How technology has revolutionized film animation

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Last Updated: May 30, 2014

Technology has brought film animation to brand new heights from hand-drawn cartoons in the past.

How animators make characters move has drastically changed over the years. Traditional animation was created long ago in 1906, where characters are brought to life through frame-by-frame manipulation of illustrations and drawings.

Unlike the traditional animation, these days, artists use computer generated 3D image technology to make characters move in an animated movie.

It was Pixar along with Disney who first integrated this technology with an animated movie. Pixar and Disney’s Toy Story in 1995 was the first feature length film produced using computer-generated animation.

Later in 2001, DreamWorks also made its first feature length animated film Shrek. The film was a massive success, making $484.4 million in the international box office. It was the movie that established the reputation of this technology as the most emotive and sophisticated type of animation.

Computers have assisted producers of the traditional animation for a long time, but when computer animation technology is used to create full-length animated films, it became a tipping point in history.

After that animated film revolution, animation can be done entirely on powerful desktop computers called workstations. Animation companies have their own data centers to hold the large amounts of data needed to create computer-generated (CG) images.

These data centres have so many powerful servers that can process intricate and big 3D models. HP, Dell and Cisco are among the computer companies that provide the data centre infrastructure.

These computer companies gathered some of its customers in the Cannes Film Festival to discuss how important this technology is to the film animation technology. One of the fast-growing animation studios in France, Dwarf-Labs showed that their four minute animation required 1.5 Terabyte worth of Data and it is using HP’s data centres to run the animation.

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