What Do You Understand by Animation? A Comprehensive Guide

What do you understand by animation?

Whenever we hear the word “animation”, the only thing that comes to mind is cartoons or animated movies.

Being in this industry for several years, we can assure you that animation is not just a medium of entertainment; there is much more to it.

It is a powerful tool used to convey complex ideas, evoke emotions & tell stories which sometimes is not possible using words.

People have been doing animation for centuries & it has evolved a-lot since then, starting all the way from hand-drawn animations to the latest computer-generated imagery.

So if you are an aspiring animator or want to explore the world of animation, you are at the right place!

In this article, we will be discussing animation meaning, its importance, its various types, and last but not least, the future of this dynamic art form.

So without further adieu, let’s get started!

What Do You Understand By Animation?

define animation, explain animation

Animation is where you create an illusion of motion by making use of a sequence of static images or objects.

Various methods and techniques are implemented to bring static objects to life by making them move in a very fluid and seamless manner.

But how did this all start?

Animators did it by creating a series of images, where each of them slightly differs from the previous one.

When these images get played in rapid succession, we can see the illusion of the motion.

What is the history of animation?

Animation is not a new concept.

There have been various traces of animation in the prehistoric era, where several caves have been discovered showing images of animals in various stages of motion. 

But it was only during the 19th century that animation started gaining popularity and shape.

It was also the time when the first device for displaying motion pictures was invented.

Eadweard Muybridge, an English photographer well-known for his photographic studies of motion, created the first device named “zoopraxiscope” in 1877 that projected images in rapid succession, thus creating an illusion of motion.

In 1906, the world’s first animation film named “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces” was created by Stuart Blackton, which used stop-motion animation techniques to bring drawings to life.

Now do you remember watching the movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”?

Most of you loved watching this movie as a child.

This was the first feature-length animated film created by Walt Disney, which gained massive popularity in the year 1930 and which also paved the way for many other animated movies.

It was not until the 1980’s that the world saw a sudden rise and revolution in the computer industry.

Pixar, an American computer animation studio, was founded in 1979, who later released the very famous computer-animated film “Toy Story” in 1995. 

Since then, computer animation has adopted a dominant form & has motivated animators to create even more complex & realistic animations.

Why is animation important?

Why is animation important

There are several reasons which make animation extremely important.

First, it can be used as a powerful storytelling tool to evoke emotions and convey ideas & secondly, it is a form of entertainment, liked by adults and children.

Moreover, it can also come in handy to educate, inform and entertain audiences.

Animation is a critical aspect of the advertising industry used to create eye-catching advertisements and convey a message quickly, especially to the younger audience.

What are the types of animation?

There are several types of animation with each having its own unique style & technique.

Below we are listing some of the most common and popular animation types:

1. Traditional (Hand-Drawn) Animation 

You might have already guessed it from the name 😀

It is a method where animators draw frames by hand.

These frames are then photographed and play backed in rapid succession to create an illusion of motion.

2. Stop-Motion Animation

This method includes taking photographs of objects or puppets in various positions.

These photographs are then played in rapid succession, creating the illusion of motion.

3. Computer animation

Computer animation involves creating 3D models & characters by making use of the computer software.

Later various software tools and techniques are used to manipulate and animate these models creating the illusion of motion.

4. 2D animation

In this type 2D images are created and manipulated to create the illusion of the motion.

Now this can be achieved using two methods:

A) Using traditional hand-drawn techniques

B) Using computer software

5. Motion graphics

Motion graphics

Motion graphics is a technique used to create graphics & visual effects, ideally for films, television & video production.

Different sectors where animation is used

There are variety of sectors making use of animation, which includes:

1. Entertainment

Animations are generally for movies, video games, television shows & other forms of entertainment.

“Toy” & “Frozen” are some examples of animated films in the entertainment industry, which have become cultural touchstones.

While television films like “The Simpsons” & “South Park” have been on the air for decades.

2. Education

Animation can make complex concepts easy to understand, hence it is used in classrooms globally to help students to learn, be it biology, history, or maths.

3. Advertising

Advertising is basically done to promote products & services. Adding animation to it makes it much stronger, making it easier for businesses to convince their clients, specially younger audiences.

4. Architecture and Engineering

Animation proves to be extremely helpful to architects and engineers.

It allows them to visualise their designs in a more realistic way, helping them to find and resolve any potential issue before the construction begins.

5. Medical

The medical industry involves the most complex procedures and techniques & this is where the animation comes to their aid.

It makes teaching easy and helps students & professionals to understand the human body and its functions, which isn’t possible using textbooks and lectures.

6. Military

Military people need to constantly improve their skills to prepare themselves to face real-life situations & hence military personnel use animations to create simulations & training exercises.

7. Virtual reality

Virtual reality experiences nowadays have gained extreme popularity in video & gaming by allowing users to immerse themselves in the computer-generated world.

But virtual reality alone could not have gained success without its Key element, “Animation” helping bring worlds to life.

Some examples of Animation in multimedia


Animation is a unique art form that has completely revolutionised the world of visual storytelling.

It has become one of the crucial aspects in various industries due to its ability to evoke emotions & communicate complex ideas.

Now considering all the above facts, we can conclude that the future of animation looks bright & one can expect even more creativity and innovations in the upcoming years.