What You Really Should Know About 3D Animation and Animation Graphics

We have all seen animation and probably so much so that we have got to the point where we just take it for granted. If we have to stop and think about it, our explanation of it would be simply something that moves. Many of us would equate it to cartoons. To become more technical…

We have all seen animation and probably so much so that we have got to the point where we just take it for granted. If we have to stop and think about it, our explanation of it would be simply something that moves. Many of us would equate it to cartoons.

To become more technical what we are referring to is 2D or 3D animation. 3D being 3 dimensional by way of the order of the images be presented. Each movement is known as a frame. One frame very gradually moves onto the next and give us the illusion that the object is moving. The frames are then moved moving from one to the next very quickly.

To create this effect by hand or as we refer to the 2D was painstakingly consuming. The artist would have to draw a new picture each time the object moved in any way. Then all of these photos would be put together consecutively. These were called cell animation and hand drawn animation. Although it was detailed and a great deal of work, it was well respected by the true animator and received with pleasure by the viewer.

Cartoons have been based on 2Dimensional art for years. With the acceptance of the computer not long after came the capabilities for 3D. This does not mean that 2D still does not have its place of importance. Nor does it mean there is no skill involved. If one thinks that, an individual that who has no artistic basis can sit down and do 3D animation just by learning the software is simply not the case.

To create 3D animation it requires the use of complex software. All of the characters are designed by way of the computer and hand drawing is not a consideration. It will progress through a series of steps before the project will be completed. The individual who is responsible for this project must have a thorough understanding of each and every step in order to reach the desired results.

There are many standard software programs that are used for 3D animation. There are several on the market. They all vary as to capabilities and complexity. If you have a real interest in this type of art, then you could start with a very basic program. As you, master the one move on up to the level. Remember though this does not replace the artistic eye. You need to be able to discern that the character looks perfect during every step of the way to becoming completed. If you are not able to critique your own work then you are not going to get good results. If you seem to have a knack for drawing but have had no training you may want to consider taking some art courses and at least learning the basics before you attempt 3D animation.

Finally, you should be aware that it is not just a matter of mastering the software. Large production companies have had their own software designed specifically for them. If you approach these companies for a job then you would most certainly need the basics as we have just outlined.

Discover the Key Differences Between 2D and 3D Animation – Computer Graphics Guide

It seems like computers have been around forever. You buy a brand new one then two years down the road it looks obsoleste and there is another one more advanced and dynamic to take its place. In a way that is exactly what is happening with animation. Originally, there was just the 2D animation, which…

It seems like computers have been around forever. You buy a brand new one then two years down the road it looks obsoleste and there is another one more advanced and dynamic to take its place.

In a way that is exactly what is happening with animation. Originally, there was just the 2D animation, which in its time was exciting enough, and in fact still is. Technology stands still for no one so it stands to reason that animation would have been included in this aspect as well. As a result along came the 3D animation.

Animation is a broad term and can sometimes be misleading. The term in some ways refer to animated graphics as well. Often people do not broaden their scope of what animation is all about. Many consider animation is another word for cartoons. Think of some other animated movies that you have had the pleasure of watching where physical models have been used. King Kong certainly was not a live version of an ape. Yet look at the movements that he made. The basics are this. Move the model record the image move the model and record the image. This goes on repeatedly.

One of the most successful and powerful animators in his time was Walt Disney. What he accomplished with what he had during his career was amazing. Many of us grow up enjoying many of the achievements of this world-renovated animator. It was a joint project in his day to produce an animation. He would do the major drawings, known as the key frames, and then the less important pictures would be done by his staff of in between framers.

One should never think that the 3D animation of today is simply sitting down at a computer and putting in a command and there it is done. The computer is the tool; it still requires a knowledgeable operator. The operator has to be astute in many different areas such as creating the idea, the characters, the storyboard, and the soundtrack just to name a few responsibilities. It is true that there is computer software that is utilized to achieve each of the goals as they pertain to each step. The fundamentals of art still play a large part in it. Without them, the work could never be taken to perfection.

It should not be forgotten that animation both 3D and 2D play a big role in other industries as well. Often individuals who have artistic talents and are intrigued with animation may not have a major interest in cartoon animation. For these individuals there are other opportunities. For example in the medical field, 3D animation is used all the time. Then in the building industry, the new concept is to draft 3D floor plans and architectural plans. With the enhancement of animation software that is available on the market today a whole building can be printed in 3D color. Nothing like knowing what you are going to get before the ground is even broke.

