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The Evolution of Animation
It took over 10,000 drawings to create her.
Gertie the Dinosaur is widely regarded as the first animation in history. The 12-minute short film was created in 1914 by cartoonist and animator Winsor McCay.
McCay unveiled Gertie to audiences as part of his vaudeville act. He had a whole routine in which he seemed to control and command Gertie. She bowed to the crowd, bit McCay, and chomped on a pumpkin. The short ends with McCay appearing on the video and riding Gertie off screen.
The animation was remarkably intricate.
Gertie breathes realistically, and the ground even shakes under her massive weight.
Audiences loved McCay’s act, and Gertie is credited with kickstarting the popularity of animation (and dinosaurs).
Animating Audiences to Act
McCay used keyframes and other innovations to streamline Gertie’s creation. Even so, the countless hours spent creating thousands of drawings was expensive.
Today, animation is decidedly less labor intensive and can be an efficient and effective marketing tool. Braithwaite’s design team has tackled dozen of animation projects across industries and clients.
Like Gertie, animation can capture images and ideas no photo shoot or stock footage ever could. It can be used to illustrate complex concepts and seamlessly integrate stories and statistics. It can help brands keep subjects and imagery broad and universal, or hyper-specific. It can incorporate and enhance existing brand imagery and assets.
Most importantly, it can be done relatively quickly and on a modest budget.
As video continues its run as a dominant marketing format, animation remains an important category. Just like with live video, it’s important to get the planning stages right, including selecting a look and feel, scripting, and storyboarding.