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History of Animation

  • Jan 1, 1000

    First signs of Animation

    First signs of Animation
    The first signs of animation were originally from the drawings of cavemen. They drew the movement of animals by drawing them in each different position, to showcase their movement!
  • Magic Lantern

    Magic Lantern
    The magic lantern is an early predecessor of the modern day projector. It consisted of a translucent oil painting, a simple lens and a candle or oil lamp. In a darkened room, the image would appear projected onto an adjacent flat surface
  • Period: to

    History of Animation

  • Thaumatrope

    A thaumatrope is a simple toy that was popular in the 19th century. It is a small disk with different pictures on each side, such as a bird and a cage, and is attached to two pieces of string. When the strings are twirled quickly between the fingers, the pictures appear to combine into a single image. This demonstrates the persistence of vision.
  • Phenakistoscope

    The phenakistoscope was an early animation device. It was invented in 1831 by the Belgian Joseph Plateau and the Austrian Simon von Stampfer. It consists of a disk with a series of images, drawn on radii evenly spaced around the center of the disk. Slots are cut out of the disk on the same radii as the drawings, but at a different distance from the center. The device would be placed in front of a mirror and spun. This creates the illusion of animation!
  • Zoetrope

    The zoetrope concept was suggested in 1834 by William George Horner, and from the 1860s marketed as the zoetrope. It operates on the same principle as the phenakistoscope. It was a cylindrical spinning device with several frames of animation printed on a paper strip placed around the interior circumference. The observer looks through vertical slits around the sides to view the moving images on the opposite side as the cylinder spins.
  • Flip book

    Flip book
    John Barnes Linnett patented the first flip book in 1868 as the kineograph. A flip book is a small book with relatively springy pages, each having one in a series of animation images located near its unbound edge. The user bends all of the pages back, normally with the thumb, then by a gradual motion of the hand allows them to spring free one at a time.
  • Celluloid Film

    Celluloid Film
    A man named H.W. Goodwin invented a celluloid film which could hold images. It was made of gum cotton and gum camphor.
  • An early moving-picture production

    An early moving-picture production
    A man in France named Emil Reynaud opened a theatre using an invention called the Praxinoscope. It used turning mirrors to reflect images and produce a 10 to 15 minute "moving picture." It displays an animation of images painted on long strips of celluloid.
  • Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope

    Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope
    Using the celluloid film developed by H.W. Goodwin, Edison was able to produce moving film pictures on the wall. The film moved over a series of wheels to produce the pictures.
  • Sound is captured

    Sound is captured
    Using a magnetic recording device, sound was recorded for the first time. Animation enthusiasts would latch onto the technology.
  • The Enchanted Drawing

    The Enchanted Drawing
    A man named James Stuart Blackton used animation techniques to produce a short film. It documented the drawing process of characters, without ever showing the artist; this made it seem that the drawings simply appeared.
  • The first official animated film

    The first official animated film
    A Frenchman name Emile Cohl produced a film called "Fantasmagorie." It was a hit, and is known today as the first true animated film.
  • Gertie the Dinasour

    Gertie the Dinasour
    This short animation film became popular quickly. It was created by Windsor McCay.
  • Laugh-O-Grams

    Twenty-year-old Walt Disney began his first animation film studio called Laugh-O-Grams. It failed after only a short time.
  • Steamboat Willie

    Steamboat Willie
    Walt Disney didn't give up on making animated films. In 1928 he released a short film called Steamboat Willie featuring Mickey Mouse and using sound for the first time, and it was an instant hit.
  • Warner Bros Studio

    Warner Bros Studio
    Looney Tunes was supposed to be a spin off on the Silly Symphonies produced by Disney. It soon took on a life of its own and became very popular. Throughout the 1930's, several now-iconic characters were created. This included Betty Boop, Popeye the Sailor, and Daffy Duck.
  • New technologies

    New technologies
    Walt Disney developed the use of 3-strip Technicolor animation. In 1935, Len Lye created a method of painting directly on film strips; he used it in his animated film "Color Box."
  • First Full-Length Animation

    First Full-Length Animation
    Walt Disney produced the first ever full-length animated film. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a major hit.
  • Computer Generated Movies

    Computer Generated Movies
    At the University of Utah, and man named Ed Catmull developed a method of creating computer generated movies. It used scripting language.
  • First use of 3D technology

    First use of 3D technology
    Futureworld, is the the movie with the first use of 3D computer graphics for animated hand and face.
  • First Film to be made in 3D

    First Film to be made in 3D
    Abra Cadabra is a 1983 animated comic fantasy Australian film. It is the first ever animated feature film to be made in 3-D.
  • 3D and Beyond

    3D and Beyond
    Apple computer company produced a method for creating 3-D films, and in 1995 Toy Story was released as the first full-length 3-D film. The animation industry would never be the same.