Sunday, March 21, 2010

8. Full vs. Limited Animation

Chapter 7 in Art in Motion by Maureen Furniss describes the difference, relationship, and history between full animation and limited animation. Full animation is all about having every drawing of an animation be distinctly different or there is no cycling or images, and limited animation has the reoccurrence of many sequences of images, also known as cycling. Full animation also uses more metamorphosis of shapes and sizes, playing with the z-plane, while limited only stays within the x and y planes. Full animation uses the most fluid motion whic comes with 24 images per second, but limited animation tries to reduce the number of images per second, as much as possible, usually using about eight per second. Limited animation includes lots of different camera movement because it makes the image seem more dynamic even if the movements being made aren’t. Full animation has its focus placed on visuals, while limited has the much of the animation based in sound with voice over, narration,and dialogue.

One animator that became very well known for his use of limited animation is Osamu Tezuka. Originally, he went to school to be a doctor, but he established his stance as an animator with his synthesis of 500 to 1000 page cartoons. He has also been noted for his use of cinematic techniques within his animationsHe created a series called ‘Astro Boy’, which aired in Japan in 1963 and was a great success. He also did a feature length film called ‘Onboro Film’. In The Birth of Astro Boy it’s easy to recognize the limited animation within it because of the cycling in images of the still crowd and the repeating of the cars passing by.

One of the studios in competition with Disney was United Productions of America. Much of this company was made up of former Disney employees, which is because of the many strikes that Disney endured. UPA’s films were minimalist with very little shading to show depth, as well as the lack of perspective linesUPA was also different from Disney in their choice of story line with films like Gerald McBoing Boing, Rooty-Toot-Toot, Madeline, The Tell Tale Heart, and Mr. Magoo.


  1. nice job! I really like food, and must be a good slicer. My favorite part of your stop motion was the onion--the layers look cool. You did a good job of adding music, something I did not take the time to do.

  2. I think the distinction between full and limited animation is an interesting concept, although the title of 'limited' certainly infers that it is a lower form of animation. I don't think this is always the case--it is a form that can achieve great results if it is used intelligently. There also is the bonus that it is faster than full animation, so for someone working on a one-person project this makes it possible to actually get something done.