What is Animation?


Animation Definition

Animation includes two important factors: Time and Persistence of Vision. Persistence of vision is an illusion in which a sequence of images persists continuously even there are short interruptions between them. An animator controls the speed of the motion by manipulating the duration of the frames.

Without playing the images on the screen, there won't be any animation effects. In other words, the animation is like a magic world that exists only when it's being broadcasted.

Animation Terms

Frame, Sequence, and Scene

A frame is the basic unit of animating. Many frames compose a sequence, and a few sequences compose a scene or a cut.


FPS means the number of frames used in a second. 24 FPS is the standard default in the animation industry. FPS 30 is used for television broadcasting. Movies can have a range between FPS 30 and FPS 240.


Animation and Live Action Video

The line between animation and live-action video is vague as the technology of animation evolves. The Harry Potter movie series, for example, is a live-action movie but still has a lot of animation effects. You can find more interesting debates and information in our free handbook.

Types of Animations

There are many types of animations; here, we name some of the most common techniques.

Line-drawing (Drawing-on-Paper Animation)

Animators draw on paper and photocopy the drawing and film the drawings as animations. Nowadays, most of these works are digitized.

Cut-out Animation

Cut-out animation is a 2D animation technique. Animators use paper to cut out the characters. These characters have joints, so the animators can control their movement.

Puppet Animation

Animators move the puppet a little bit in each frame to create the animatic effect. Often time, animators have to prepare several versions of puppets for a single character. Back in time, when there is no CG, puppet animation is employed to create fantasy or sci-fi scenes.


Cel animation gains its name because it's drawn on cels, transparent plastic sheets. Animators overlay the cels to compose frames. However, creating cel animation is time-consuming and the cels decompose easily. Most animators work digitally now, so the term is now being used to describe an animation style.

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