In this article, we listed 21 different types of animation styles and techniques. The animation is the process of creating the illusion of motion and shape change utilizing the rapid display of a sequence of static images that minimally differ from each other. The animation is all around us, be it your favorite tv commercials, music, movies or even videos you can see the stop motion animation type. Movement creation techniques incorporate the conventional traditional animation and stop motion animation techniques of two and three-dimensional figures, for example, the paper set patterns, puppets and clay figures. Keeping Stop motion as the base of all animation, different styles of animation techniques can be used to create the animated sequences. In this post, we included 21 different types of animation and animation styles.
The animation is nothing more than an optical illusion – a way of tricking our eyes into thinking that lots of static pictures are one moving image. Since the success of sites such as YouTube, simple shorts can be attempted by anyone, and stop-motion animations with everyday objects are some of the most popular and artistic videos. If you have tried some simple animation already, an animation course will develop this with more sophisticated materials. The basic processes and techniques are the same for all animation, and because of the wide range of applications, animation graduates are in high demand. So if you are an amateur animator, why not read on to learn more about the different types of animation.
Different types of Animation style in details
1. Traditional Animation
Traditional animation is sometimes called hand-drawn animation or animation and, for most of the 20th Century, many popular animated films were created this way. It was a lengthy process. Thousands of pictures were drawn entirely by hand on acetate sheets, or cels, with each cell being slightly different from the one before it. Each cell was photographed onto a separate frame of the film so that when the film reel was played, the animation moved. This form of animation could also be combined with live-action video by placing the cells on top of the film. This technique was popular in the late 80s and early 90s and was used in films such as Space Jam and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Traditional animation takes a lot of artistic skill and has many different artistic styles: Disney’s films are very recognizable and considered quite realistic, whilst Studio Ghibli characters have a distinctive anime look. More stylistic drawings were used for many cartoon programs, such as The Flintstones, and The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine used a pop-art style that was popular at the time it was made. The music video for the song “Take On Me” by A-ha is a good example of another style of traditional animation called rotoscoping, which used a live-action recording as a template for animation. In this video, a very simple pencil-sketch style was used.
Any style of art can be turned into an animation. Although this traditional animation became unnecessary when digital techniques were invented, some modern animators, such as those who worked on the 2010 film The Illusionist, still choose to use this form.
2. Motion graphics
Motion graphics is a type of animated graphic design that usually features a lot of text and simple graphics. While traditionally animated videos usually center around characters and elaborate settings, motion graphics videos give life to stories that otherwise wouldn’t be visual, using shapes, graphics, and text to visually represent the story being told. As you watch these examples from three global brands, take a look at how even a simple approach to graphics amplifies the story being told verbally.
3. Stop Motion Animation
Stop-motion is a simple, but time-consuming, form of animation where objects are physically manipulated and filmed frame-by-frame. Stop motion comes in many forms: Object animation and pixelation can use the stop-motion technique without specialist equipment, but special stop-motion models have often been used for special effects in live-action films. The 1933 King Kong film was famous for the stop-motion ape, and the original Star Wars films and The Terminator used stop-motion models for many of the aliens and machines.
Other forms of stop-motion use artistic materials to create physical objects. The earliest known animated feature-film used cut-out animation, where flat pictures are physically cut out of paper or fabric and animated. The children’s show Charlie and Lola use a cut-out animation style. Another form of stop-motion uses puppets, such as Tim Burton’s animated films. These puppets often have hundreds of interchangeable heads to create lip-movement and facial expressions. Claymation is the name given to stop-motion that is made with clay or plasticine figures. Plasticine is easily moved and shaped, so the figures can be moved very carefully and precisely. It takes a long time to create claymation, as a figure is usually moved about twelve times for every second of the film. Aardman Animation’s Chicken Run is a claymation film, and currently, the highest-grossing stop-motion film ever made.
Whilst it is very similar to traditional animation in technique, stop-motion continues to be a popular form of animation, with at least twelve feature-length stop-motion currently in production. Many animators work with stop-motion for artistic reasons, as it is still difficult to recreate stop-motion models digitally.
