What does an animator do?

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Do you love Saturday morning cartoons and animated movies? We all do! The people who make these cartoons come to life are called animators. Their role has changed a lot since animation began, as computers have become more important in the animation process.

The images that you see on the screen used to be drawn by hand. To make it look as if they were moving, hundreds (and sometimes thousands!) of drawings were created, showing the scene in slightly different positions. By moving each slightly altered image quickly before the viewer, the person watching the animation is given an impression of continuous movement. Each picture is called a frame. After a long process with many drawings in different stages, all the images were put onto a cel, a thin sheet of clear plastic, and then photographed in rapid succession so it looked as if everything was moving.

Today, most animation is done on a computer, through special programs. Sometimes drawings are scanned into computers; sometimes drawings are done directly on the computer itself.

No matter what type of animation they do, animators have to be good artists. The animators also need to have a good sense of color and line, and know how to tell a story.

Today, animation isn’t just used on TV shows or movies any more it’s used on websites, in video games, at museums and in commercials!


by   (whyzz writer)
  • Further information

    The first attempts to make figures move on a screen go back as early as the 1800s. The first animated cartoon with sound was Walt Disney’s “Steam Boat Willie,” featuring none other than Mickey Mouse, in 1928.

  • Exploration

    Flip Book!

    Have you ever made a Flip Book? It's similar to the early forms of animation!

    First, decide what story you want to tell, who your character is, and what will happen. (Keeping it simple is best.)

    Next, get a notepad and draw the first image of your story on the first page. Let's say you're drawing a flower being blown in the wind. Draw the flower on the first page. On the second page, draw the flower a little more to the side than you did in the first page, as it begins to be blown in the wind. On the third page, draw it a little more to the side than it was on the previous page, and so on! Remember to have patience, and just keep on drawing your objects in small moving increments from page to page.

    When you're done, flip through it and see your story come to life!

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