tools available for professionals online. Today, Tej Kohli will talk about most useful 2D animation software for 'Beginners'.

A 2D animation programs is the one that allows you to create moving 2D images on a desktop or other output media. These softwares are nothing but a specialized painting or drawing programs that allows the movement of pictures along the two dimensions of the screen, besides an additional dimension of time.

Frames and Keyframes

Any picture made with 2D animation software is called a frame, which are similar to the frames of a traditional animated movies. Artists paint a series of virtual frames to create a movie. Each frame displays graphical objects that represents characters or scenery. There is a very slight movement in the characters as they move from one frame to the next. This movement creates the illusion of motion when the frames are shown quickly in sequence.

Every animation program has playback tools which are used to view this sequence of frames. Most animation software will also let you export the movie to a popular format like AVI or Quicktime.

2D animation software saves you time by computing frames. In these programs, only those frames where a new action begin or ends are drawn rather than every frame. Such frames are called keyframes. The calculations a software use to compute the frames in between the keyframes is called interpolation.

Based on the type of motion to be interpolated, key frames can be divided into various categories. While the translation keyframes are for movement of a graphical object, scaling keyframes allows you to resize objects. Rotation keyframe allows for the circular movement of an object around a specific point.

Curve Editors

the curve editors display curves that reflects the motion of a graphical object. The animation can be changed by reshaping the curves rather than objects. One of the main advantage of curve editors is that you are able to see every motion frame at once, instead of single frame at a time.

Horizontal Graphs

It displays the increasing numbers along its left side to show various horizontal positions of the object. The center of the graph displays the curve itself and for right-to-left moving ball, this curve will represent a line starting from the upper left of the screen, and moving to the lower right of the screen.

Vertical Graphs

The vertical graph is similar to the horizontal graph, except the graph's left side will display vertical values for the ball's position. This means a line will run across the lower left of the screen and move to the upper right.

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