For most people, "animation" brings up ideas of feature lenght films, or cartoons. From my experence, it can be as 'simple' as showing a folding seat for a product demo, to a fully illustrated and programmed interactive game, or, more commonly, as a banner ad.
For many, many years, I made On-Line Advertising (OLA), aka: banner ads.
I absolutely love this work.
Love them, or hate them, banner ads, and OLA keep the majority of the internet free. And as a developer, they are fun, micro projects, that usually involve animation as well as problem solving. They need to be instantly engaging, and also instantly load. The balancing act between what we can do, and what will work, is one of my favorites.
Sadly the majority of my animation work was done in Flash, which Apple decided was getting some of their money, so it is now gone. Below are the best preserved examples, as well as some more modern solutions.
On the surface, this animation is pedestrain. Just a seat folding down, right?
The reason I use this example, is that I was provided 2 images for this, one with the seat down, and one with it up.
ALL of the inbetween bits, I created. When the client saw it his reaction was "That folding seat is my world."
This guy always makes me smile, so I keep him around. Created as a proof-of-concept for an eLearing course for a pharma company, this guide dog was meant to provide fun feedback to the learner to keep them engaged in what was otherwise, rather dry content.
I came up with 4 'good' and 4 'bad' animated reactions. He ended up being used in multiple courses.
The characters and style of this one are some of my favorites, but I especially like the story arcs we tried to give the characters. Not just the main ones, but in the background as well, watch for the kid with the balloons...
Putting in little extra touches helps users stay engaged, especailly with a longer and wordy animation like this one.
While it may be a bit long, it was a fun challenge to lip-sync the mouths. Each character had a set of phonetic mouths created and was then synced up to the audio.