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An animated horse.

Animation is a way of making a movie from many still images. The images are put together one after another, and then played at a fast speed to give the illusion of movement. Most animations are played at a speed of twenty-four to sixty images every second. Each image becomes one frame of the movie.

A person who makes animations is called an animator.

There are three ways to animate:

  1. Draw each frame
  2. Use stop-motion: make a model scene and change it to create a new image (frame)
  3. Make computer graphics
    Computer animation of circular waves generated by an underwater explosion.


Because it is expensive to make, most animation comes from professional companies. However, independent animators have existed since the 1950s in America, with many of those people entering the professional industry. In Europe, the independent movement has existed since the 1910s, with animators like pre-revolutionary Russia's Ladislas Starevich and Germany's Lotte Reiniger.

On the internet, many people use a computer program called Adobe Flash to create animations. Flash uses a combination of drawing and computer graphics to make animations. Many animations on the internet are made in Flash. Most animators on the internet do not work for professional companies.

On television, limited animation is used a lot. It is used by popular companies such as UPA and Hanna-Barbera Productions. Simple, limited movement makes the images easier to draw, which allows quicker and cheaper production of animation.

Famous names in the business

Famous animation studios

United States








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