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Animation is a method in which pictures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. Today, most are made with computer-generated imagery (CGI). Computer animation can be a very detailed 3D animation, while 2D computer animation can be used for stylistic reasons, low bandwidth or faster real-time renderings. Other common animation methods apply a stop motion technique to two and three-dimensional objects like paper cutouts, puppets or clay figures. Commonly the effect of the animation is achieved by a rapid succession of sequential images that minimally differ from each other. The illusion—as in motion pictures in general—is thought to rely on the phi phenomenon and beta movement, but the exact causes are still uncertain. Analog mechanical animation media that rely on the rapid display of sequential images include the phénakisticope, zoetrope, flipbook, praxinoscope, and film. Television and video are popular electronic media that originally were analog and now operate digitally. For display on the computer, techniques like animated GIF and Flash animation were developed. It is more pervasive than many people realize. Apart from short films, feature films, animated gifs and other media dedicated to the display of moving images, the motion is also heavily used for video games, motion graphics, and special effects. It is also prevalent in information technology interfaces. The physical movement of image parts through simple mechanics – in for instance the moving images in magic lantern shows – can also be considered animation. The mechanical manipulation of puppets and objects to emulate living beings has a very long history in automata. Automata were popularised by Disney as animatronics. Animators are artists who specialize in creating motion. The word “animation” stems from the Latin “animationem” (nominative “animatio”), a noun of action from past participle stem of “animare”, meaning “the action of imparting life”. The primary meaning of the English word is “liveliness” and has been in use much longer than the meaning of “moving image medium”.
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