4. Computer Animation
Computer technology revolutionized the animation world. Computer animation includes a very wide range of techniques, but in essence, it is an animation that is created digitally using a computer. Whilst forms of computer animation have been around since the 1960s, it came into general use in the 1990s when animators began using it alongside traditional animation. It is more controllable and faster than traditional animation and computer animation can be broken down into two main types:
- 2D animation the most commonly understood and traditional form of animation is the process of creating images in two-dimensional environments. Animators then rely on two dimensions – width and height – to tell a story. Since its invention in the late 1800s, 2D-animation technology has empowered animators to take this type of animation to a whole other level. To see just how far this medium has come, consider the quality difference between the first fully 2D-animated film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” and modern 2D-animation examples like The Simpsons.
- 3D animation has definitely revolutionized the animation industry. Who’d have thought that one day the objects could appear in a three-dimensional space and could be easily rotated and moved? Today, to achieve this effect, you will have to learn how to digitally model a character, sculpt it perfectly and give it a skeleton that you can move and manipulate. You will need to pose the model at certain frames and wait for the computer to take care of the rest.
5. Sand Animation:
This technique is messy as you will have to get your hands dirty with sand. A lit glass table is used as a canvas and the animator creates animation by moving the sand in certain directions and yes you guessed it right, animators have to constantly erase their creations to create another scene. The whole process is photographed and then during post-production, they are merged to show the sand animation. Even though it takes hours to complete the animation, the end creation will truly blow your mind away.
6. Typography Animation
Let’s go on to the next animation style called Typography animation. It’s, in essence, the combination of text and motion. This type of animation is especially popular in cinematography as it is used during the titles part of a movie. If you are fond of font faces and types, then you must definitely watch “The Atlantic”, a typography animation by Barrett Forest. In case you want to create new kinds of font faces you can always use software like Fontlab for this purpose.
7. Flipbook Animation
Even before the time of computers, the animation was very much in practice. Artists used to carry a small flipbook or flick book and draw a series of images, with little variation to the pictures, so when the book is flicked rapidly, you can see the series of images in a fluid motion, trying to show a scene. Flipbook animation is one of the oldest but fascinating kinds of animation.
8. Clay Animation
Another type of stop-motion animation is clay animation or Claymation (a term created by Will Vinton). Various characters are made from pieces of clay and based on the imagination of the animator different stories are unfolded. Both oil-based and water-based clays can be used for this purpose.
Making clay animations is not a piece of cake. It’s very time-consuming and requires a lot of hard work. So, it’s not surprising that clay animation movies are shorter than the ones based on other different types of animation styles.
9. Whiteboard Animation
Whiteboard animation is a type of animation that features the illustrator physically drawing the artwork on a whiteboard or other surface using pens and markers. This animation style became popular shortly after the launch of YouTube in 2005. Even back then, brands were attracted to the way whiteboard animation let viewers see the story come to life before their eyes, and they’ve kept coming back to this timeless approach ever since. For two great examples, check out the images we’ve included below that show the potential of whiteboard animation to wow an audience and tell a story at the same time.
10. Puppetry Animation
Puppetry animation is created using life-like puppets instead of objects. The film ‘The Humpty Dumpty Circus’ (1908) created by J. Stuart Blackton and Albert smith receives credit as the first stop-motion animation film that features puppets. Nowadays puppet animation is most commonly used in children’s cartoons and films. An example of puppet animation used in cinema is in the film King Kong (1933). The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) is an American stop motion musical fantasy horror film directed by Henry Selick. It used 227 puppets to represent the characters in the film and also 400 heads were used to allow the expression for every possible emotion.
11. Chuckimation Animation
Chuckimation is one of the popular animation techniques created by “Action League Now!” creators. It’s a combination of stop-frame animation and lives shots, where characters are dropped into a particular frame. It has some similarities to the famous puppet shows.
12. Mechanical Animation
The mechanical animation is used to visually showcase the configuration, assemblies, and modus-operandi of different mechanical products and their components. You will agree that explaining the functionality of these machines through animation is much easier than creating its original version. It goes without saying that the end result must be of very high quality to ensure the animation is believable and error-free.
