Simply speaking, animation is the process of making films, movies, videos, or computer games in which drawings or models of people and animals seem to move. The illusion, in fact, is created by the consecutive display of images of static elements. In the case of film and video production, it refers to techniques by which each frame of a film or a movie is produced individually.
There are various methods of generating these frames. It can be done with the help of computers, by photographing a drawn or painted image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model unit, and then photographing the result with a special animation camera. When the film is viewed after stringing the frames together, "persistence of vision" creates an illusion of continuous movement.
Generating such a film is usually very labor-intensive and tedious in "traditional" animation. In the case of computer 2D & 3D Animation, however, the process is much less labor-intensive, and generally much cheaper. The other advantage of computer animation is a bigger margin of error because the use of digital files helps to undo any mistakes up to a certain number of steps.
Although animation has been mostly used for entertainment, now it is being increasingly used as instructional animation and educational animation to support explanation and learning.
The "animated cartoon," as developed early in the last century and refined by Walt Disney and others, requires up to 24 distinct drawings for one second of animation.
Animation being a very time-consuming and often very expensive process, most of the animation for TV and movies is done in professional animation studios. The field of independent animation, however, has existed at least since the 1950s, when animation was produced by independent studios or individuals. Many independent animation producers have now joined the professional animation industry.