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Animation Etymology and History

Animation Etymology and History

Have you ever wondered about the etymology of the word “animation” or where this word actually originated from? In order to get a grasp on where the word came from, you must first understand the importance of Greek in the history of animation. Animation originally came from the Latin word meaning living or breathing. This has significance because animation is often referred to as being alive or in movement. This means that animation etymology has deep meaning and speaks to what these images really are.

What is Animation?

Animation is a series of drawings that are designed to show movement. These drawings are put together and have only slight changes within each frame to show distinct and subtle movement as each drawing is shown. A seamless movement is what can be seen throughout these types of drawings. Due to innovations in technology, animation has transformed but the meaning and origin of this word has remained.

Started in 1910

1910 was the year when animations began to start popping up and began to infiltrate mainstream culture. The first type of animation was shown in this year through photographs of drawings taken in succession. This is a very intensive form of art and movement that requires hundreds of drawings to be captured on film each minute * However, everything in animation changed in 1913 when celluloid was first introduced.

Celluloid and Animation

Animation was first made simpler in 1913 with the help of celluloid. Now animators no longer needed countless drawings to show movement. Moving characters could now be placed on transparent celluloid over complex visual backgrounds. So now drawing the background of the animation over and over again was no longer needed. This really made animation much more manageable and increased the popularity of this art form immensely.

More on Animation Etymology

Since animation is derived from Latin words meaning alive, this signifies the movement that can be seen. It is apt as animation is the process by which still characters really come to life. So instead of it just giving them motion, it actually creates the sense of a living being. Anime is the Japanese word for animation and is simply a shorter version of the word that we use to describe this art form. Animation was brought to new heights of popularity by Walt Disney, and Pixar has continued to revolutionize the way that animation is viewed. Although computers have changed the way that animation is created, the history if this word has remained intact over time.


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