Animation is an essential medium for communicating ideas. It is unique in the way that it can convey the very essence of story and emotion. It allows audiences to detach from the confines of reality, accept the animated world, and absorb the fundamental message. Even a simple animated shape can convey distinctive ideas and emotions that an audience can completely relate to down to an instinctual level.

    Throughout history, there has been a place for animated stories, from the sequential cave drawings of our ancestors to the early Chinese zoetrope. Regardless of the culture or geographical location, humans have a need for animation to help communicate certain ideas. As technology advanced and opened new avenues for animating, we also found new uses for this incredible medium. Today animation takes many different forms, from line drawings to 3D animation, from scientific visualization to visual music, from cartoons to photorealistic digital characters. Because animation can convey sophisticated ideas in very simple ways, early-learning classrooms are even integrating basic animation tools into their curriculum, recognizing it as a valuable medium for visual learners. As the tools become increasingly available and easy to use, animation is more and more becoming a part of our daily lives.

    This year’s Computer Animation Festival reflects both the accessibility and capabilities of animation. It brings together a rich variety of work from many different disciplines and all walks of life. As you settle into your seats to watch these fantastic submissions take a moment to think about the history of animation. Reflect on how fortunate we are to witness to this revolution and the social responsibility that comes with being the purveyors of the art form. Then, sit back and enjoy the ride!

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