The like button has many different variations even though it means the same action. Whether you’re scrolling through Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, or any other social media site, there will most likely be some sort of button to show your appreciation for a post. However, what’s that one thing separating the like button across all platforms and their version of the like button? The animation. It’s one small detail that is hard to notice at first, but it’s there to give that app a sense of identity. If it were to disappear suddenly, it would lose that sense of identity and would feel bland.Embed from Getty Images
Animation is seen daily, but people might not know where to look or what it would look like. So what is animation? In simple terms, animation is a type of illusion to trick your brain into seeing movement from drawings, pictures, and CG models. What are some examples that use those types of animations? Shows on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon use frame-by-frame animation to make 2d drawings of characters move. Movies from Disney, Pixar, and Marvel. Avengers Endgame where they had to animate the movement of Thanos or even in video games where almost everything is animated to tell the story.
Now that we have a good reference as to what animations can be let’s talk about another place where you can find animations, Snapchat filters. Everyone who has used or knows of Snapchat has probably heard of filters. The primary term for filters is to add or remove images and backgrounds to a video or picture. Take for example, the dog filter where it adds big, floppy dog ears and a tongue. The filter’s code tracks the person’s face so the ears and tongue move along with the head, which actually follows one of the 12 principles of animation. Follow through or overlapping action. Follow-through is a crucial part of the animation process where the secondary features of the character or object, like the dog ears and tongue, follow through with the motion. An example of follow-through is a superhero flying with a cape super fast, and then stops suddenly. The superhero stops in the sky but the cape caves in around the body because of its forward motion. When you go on Snapchat, take a look at that dog filter and move your head to get a good idea of how the follow-through works.
There have been a lot of examples of animation in social media, but where else could you find it that most people would never think about? How about sports? Next time you’re watching a Football game, try and spot how many overlays there are on the screen, the transitions that cut to another camera position, and then compare them to other teams. Most teams will have their own branded transition or overlay for TV to make it more unique and personalized. It’s one detail that you might have never noticed but can make a massive impact on the game’s feeling.
Animation is seen by everyone in today’s society even if you don’t look for it. It can be in many different forms like huge CG or 2d characters in movies and shows, overlays on sports stations, filters on Snapchat or Instagram, and the small things just like a like button.