No doubt just as computers, continue to evolve with the animation software. One has to admit it makes for an exciting prospect wondering what they will think of next.

A Beginners Guide to 2D and 3D Animations – What is the Difference?

Many people when they hear the term animation they automatically think of cartoons, yet if they are on the computer at all then they have most likely been exposed to animation. This does not mean that they have been watching cartoons when they were suppose to be working. Animation is not just restricted to cartoons.…

Many people when they hear the term animation they automatically think of cartoons, yet if they are on the computer at all then they have most likely been exposed to animation. This does not mean that they have been watching cartoons when they were suppose to be working.

Animation is not just restricted to cartoons. Nor is there just one type of animation. The common and current one that is popular today is 3D animation, but many of us adults grow up with 2D animation. Which by the way in my opinion was just as much fun as it is today, but perhaps a lot more work by way of manual labor. That did not deter the love of animation that was so evident in those Saturday morning cartoons.

Animation is an illusion. Not meaning it does not exist it means that you are making the viewer think that a particular object is moving on his own. Like when Mickey Mouse waves to his admirers at the end of a cartoon. Originally, in 2D each time an object was going to take another position no matter how slight it had to be hand drawn that way. No doubt, the finished project was undertaken of many drawings. These were put together in sequence called frames, depicting one movement to another.

As technology in the industry grew so did animation. Along came the computer and within a short while the 3D animation became a reality. The animation industry embraced this new form of art and as a result, which took many people to accomplish was now cut down to a grateful or less. The computer had the capabilities of doing much of the work. In case you are thinking that there goes the computer replacing people this is not the case. What it did did was offer the opportunity to have greater tools to produce a better job. There still has to be the operator of those tools, and that is where the animator comes in.

In fact, theception of 3D animation may have opened the door for many other job opportunities. Being as 3D animation is now used in many other industries, not only does it need an individual to design it, it now needs individuals to present it.

All animation has one thing in common it must start with an idea or concept. Then this idea is put to a storyboard. Here this is where the idea is now in a visual state. The basic script has now been designed. Now it has to have an audio track still in rough form created. This stage gets a little technical as it uses a method called vector graphics, which is dependent on mathematical equations as opposed to pixels.

If one had to summarize very quickly the difference between 2D and 3D animation, the simple answer would be the tools that are used to achieve the results. The original 3D animation first utilized stop motion techniques, then as the computer moved into play it became 3D computer animation. The same job being done just more cost effective efficient and motivated.

Top 20 Animated Cartoons of All Time – What Made Them So Good?

If you were to ask many people what their favorite productions were no doubt each would have their own individual lists. You would be surprised at the number of animated ones that would be included. So if anyone said that cartoons are for kids? They are something that touches the hearts of the young and…

If you were to ask many people what their favorite productions were no doubt each would have their own individual lists. You would be surprised at the number of animated ones that would be included. So if anyone said that cartoons are for kids? They are something that touches the hearts of the young and old for either gender.

So why is there such a big interest in animation? What is there about them that make them so popular? These are important questions to the producers of animation because knowing the right answers to it is what makes it a box office hit.

In the Top Five:
It should not come to any surprise that the 3 Shrek movies each held a spot with Shrek 2 (3D) was the ultimate. Then Finding nemo came in as 2nd and the Lion King 3rd. Much of the reason for the fame of these top five is due to the excellent story they each told. In addition to the major stars that were casted for it.

In the Top Ten:
The top 5 is followed with the Incredibles, Monsters Inc. Toy Story 2, Cars and Aladdin. These 5 all had one thing in common is that they were all done in 3D. By the look of the list it would appear that, the 3D animation is favored and lends to the overall success.

In The Top Fifteen.
Here you will find Ratatouille, Happy Feet, Ice Age: Meltdown, Madagascar and of course Toy Story. One again all 3D and each possess a great storyline.

The Rest of the Top Twenty:
Finally we have the Simpsons Movie, The Polar Express, Ice Age, Beauty and the Beast, and at the bottom on the list but no less significant is Tarzan. Although The Simpsons movie was a 2D, but its claim to fame came because of the well known and liked television series.

Of all the factors that make a cartoon successful probably the most important is the storyline. This is followed by the jokes. People have enough negativity in their life and they want to laugh a little. Then the cast has a special part in boosting a cartoon up in the ranks as well. Its them that makes it compelling and interesting. The characters must be unique and memorable as this is what the audience relates to. This is what makes the proper casting for voice over so important. Then when all of these factors became combined with the 3D technology, it is bound to be a hit. Any cartoon that can sit among the ranks of the top 20 has certainly earned its way getting there by combining all of the necessities we have pointed out here in the right combination.

