How Does Cartoon Animation Work?

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Cartoon animation works by stringing together a series of drawings in rapid succession, as the human eye fills in the gaps between each image. Understand the science behind animation with helpful information from a writer, director and animator in this free video on cartoon animation.

Part of the Video Series: Animation Careers
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Video Transcript

Animation works by creating the illusion of movement by flipping a series of drawings and or of images in rapid succession, and your eye fills in the gaps. It's called persistence of vision, where you see, you know, just blinking images in a...in a movie theater. In fact, most of the time, you're actually sitting in the dark because of the shutter on the projector, but your eye sees a total constant light. Our eyes are pretty slow. We see about...a light about a tenth of a second after it's, you know, shown to us, so it fills in all those gaps. And when you see those drawings in rapid succession, it creates the illusion of movement. And it works the same way on computers, which is actually flashing 30 images a second at you. And it all goes back to the same science of the old-fashioned flip book. Just like when you drew stick figures in the corner of your textbooks in school.

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