0 Why key frames are regarded as a base structure?

There was a time when animation meant cartoons to most people. But that situation has changed completely nowadays. Animation is now an industry in its own right. It creates content for several other industries like the movie and television industry, ad, marketing, gaming etc. even during the period of recession the demand of animation works did not decrease to any notable extent.
Animation is such a field where you need to mix your creative visions with available technical options and create something meaningful.  Though animation is not entirely a new field, its major advancements have come in the last decade due to the development in computer software. For example you can take the motion graphics software After Effects that came out in 1993 and has continued to be updated and upgraded till now incorporating modern technology as it developed.
 One major reason behind the importance of software like this is that it helps an animator to tackle with the tough technical aspects of animation and filmmaking like handling keyframe animation.
Key frame is actually an important, integral part of animation and filmmaking. In the old days, basic 2d animations were done by creating separate frames by hand and putting them together. A common example can be the ball animation. If you want to see a ball bouncing over your screen, an animator would draw multiple frames – depicting the ball in different heights in respect to the ground- high, closer really close and finally hitting the ground. But since the arrival of modern motion graphics and animation tools there is no need to follow this time consuming method.  You have a simpler way, thanks to key frames. The meaning of keyframe is close to its name- it is a video frame that plays a key role in preparing the animation.
Let us elaborate on the previous example. To create the same ball bouncing animation with key frames,   an animator would have to place one keyframe of the ball being at the top and another keyframe of the  ball being at the bottom. Then you leave it up to the software. The software calculates the happening between the key frames with a process called tweening. The tweening method is used to animate scale, position, opacity, rotation, blur levels, covering almost anything with a numerical value. It is possible to even animate distortion of a recorded clip in order to create comic expressions.
There is another process called easing which is closely related with keyframe animation. With this process the computer can calculate the change speed between the two key frames. To make sure the users do not face any difficulty in using the key frame effect, the developers have added guidance menus to help them through the process. These are known as “assistant’.
When you are using high end software, make good use of the key frames concept to create attractive animation. Forget about doing animating frame-by-frame, it is now time for keyframe-by-keyframe. The rest will be taken care of automatically.

Author Bio-
Raju K.

Raju K has been working in the animation industry for years. Here he gives us a brief overview about key frame in animation.  


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