Overall, when it comes down to the best critics, it is the kids. You can bet if the kids like it and the parents second, then there a new cartoon on the road to fame. It comes back again to our claim that age plays no real factor in the audience of a successful cartoon.

What’s the Buzz With 3D Animation – The Future of Animation and CGI

You many have recently noticed that the kids are far more interested in doing their homework and of course, most of it is done by utilizing the computer. In addition, you must admit you are impressed with some of those finished projects, and the presentation is really something. You did not realize that the little…

You many have recently noticed that the kids are far more interested in doing their homework and of course, most of it is done by utilizing the computer. In addition, you must admit you are impressed with some of those finished projects, and the presentation is really something. You did not realize that the little one was so artistic.

Well it really comes down to just how powerful the internet really is. As for that, 3D animation that you have dubbed as your child's artwork is really due to high tech computer software. That does not mean that the youngster was not creative in his choices.

You may be worried that the technology we have today is making our kids and ourselves for that matter lazy. Actually, it has some major benefits. One we mentioned already and that was holding the interest of the student. We all have to admit if we have state of the art tools to complete our tasks with then we do not mind near as much doing them.

The 3Danimation that we mentioned earlier is a remarkable stimulus. It spurs young people into creative problem solving skills, utilizing their imagination as well as patience and logic. You have to admit that by conventional methods to get children to this point takes a whole lot of work

Do not underestimate the power of the computer to create very viable career potential. By the 3D animation for example stirring the interest, it may lead to further interest in studies, which could lead to a career in this industry. The animation industry fully realizes the growth potential in this field and knows that they are going to need the professionals to achieve it. It must be remembered that the computer does not produce results on its own, there has to be an operator that is very adept at telling it what it has to do. This is where the professional animator fits in.

3D animation raises interest in the visual arts. In reference to 3D computer animation, the software has to be intricately learned in order to achieve the desired results. Perhaps if you or one of the young ones in your family is developing a keen interest in this field you could encourage them to pursue it deeper.

Once you find that the interest is remaining alive, and they have mastered everything there is to learn about the free software then you may want to consider stepping up to a little more of a complex program.

You have to admit it is a great alternative to sitting in front of video games all evening. Then on the other hand one never knows the budding artist may very well be the next person to come out with the newest, hottest all time adventure video game to hit the market. That is just one of the many uses of 3D animation. It certainly has come a long way since those much-anticipated Saturday morning cartoons.

3D animation is an extremely interesting field, but it must be remembered it is not all fun and games. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication to become a 3D computer animator. Alternately, for that matter any type of animator.

Read This Before Starting a Career in Animation – 3D Animation and 2D Graphics

Let us assume you have always enjoyed sketching and doodling. Your creations have often brought a smile to the face of many. Then you may well be on the road to a career in animation. Mind you, there is a lot more to the picture we have just given. To begin with there are many…

Let us assume you have always enjoyed sketching and doodling. Your creations have often brought a smile to the face of many. Then you may well be on the road to a career in animation. Mind you, there is a lot more to the picture we have just given. To begin with there are many sectors of animation that one can specialize in. For example, there are job opportunities in the major media like television and film. Then there is the new world of the internet and CD-ROM. Several more opportunities can be added to the list as well. To make it even more interesting within these major categories there are sub categories when you can really take your specialty to the limit.

If you have a budding interest in this field then you are probably aware of the terms 2D and 3D animator. Do not be fooled into thinking that 3D has replaced 2D. It is the very skills of the 2D animation that has made 3D possible. There is no indication that 2D animation will become outdated.

Most of the developed skills of 2D animators have come through life drawing and compositions. These have been the two leading factors but these have been combined with other elements as well such as studies in proportions, structure, lines of action and of course basic anatomy. An understanding of how and what makes us move can lend to the success of a 2D animator. As if there were not enough skills involved to the list, we must add slugging, storyboarding, character design and clean up. No doubt if you talk to a few 2D animators, they have some additional duties to add to their territory.

For the 3D animator you can add all of the above plus a few more. The focus for this area centers on modeling, texture and lighting as in fits into the scope of the 3D environment. They fast learn how to get the most out of the software packages available to them in their line of work.

The storyboard artist has to be one of the most creative individuals in animation. They are setting the foundation for the story. They must have a great imagination and superior visualization abilities. Then they must be well structured in order to maintain the continuity. There are often positions open for assistants here but most often, there is not much glamor at that level of the industry. It is an excellent stepping-stone to move up in the ranks of animation.

