Activity 1: The History of Optical Illusion

A quick look at the history of animation:

Emile Cohl – Fantasmagorie 1908

Gertie the Dinosaur (Winsor McCay, 1914)


Every traditional form of animation must be recorded digitally and archived in your course portfolio. Original animation objects must be submitted to your teacher for assessment (be sure to record your name on it). Make sure you create/include a title slide for each digital animation. Your title should include: student`s name, course code: ANHR35s/MOHR35S Unit 1, Activity #, 2012. This can be done in Premiere, MovieMaker or created by hand.


To become familiar with/apply 2D Animation terminology and demonstrate knowledge.


The Persistence of Vision Theory: How do our eyes see movement? The human eye has sensors that retain an image for a moment, so the brain continues to perceive an image for a fraction of a second after the image has passed. If the eye sees a series of still images very quickly one picture after another, with a tiny break in between to register each image, then the images will appear to move because they “overlap” in the brain. Our eyes cannot perceive the difference between separate images, so we are tricked into thinking we have seen movement!

Traditional forms of Animation:

The following terms will be presented below. Cell, Cell Animation. Frame by frame, optical illusion, armature, frame rate, fps, sequential order, keyframes, thaumatrope, flipbook, stopmotion, clay animation, phenakistoscope, and zoetrope

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Click here to view the Criteria and Intent of Unit 1 history of animation in full screen mode

Other 2D Flash Terminology:

Design Breaking – The stage in Flash production right after the original designs are approved by the Director. Final character designs (and props if needed) are cleaned up in Flash, colored, and broken apart in pieces that the animator will use when animating a scene.

Clean-up – The stage in which drawings are traced back in order to enhance the quality of the line work. The Flash line tool is often used to clean up scanned drawings before the character is set up or ‘rigged’ for animation.

Comp – Short for ‘Composite Drawing’. The Comp is a symbol that has many subsequent symbols inside of it. For example, the head comp of a character is a symbol but has additional symbols inside it – one for each eye and one for the mouth.

Ease – There is a function in Flash called ‘ease’ located in the properties panel. It’s used for slow-in’s and slow-out’s. To see it you have to have the area between two keys selected on the timeline, and ‘Tweening’ has to be on.

fla – The FLA file type is primarily associated with ‘Flash’ by Adobe Systems Incorporated. Adobe Flash, initially known as Shockwave Flash and popularly called simply Flash, refers to both the Adobe Flash Player and to the Adobe Flash Professional multimedia authoring program. The Flash Player, developed and distributed by Adobe Systems (which acquired Macromedia), is a client application available in most common web browsers

Frame – A digital cell in an animation.

Guide Layers – You can set any layer to ‘Guide’ and that layer will not be rendered in the final Flash movie.

Key Fame – A keyframe is a frame where a new symbol instance appears in the Timeline. A keyframe can also be a frame that includes ActionScript® code to control some aspect of your document. You can also add a blank keyframe to the Timeline as a placeholder for symbols you plan to add later or to explicitly leave the frame blank.

Masks – Masks are basically mattes. They create a hole through which Animation can be viewed. In Animation they can be used to create match-lines to place a character behind a BG element like a table or door frame, or to create a reflection of a character in a mirror or puddle.

Onion Skinning – A function in Flash that allows the user to see a desired number of frames at once. Used to check the spacing and arcs of your poses.

Properties Panel – Part of Flash’s interface. The properties panel is located at the bottom of the screen. When an element is selected, a variety of properties will be displayed in this panel and can be adjusted as desired.

Scene Library – Each scene has a library window that holds the graphic elements (symbols) created for the animation of the scene.

Scene Set-up – Sometimes known as Scene Assembly. This is a stage in Flash production where all the elements of the scene, ie-characters, props, effects, BG, and any pre-animated cycles are all imported into the library and set up for animation.

swf – is a file format for multimedia, vector graphics and ActionScript in the Adobe Flash environment. Originating with FutureWave Software, then transferred to Macromedia, and then coming under the control of Adobe, SWF files can contain animations or appletsof varying degrees of interactivity and function. Currently, SWF functions as the dominant format for displaying “animated” vector graphics on the Web. It may also be used for programs, commonly browser games, using ActionScript.

Skewing – Part of the transformation tools in Flash. Skewing artwork in Flash is commonly used in place of an inbetween or to get a character (or part of a character) from one position to another. Animators are advised never to leave any parts of the character skewed. It should only be used as a transitional effect to get from point A to point B.

Stage – Part of the Flash’s interface. The stage is located at the center of the screen, it’s the main workspace. This is where all elements are placed and animated.

Swaping – The switching of a symbol (body part) in mid-motion. Most often used for switching out hands but is used for just about every body part. This is done in the properties panel.

Symbols – Vector art created in Flash is turned into a symbol before being animated. Symbols provide the ability for animation to occure inside itself, they provide various functionality necessary to character animation. (eg. allows eye and mouth symbols to be animated inside a head symbol).

Timeline – Flashes timeline is usually located at the top of the interface. This timeline is comprised of layers that stack the artwork contained in it’s frames one on top of each other. All elements in a scene can be keyed and animated in the timeline.

Tools Panel – Part of Flash’s interface, usually located on the left side of the screen. Contains the main drawing functions available for drawing, painting and animation.

Tweening – Flash has two ways of tweening: Motion Tweening and Shape Tweening. Usually when animating characters we’re using Motion Tweening. This function will automatically add inbetweens between your key poses, but only in a linear fashion (point A to point B), so breakdown drawings are sometimes needed to define any arching motion.

Vector graphics – Flash uses Vector graphics as opposed to bitmap graphics. bitmap graphics save images as colored dots but vector graphics save images as curved lines and fills. The advantage to vector graphics is that it eliminates pixilation.


  • generate 10 questions on the above terminology,
  • provide correct answer to each question,
  • 4 questions must be multiple choice,
  • 4 questions must be fill in the blank,
  • 2 questions must be True/False


  • Students are to create a 10 question quiz on the terminology for this unit.
  • Students are to word-process their questions in MS Word and save in their Animation/Activity 1 folder as: firstlastname_animationnotes.docx,
  • Students are to generate an Animation Page on their Wix site and create a new Activity 1 sub-page.  Copy and paste your text information from your notes on this page.


  • 10 marks for generating questions (must be Copied and Pasted into the comment box),
  • 10 marks for using question formats,
  • 5 marks for providing the correct answers
  • 5 marks for uploading word file