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Computerised Animation

Numerous computerized approaches have been used to reduce the labour cost of producing animation.

The inking and colouring steps are now routinely done by scanning penciled art into the computer and coloring it automatically (using fill bucket tools).

Less routine, is the practice of converting scanned art into vector graphics (or directly creating vector graphic art on the computer using a graphics tablet). The hardware enables the user to achieve effects just as good as they would using a pencil. It is sensitive to pressure applied and allows lines to be drawn in a range of styles (corresponding to using different grades of pencil).

Computer programs such as Flash allow you to use the layer method to make animations. This saves time and makes adjustments to your work easier. It also means that backgrounds etc. can be easily shared between workers.

Programs such as Fireworks produce graphics that are easily incorporated into your Flash document. You have gradient fills and special effects that save you having to spend hours shading in... shadows can easily be added.

Programs such as Poser allow you to design 'people' in 3D. You can render the images. You can alter their features and expressions - pose them in different postions, alter the angle of lighting etc. and produce a range of images that correspond to action.

This program gives you the opportunity of creating realistic looking figures and it is the development of software such as this that had led to the 3D revolution in animation... personally I prefer the 2D animations... but diff'rent strokes!