Now the layout artist creates the foundation. In other words, it provides the background for the scenes gleaning the requirements from the storyboard. In essence, they are a rough copy of a future work.

Just in case you think, you have heard it all there is one other department that must be given attention and that is the in-between. You should become familiar with this position and its requirements because it is the most likely place where you will have the opportunity to break into the industry.

The Shojo Anime Videos – A Must-See For All Animation Lovers

Anime, the classy animated form of storytelling from Japan, has become quite popular with people across different countries around the globe. If you are an animation lover, you must certainly not miss the various Japanese animated series featured on the Cartoon Network or at a local blockbuster in your city. But, if you think these…

Anime, the classy animated form of storytelling from Japan, has become quite popular with people across different countries around the globe. If you are an animation lover, you must certainly not miss the various Japanese animated series featured on the Cartoon Network or at a local blockbuster in your city. But, if you think these series are meant exclusively for boys, you are wrong.

The unique 'Shojo Anime' is made exclusively for a young female audience. Unlike other series that focus more on violent battles and politics, it places more emphasis on personal relationships. In fact, it is the best choice if you are looking for a gift for your little daughter, sister, or a little female cousin.
Here are a few must-see series for kids:

1) Fushigi Yuugi

It is a story of a young girl, Miaka, who accidently falls through a portal in a book and gets transported to ancient China, where she is declared a priestess who is required to invoke a particular god and call the Celestial Warriors to save the world . At the same time, she must deal with routine things like exams in her own world!

2) Fruits Basket

One of the hottest sellers in the US, the Fruit Basket series is a story of an orphaned high school girl, Tohru Honda, who bumps into a cursed Sohma family. Owing to the curse, the members of this well-to-do family transform into animals of the Chinese zodiac when hugged by a member of the opposite sex. The story is all about Tohru's struggle to break this curse. Strong plots, side-splitting situations, and charming characters have made this anime popular and worth watching.

Other must-watch Shojo anime videos include 'Angel Sanctuary', 'Princess Tutu', and 'Here is Greenwood'. These Japanese series are not only entertaining, but also very useful for kids. So, next time, when you plan to get your kids something really entertaining, do consider buying a set of 'Shojo Anime' videos.

The Popularity of Anime Has Been Increasing Worldwide

Anime has taken the Allied States by storm. The constituent refers to the Altaic show and is victimized by the relief of the reality to depict any Asiatic aliveness. It can be transfer raddled or machine generated illustrations that are misused in receiver shows, films, recording games and web play that comprehend all music types.…

Anime has taken the Allied States by storm. The constituent refers to the Altaic show and is victimized by the relief of the reality to depict any Asiatic aliveness. It can be transfer raddled or machine generated illustrations that are misused in receiver shows, films, recording games and web play that comprehend all music types.

One of the largest cultural exports of Japan is Japanese Anime; it has been translated into many languages. Anime is an actual art form with a visual technique that includes characters with gigantic eyes and facial expressions that are quite exaggerated. When a character is embarrassed, they sweat a lot. If they have tender feelings for someone, they blush.

Another highly accredited type of Japanese animation would be the magna. Magna is defined as a Japanese comic book that is read from back to front, opposite the western books. A lot of the magna series number over 20 volumes and have become television shows.

Collectibles associated with Anime or manga has become a great investment. It's estimated that billions have already been spent on the large variety of memorabilia that is on the market. The reasons for this success is twofold. One is that the video game industry has done extremely well, second is that there's been a spike in popularity for all things Japanese within the United States.

A lot of public libraries are full with rich manga collection and they are generally in shortage of it as a good number of fans follow it. There are clubs and communities of manga which interchange comics and their affection towards Japanese animation. These hardcore fans are known as Otaku.

Otaku is a Asian term utilized in the Parted States to described obsessed copal fans, but is wise a discontinued term in Asiatic. Few of these fans make up as their competitor vital characters and say it co splay. Co slay is other term for collection rom and fans unremarkable position up to advert comic conventions.

Japanese Animation – What Makes it So Unique and Popular?

If you are an animation lover, you should certainly not miss the anime series from Japan. These exciting animated movies are well known for their strong plot lines, complex stories, and some very famous saucer-eyed characters. They are popular with kids and adults from both the genders across different nations around the globe. The popularity…

If you are an animation lover, you should certainly not miss the anime series from Japan. These exciting animated movies are well known for their strong plot lines, complex stories, and some very famous saucer-eyed characters. They are popular with kids and adults from both the genders across different nations around the globe. The popularity is evident from the huge number of visitors that visit the 'Anaheim's Anime Expo', the largest annual trade show of anime and Manga in the US.