Audio-Animatronics or Disney Animatronics is a form of robotic animation. The idea belongs to Walt Disney Imagineering. They created this robot (say hello to Otto!) to entertain the visitors at Disney theme parks. Later, other companies also started using this animation style to achieve their business objectives. The robots created through this animation can move and make noises. They can even sense a person in a room, chat with them and tell if they are happy or not.
Autonomatronics technology is driven by sophisticated cameras and sensors allowing Otto to choose what to say or how to act. The whole process is pre-programmed so the show is repeated over and over again. Today the term “Animatronics” refers to all similar robots created by companies other than Disney.
14. Cutout Animation
Cutout animation is one of the forms of stop motion animation. The inventor of this style is Lotte Reininger. A short animated film called “The Adventures of Prince Achmed” features a silhouette animation technique invented by Reiniger himself. Paper cutouts are moved under the camera lens and tell us a beautiful story. Yes, as the saying goes, some things don’t need words. Sometimes it’s enough to see and feel! With the introduction of innovative animation styles with highly updated technology, it has become much easier to introduce the computerized cut images in a queue.
15. Erasure Animation
Erasure animation uses 2D animation techniques for motion graphics. Many popular charcoal erasure films have been created using this technique and one famous animator is William Kentridge. Photography and animation have to be done at every change to create a fluid motion in the animation film.
16. Paint on Glass Animation
In this animation techniques in multimedia, slow drying paints are used on a glass canvas, which allows the animator to manipulate the art and photograph them simultaneously. Sometimes turpentine is used in the paints, which makes it easier for the animator to work on the paintings. It’s tough and laborious task as you have to paint on glass, take photographs and then create another scene which is then blended together in the post-production, to give an animated version of the painting.
17. Drawn on Film Animation
Drawn on film animation has been around since 1916, but most of the animations are lost from that period. This technique involves scratching, etching directly on an exposed film reel or alternatively can also be created in a dark room introducing the light in variations to create shadows that are permanently embedded in the film. Sometimes animators can just stick the black film reel on to a workboard and punch holes into them or stick just about anything on the film reel. This animation was one of the earliest forms of animation technique and probably one of the cheapest since you just need a roll of film, etching tools, and a projector.
18. Zoetrope Animation
The zoetrope is one of several animation toys that were invented in the 19th century, as people experimented with ways to make moving pictures. It was invented in 1834 by William George Horner and is one of the early forms of animations. Some still images are drawn on a drum and when turned in a circular way, you have an illusion of movement. The visual effect created by a zoetrope is still used today to create animated GIFs.
19. Experimental Animation
Experimental animation is the art of combining two or more illogical paintings or art to create an animated scene. Different kinds of animation paintings are introduced at odd points which are totally irrelevant to each other. So the randomly introduced paintings create a different frame altogether in the animation process. Some animators have used a magnifying glass on paintings and multiple frames are captured to create an animation.
20. Pinscreen Animation
A screen being pricked by thousands of headless pins is used to create pinscreen animation. Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker invented the pinscreen animation technique in the 1930s. The two people used the pin screen to create Night on Bald Mountain. Once the pins are pricked, the screen is lit on one side, which casts shadows, based on the depth of the prick, the deeper the shadow. The night was the first animated film to use their pin screen, a 3×4 foot rectangle containing around 240,000 pins that move laterally in order to create different shadow lengths.
21. Rotoscope Animation
Rotoscoping is defined as an animation technique through which animators trace over footage within a software program using a rotoscoping tool. This technique goes back to the early days of cinema when animators used to project photographed live-action movie images onto a glass panel and trace over the image. oped by Polish-American animator Max Fleischer was called a rotoscope. As modern animation progressed into the 21st century this device was eventually replaced by computers. Anyways, the process is still called rotoscoping.
In conclusion, animation has made a huge impact on entertainment, movie industries, and kids. animation made entertainment more interesting and enjoyable. The animation is a method in which pictures are manipulated to appear as moving images. There are many different types of animation are available. As the technology evolves and advances with some of the best animation software programs on the way, but the animation is always changing and developing. You have just read about 21 hottest animation styles trending now in the market. All these animation types are good options but a choice among these is purely based on personal preferences.