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Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways. The most common method of presenting animation is as a motion picture or video program, although there are other methods.


Early examples

Early examples of attempts to capture the phenomenon of motion drawing can be found in paleolithic cave paintings, where animals are depicted with multiple legs in superimposed positions, clearly attempting to convey the perception of motion.

A 5,000 year old earthen bowl found in Iran in Shahr-i Sokhta has five images of a goat painted along the sides. This has been claimed to be an example of early animation.[1] However, since no equipment existed to show the images in motion, such a series of images cannot be called animation in a true sense of the word.[2]

A Chinese zoetrope-type device had been invented in 180 AD.[3] The phenakistoscope, praxinoscope, and the common flip book were early popular animation devices invented during the 19th century.

These devices produced the appearance of movement from sequential drawings using technological means, but animation did not really develop much further until the advent of cinematography.

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