What is the reason behind this popularity and massive appeal? What makes Japanese animation so unique? The answer is simple. American animations usually target small kids and are based on short, one-episode stories. On the other hand, Japanese anime series target both kids and adults and are usually a complete serial with various episodes. Moreover, the characters in the latter are comparatively more beautiful and attractive, and the story lines are based on varied topics, ranging from politics to violent battles to personal relationships. This makes them popular with both males and females.

Needless to say, anime has become a part and parcel of American culture. From 'Spirited Away', the Oscar-winning fantasy flick by Hayao Maiyazaki, to the violent 'Ghost in the Shell' series, the and popular 'Pokeman' for kids to TV shows, such as Adult Swim, and games like 'Final Fantasy ', Japanese animation has spread its roots everywhere. In fact, it was the popular Shojo anime that encouraged women to involve in video-gaming and take interest in animation, which was otherwise thought to be meant only for guys. Anime and Manga are now also known for the major change in their stylistic approach.

In short, unlike other animated series, Japanese animation has crossed its cultural barriers and has found a much greater audience worldwide.

Naruto – The Animanga Series

The following is a brief outline of the Japanese animanga series, Naruto (contains Manga spoilers). The story of Naruto follows young Uzumaki Naruto on his journey through the ninja world. Naruto grows up with quite a burden to carry as he soon learns he is the container or Jinchuuriki of one of the Tailed Beasts…

The following is a brief outline of the Japanese animanga series, Naruto (contains Manga spoilers).

The story of Naruto follows young Uzumaki Naruto on his journey through the ninja world. Naruto grows up with quite a burden to carry as he soon learns he is the container or Jinchuuriki of one of the Tailed Beasts – the Nine Tailed Demon Fox. The reason, as I understand at least, for Naruto being the container was that when the Fox attacked the village, the village's leader, called the Hokage, who we now knew was Naruto's father, had to seal the fox in order to save the village of Konoha. It seems logical that Yondaime (the Hokage) would choose his own son to seal the Fox within for reasons which I will not go into here. Unfortunately this act of sealing the Fox cost Yondaime his life and so far we are unsure of how Naruto's mother died.

As a result of being the container of the Fox who many years ago waked havoc in Konoha and killed dozens of ninja, Naruto grows up being hated through the village and ends up being a bit of a troublemaker in an attempt to get attention from others. In the long run though, we see that this gives Naruto unbelievable mental strength and his attitude to never give up often shows up in the storyline. Had Naruto not been hated in his childhood, which his father had obviously hated against, he might not have turned out to be the exceptional individual we see in the Manga at present.

Aside from Naruto, the story closely follows the lives of other ninja, most notably Naruto's rival and friend, Uchiha Sasuke. The life of Sasuke develops in complexity as the story goes on and it brings yet another theme into Naruto as the young Uchiha is set on revenge for the massacre of his clan by his brother Itachi. An amazing twist in the plot more recently changes everything for Sasuke and it becomes very hard to tell just what Sasuke is thinking which makes this series even more exciting than it already was.

Other major characters in the series include Haruno Sakura and Hatake Kakashi, Naruto's teammate and Sensei, all of whom along with Sasuke and the main character himself make up Team Seven. Others include Jiraiya one of the legendary three ninja who is responsible for teaching Naruto his more ninja techniques along with Tsunade, Iruka and many more.

Walt Disney & Animation

The word Animation has some magnetic power. Starting from a child of severely three years to a mature man – all fall in love with the mesmerizing effect of animation. Animation is nothing but the display of a 3-D or 2-D images on the screen and that too too done in a serial order. It…

The word Animation has some magnetic power. Starting from a child of severely three years to a mature man – all fall in love with the mesmerizing effect of animation. Animation is nothing but the display of a 3-D or 2-D images on the screen and that too too done in a serial order. It had been said that the invention of animation film is a much earlier invention than the feature films. People always love to get entertainment in any way and in any form.

From the Victorian Age the experiments were transported on the animation. In those times these were the most popular form of entertainment. Belgian Joseph Plateau, William George Horner, Reynaud tried to make out different method to provide entertainment to the common masses. J. Stuart Black ton presented the first film based on animation – Humorous Phases of Funny Faces 1906. Humorous Phases of Funny Faces in 1906 got huge success in New York.

