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!