Animation shows a series of slightly different still graphics in quick succession to give the impression of action and movement, similar to the idea of flipping the pages of a pad of paper quickly to see the sketched figures appear to move. Animation can illustrate something happening that video may not be able to ideally portray, such as the completion of the water cycle or the activity of the inside of a volcano.
Using Premade Animations. Like the other media mentioned, collections of premade animations that can be dropped right into a multimedia presentation are available on CD-ROM. Animations can be extremely time consuming to create because of the many numbers of drawings it might take to simulate an action effectively. Therefore, finding a ready-made animation that illustrates a desired effect will save time and allow those with little experience with the animation process to benefit from the us- age of this medium.
Animating. Many sophisticated authoring and presentation programs now offer tools to facilitate animation. Flash by Macromedia is a very popular animation program.14
Still images can be made to appear to move without requiring the user to have ex- tensive animation skills. Still images can easily be animated with simple animated GIF programs. Many of these programs are available free from the WWW (see websites at www.tucows.com or http://download.com?legacy=cnet). The capabilities of these programs can only be expected to improve, allowing novice multimedia designers to incorporate quality effects with minimal effort.