Different types of cartoon character born in the hands of their creator. They had born many years back. But still they retain their popularity. Who can forget the characters like Mickey Mouse. A small mouse but very intelligent. A very good boyfriend of Minnie Mouse and a good master of Pluto. The maker of these popular characters is Walt Disney. A man who took the world into storm. His company Walt Disney Corporation produces a large number of animated films. The animated films of Disney have the power and full control over the audiences of a large range. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Pluto are very much well known and popular characters all over the world. Mickey Mouse was first introduced with us in the Steamboat Willie (1928). And it is the first animated cartoon with sound. Disney cave his voice for Mickey.

The audience is very much interested in watching the action and reaction of the little characters. Along with Mickey and Minnie other characters like Goofy, Donald Fuck and Pluto receives full attention and interest. The Three Little Pigs is another important animated film. It portraits the hard work of the three pigs against a wolf. The wolf needs courage and guts at the face of economic disaster in 1930's. Disney conveyed the socio-economic problems through which the whole world is facing. Flowers and Trees (1932), The Grasshopper and the Ants (1934) and The Tortoise and the Hare (1935) were produced in colors.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), was the first full length animated cartoon film. The film was produced by the Walt Disney Corporation. Dumbo (1940), Fantasia (1940), and Cinderella (1950) are the other animated film that came into the screen one after another. Beside full length animated series the company started documentaries based on nature, short cartoon films, and programs for television. The Little Mermaid (1989) and Toy Story (1995) are the other important works of the company. Toy Story the first full-length computer-animated cartoon.

Later the Company opened Disneyland amusement park in 1955 in Anaheim, Calif. The park well known for its amusement. And a must see place for the visitors. In 1971 the company opened second and larger complex in Orlando. Walt Disney Corporation is the well known company in the 20th Century that produces a number cartoon films, cartoon characters, amusement parks in many places, hotels and other fun filled activities.

But after death of the leader Walt Disney in 1966 the company got a set back for some time. As we time makes us forget every thing in the same way the company returned with all glory and royalty with new ventures and plans. In 1992 the company owned Euro Disneyland at Marne-la-Vallée. At present the company owned even an entertainment channel Disney Channel in the television.

No one can ever forget the awful contribution of Walt Disney in the field of animation.

His work is the inspiration of the present day's animators. Walt Disney received Honorary Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the creation of Mickey Mouse. Along the rewards he receives love and well wishes from millions and millions audience through out the globe. He created a history in such a time when the art of animation is really a miracle. He added sound, music and dialogue that too full of fun. It is really fun and wonders to see the small characters are performing and pointing out the social problems at the same time.

The Success of SpongeBob SquarePants

With the recent victory of the franchise SpongeBob SquarePants during the recently concluded 2009 Elan Awards for the category Best Voice-Over in an Animated Production (as won by Tom Kenny), it is only fitting to explore the success of the titular character with the impossible charm and absurd decision-making. SpongeBob SquarePants first took the global…

With the recent victory of the franchise SpongeBob SquarePants during the recently concluded 2009 Elan Awards for the category Best Voice-Over in an Animated Production (as won by Tom Kenny), it is only fitting to explore the success of the titular character with the impossible charm and absurd decision-making.

SpongeBob SquarePants first took the global stage when it was premiered in the child-oriented global network Nickelodeon in May 1999. The official series kicked off in July 2009 and it bought us to the world of a sea sponge, who actually closer inspection actually looks like the one being used for kitchens.

SpongeBob lives in the lagoon floor of the imaginary city of Bikini Bottom in the Pacific Ocean. It was created by the noted animator Stephen Hillenburg after his previous experiences as a marine biologist. Since then, it has become one of the longest-running shows in Nickelodeon (seven seasons and second only to Rugrats). In 2007, TIME Magazine also possessed the distinction as one of the greatest television shows of all time.

It's hard to argue against it. SpongeBob SquarePants has become a force in the character licensing industry. With its magnanimous characters, many companies have lined up to produce merchandise which bear the resemblance of SpongeBob and even his friends. These includes pencil cases, lunch boxes, notebooks – mostly items which are useful for the youth demographic.

Most of the charm of the show rests on the child-like demeanor of SpongeBob and his best friend, the star fish Patrick Star. Moreover, a huge help in its popularity rests in its character design. SpongeBob's all-yellow appeal coupled with his distinct blown-up face and also Patrick's all-pink appearance make them easy to remember for children. These physical representations captured by the witty and talkative nature of the show can make it easily lovable for children.

