Animation History

Alex Toner

Media Genres And Forms

People use animation for many different reasons and in many different ways, an example of this is television advertisements, television advertisements can have various animations in them also the style of graphic catches the eyes of certain customers and making them in this style means they can to unrealistic levels with their advertising for example you could have a man lifting a car or cat talking. Another example is the cinema as they use animation in a way to give instructions to the viewer’s for example telling people to turn off their mobile phones, the reason why they use it to do this is because it will catch people’s eye and they will take note.


Persistence of Vision refers to the time when a part of your eye retains an image for a brief split-second after the image was actually seen. This is included in animation techniques such as Flip book, as the pages are moving so fast the images appear to be moving, but actually aren't dew to the speed that the pages are changing between the images.

but animation did not develop further until the advent of motion picture film and cinematography in the 1890s. These were early animation devices that produced an illusion of movement from a series of sequential drawings, but animation did not develop further until the advent of motion picture film and cinematography in the 1890s.

Joseph Plateau

Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau was born 14th October 1801 and died 15th September 1883, he was a Belgian physicist. He was the first person to demonstrate the illusion of a moving image. To do this he used rotating disks with repeating drawn images. He called this the phenakistoscope.

The Phenakistoscope used a spinning disc attached vertically to a handle. Arrayed around the disc's center were a series of drawings showing phases of the animation, and cut through it were a series of equally spaced radial slits. The user would spin the disc and look through the moving slits at the disc's reflection in a mirror.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison was born in 1847 in the usa. he was an American inventor , scientist, and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world.

He developed the light bulb, the storage battery, a large-scale distribution system and many other things. The main one that we are focusing on is that he was responsible for making moving pictures a practical and commercial business, this device was called the Kinetoscope.

The viewing machine consisted of a peephole which showed a film loop lit by electricity and activated by an electric motor, this device officially made its debut on 21 May 1891.

William Horner

William Horner was born in England, Bristol In the year 1786, he was a British mathematician and also a schoolmaster, headmaster and school keeper. He died on September 22, 1837 in Bath due to a stroke.

He thought of a different type of design based on the previous design the Phenakistoscope that persisted of Two parallel discs, revolving on the same axis, in opposite directions, each having 16 cogs that when viewed in a mirror made the animation of a stationary image appear to move. This invention was called the Zoetrope.

The Zoetrope took the form of a drum with an open top into which was placed a hand drawn sequence of pictures on a strip of paper. The pictures were placed around the inside of the edge of the drum and could be viewed through slots in the outside of the drum, like the Phenakistoscope, when spun it made the animation of a stationary image appear to move.

Norman McLaren

Norman McLaren was born on April 11 1914 in Stirling, Scotland and died on January 27 1987, he was a creative and technical innovator whose film career spanned more than 50 years and in those years he was considered an artist, animator, filmmaker, scientist, inventor, musician and technical expert.

Dots in 1940, Using the technique of drawing directly on the filmstrip

Neighbours in 1952, Pixilation technique

Blinkity blank in 1955 Painting and scratching onto film; however, this time, he deliberately missed frames to create a unique motion effect

Len Lye

Len Lye was born in Christchurch in 1901 and was largely self educated. In life, Lye was driven by a lifelong passion for motion, energy and the possibility of composing them as a form of art. Lye's interests took him far from New Zealand where he became one of New Zealand's most widely-known modernist artists.Len Lye had many accomplishments such as Tusalava in 1929 which was Len Lye's first film, Peanut vendor in 1933 a puppet animation, A colour box in 1935 a abstract animation and Trade Tattoo in 1937 an animated promotional film.

Animation Today

Compared to animation in the 19 hundreds, animation programmes have changed the way we make our films and advertising. It is now a lot easier to create long animation now as there are many different features use.


Toon Boom Harmony is the most advanced professional animation software on the market. Bringing together an impressive 2D drawing toolset, with the ability to work in a real 3D space, and import 3D models, Harmony brings you to a new level.

Toon Boom has many capabilities such as the ability to frame-by-frame Animation, the ability to Import your own 3D Models, Able to break down your concept into separate layers to animate them, Ability to create rotoscoping animation and Able to Import MP3, AAF, and WAV files

Adobe Flash

Adobe flash is a multimedia authoring program used to create animated content for things such as web applications, games and movies, and content for mobile phones and other embedded devices. Some of its features include the ability to create simple frame by frame animation, editing tools to make and animate your own images in the program and the ability to export your finished product into many different movie files.

Walt Disney

Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901, Chicago, Illinois, U.S. and died on December 15, 1966, Los Angeles,California. He was an american motion-picture and television producer and showman, he was also the original creator of the two cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

1920–1937 was the start of his animation career. In January 1920, Walt Disney and Ubbe Iwerks formed a short-lived company called "Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists". However, following a rough start, Disney left temporarily to earn money at the Kansas City Film Ad Company. He was soon joined by Iwerks, who was not able to run their business alone.While working for the company, where he made commercials based on cutout animation, Walt Disney became interested in animation and decided to become an animator.

The final productions in which Disney played an active role were the animated feature The Jungle Book and the live-action musical feature The Happiest Millionaire, both released in 1967, as well as the animated short Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.

My Opinion

Overall, 2D animation has taken massive leaps and completely changed in everything but the basic concept of rapidly changing images giving the illusion of motion. What used to be an expensive and time consuming hobby of building the machines, then hand drawing and applying each image has been replaced with software that allows industries to earn millions of pounds in profit each year and change the way we can exchange ideas, information and stories.


Websites Used:

Books Used:

The Complete Guide To Anime Techniques - Author: Chi Hang Li

The Animation Bible: A Practical Guide to the Art of Animating from Flipbooks to Flash - Author: Maureen Furniss