An interesting additional note to the success of SpongeBob SquarePants is that it is not specifically created with only young children in mind. Adolescents and even young adults also find the snarky and witty dialogues in the show as engaging and top-of-the-line humorous. The show's developers have found a way to insert adult jokes which can just be ignored by children such as jokes about marine biology and raising children.

SpongeBob SquarePants is now a king of endoresements and character licensing deals. Fast food restaurants are favorite clients of this deals, packaging SpongeBob with value meals in order to entice children (and their parents) to buy their food. Among the long list of fast food restaurants which used SpongeBob were McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King's. Action figures have also become a regular fixture in leading toy companies all over the globe. LEGO has been one of the more popular brands which licensed SpongeBob SquarePants as one of its builder sets. He has also been featured in board games such as Monopoly, Life and Operation, Ants in the Pants and Yahtzee.

Another prominent use of SpongeBob SquarePants in character licensing deals can be seen in various theme park rides in his likeness. In Six Flags Over Texas, the ride SpongeBob SquarePants 4D was put in place of the previous Escape from Dino-Island 3D. The same ride was opened in Noah's Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin. The new theme park Nickelodeon Universe in Minnesota features a SpongeBob-themed Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter custom roller coaster, the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge.

All these lucrative character licensing deals were made possible by a brilliant intellectual property which was carefully planned to be of significance not only to children but also to young adults. SpongeBob SquarePants' success is proof that careful planning, perseverance and hard work can pay off in the end.

Top Pre-School Cartoons and Their X Factors

Cartoons have always been about children and one of the most dedicated niches of animation to target this preliminary demographic are pre-school cartoons. By niche, it means these cartoons are really catered to young minds' sensibilities. So do not go blurting out that a pre-school cartoon sucks if it does not measure up to your…

Cartoons have always been about children and one of the most dedicated niches of animation to target this preliminary demographic are pre-school cartoons. By niche, it means these cartoons are really catered to young minds' sensibilities. So do not go blurting out that a pre-school cartoon sucks if it does not measure up to your standards as a knowing individual. Of course, they are created for children.

But just because they are created for children, that does not mean the potential for a huge market is not there. These kids may not have purchasing power, but they have the wallets of their parents backing them up.

It is important to note however that pre-school cartoons are a very sensitive niche. It can not be all about the money. Animators for pre-school cartoons should take it upon themselves as a responsibility to promote excellent child education through these shows. They should feel accountable to the development of their children. By itself alone, that's a noble motivation already.

So, here are a few popular pre-school cartoons and we'll try to see what makes them click to children and even with their parents (who are hypothetically in charge of the remote control of the TV screen):

Dora the Explorer. This Nickelodeon Hispanic gem which can speak two languages ​​has been carrying the flag for pre-school cartoons everywhere. With problem solving at the forefront, Dora and her friends, Boots, Diego, Map and Bagpack, have been successful at attracting the curiosity of children thanks to their interactive conversations with the TV viewers. Not only does Dora help in keeping children behave, she also is an excellent training ground for memory skills and problem solving abilities.

This is a big reason why many parents voiced their outrage when they learned that the character design for Dora the Explorer has been expanded to appear as a pre-puberty lady. Parents are scared to lose the precious abilities of Dora the Explorer to engage in their pre-school age children. But the creators of Dora are adamant that this new character design was just a branch out.

Little Einsteins. What would Albert Einstein would have felt knowing that a pre-school cartoon has been named after him – a high school dropout who happened to be a genius of science and technology? But that's beyond the point. This show, a music-based cartoon from Disney Channel, is straightforward about its intention: it is about education and little children.

Using music as a way to sharpen the critical thinking skills of children is a nice touch. It is similar to a mnemonic and this has been proved successful to keep the memories of children sharp.

Sesame Street. Who can forget this Evergreen PBS classic pre-school show which has still been continuously running for decades already? With its eclectic and colorful cast of muppets Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Grover and Count Dracula, children are introduced seamlessly to the virtues of infotainment. This show has already taught many children of today and yesterday how to read and count even before stepping inside a classroom.

Bob the Builder. This is another adorable engineer which adorns the Saturday morning time slot of CBS. This character has the requisite bright colors and sunshine attitude in its character design to attract children. Moreover, it teaches the virtues of hard work, self-reliance and critical thinking skills with his never-say-die approach to building and architecture.

These are only some of the most loved pre-school cartoons of all time. There are more of course and they have one thing in common: they all cater towards child education first and foremost. They have proven to be dedicated animation artists in making sure that children are empowered most especially in this Age of Information.

Cel-Shaded Animation in a Nutshell

Drawing by hand will always be regarded as the beginning of animation. This is why even with advanced technologies now in the art of making things move from static images, computer graphics can still return to the look of hand-drawn animation. One key animation style to get that look is cel-shaded animation. By the name…

Drawing by hand will always be regarded as the beginning of animation. This is why even with advanced technologies now in the art of making things move from static images, computer graphics can still return to the look of hand-drawn animation. One key animation style to get that look is cel-shaded animation.

By the name of the animation style itself, it is clear how it isoted in hand drawings. Cels are the clear sheets of acetates wherein the classic 2D animation style of Disney films of the past were drawn. In a nutshell, cel-shaded animation aims to make computer graphics appear as though they were hand-drawn. This is accomplished through non-photorealistic lighting.

The results may look simple but the actual process is quite complex. Beginning with a 3D model, cel-shaded animation proceeded to create discrete shades which would give a flat look typical of 2D animation. Similar to comic books, emphasis can be given to drawings highlighting black ink outlines and contour lines.

Cel-shaded animation, curiously, is more often associated with video games. Whenever a new game will come up, many gamer geeks and aficionados would often ask about the quality of the cel-shade. To recap, the first successful application of cel-shook animation in video games is with the Sega Dreamcast game Jet Set Radio. Not to be outdone, Sony PlayStation released Fear Effect. Good times for sure.

However, the first criticisms then implied the quality of the appearance of the characters. Although dramatic textures were achieved with these early games, it lacked dynamic light-sourcing and outlines.

Even with the technological limits of the first batches of cel-animated video games, a small trend begins to brew among game developers. Cel-shaded games started to appear like mushrooms: Sly Cooper, Thievius Raccoonus, Dark Chronicle, Cel Damage, Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, Viewtiful Joe and of course Jet Set Radio Future. What stood out among the pack, at least commercially, were The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Tales of Symphonia and Sly 2: Band of Thieves.

One game which tried to capitalize on the popularity of cel-shook animation unfortunately experienced adverse results. The House of the Dead III, designed for the Microsoft Xbox, started production of the game with cel-shaded graphics – yes, an anime-like look for a zombie-based gunner game. So with disaster brewing for this awkward recipe, SEGA decided to scrap the cel-shaded look and go for conventional animation styles. Maybe the negative response was so overwhelming to ignore.

Although cel-shaded animation has not taken the video game industry by storm, it is still an effective motif to used when implemented properly. Dragon Quest VIII, Rogue Galaxy, Killer 7, No More Heroes, Metal Gear Acid 2, Okami and the most recent incarnation of Prince of Persia all feature 3D animation which appear anime-like or hand-drawn. Moreover, when handhelds were not as powerful as today, most games were in cel-shading animation. Examples would be the Tony Hawk series and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on the Nintendo DS.

Cel-shaded animation can somehow be compared with abstract painting. It does not have to exactly represent reality but when used with skill and adequately, it can create stunning treatments for multimedia entertainment such as video games and even animated movies.

Getting Started in Animation – How My 10 Year Old Started Animating

My 10 year old son is an amazing artist and over the last couple years at school has taken to using sticky-note pads to make flip book animations. These animations were so popular that his teachers and other students were buying them from him at school and he was actually making money buying blank sticky-note…

My 10 year old son is an amazing artist and over the last couple years at school has taken to using sticky-note pads to make flip book animations. These animations were so popular that his teachers and other students were buying them from him at school and he was actually making money buying blank sticky-note pads, making animations with them and then selling them!

So, for this past Christmas, I did some research on-line and found a very powerful animation software package that makes doing animations super easy and, with this software, it can also easily sell or other distribute animations .

The software is pretty neat because it will actually allow you to see both the animations before and / or after the page you are on. You can decide whether to turn on the past few animations or even the next few animations. You can select wherever to show one or several layers ahead or back. This makes it super easy to get the timing and distances right when doing animations.

Combine this feature with the graphic drawing tablet we also got him for Christmas and he has a mini animation studio on one of the extra computers that we have in the house. Now, he can make all sorts of funny animations, export them as videos and share them with the world. He can go back and add color, add to or subtract from the story, fix errors as he gets better or experiment in a way where he can always go back to a saved copy. It has been a really amazing tool for him.

So, if you're a budding artist or animator, I suggest looking into some of the powerful digital tools available to take your craft further.