Many people think that Animation has started since people start watching it on TVs as programs designed specially to waste children time. in fact, 
Animation Has started way before you might be able to believe.

Before starting the journey, first things first; What is animation?

Simply, Animation is "a thing" in motion, but lately. we describe it as the science of creating the delusion of motion, weight and speed. when it comes to cartoon. we draw a sequence of pictures with objects differed by offset. 

and that leads us to another question: What is a video?

we all know what a video is, we watch tens and hundreds of videos through our social media exploring, websites, TV, or any other mean of transferring these beautiful material, which we use to spend some time, have fun or learn. 

going a deeper dive into the technical anatomy of a video. we find that most videos have visual content such as the images we see and subtitles if they are available. yet on the other hand there is the audible content which might be a voice over reading a script or telling a story, background music or in the best cases sound effects. these beautiful ingredients soup up at the end of the day to be enjoyable content that communicate to our senses.

A video  is an electronic medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting, and display of moving visual media.
~ wikipedia

A playback of sequenced images we call "frames" that stay on a screen for an amount of time (x) and move to the next one. 
24 frames per second and 25 frames per second (fps) are the most commonly used nowadays by most media providers and devices which play video. nevertheless. some video players can play with 60fps; which gives the moving objects a very neat smooth motion with less motion blur that might happen through filming which could be added to film as VFX. resulting; a sharp neat motion.


First Animations!


After Defining the video as a series of images, that has a slight changes between each image (frame) that run in order giving the brain the control to process that amount of images, creating a delusion of motion. we are able to walk through same concept of human made artworks that might work the same.

first animation in history, a goat leaping up to nip at a tree painted on a vase side. 
( Iran - the Empire of Persia )


Shahr-i Sokhta vase with animated goat on its sides.

Historians claim that the first animation found in The Empire of Persia - what is know today by Iran - though, it was a five frames animation. showing phases of a goat leaping up to nip at a tree painted on a vase side. which might be rotated in a certain speed and vualá the magic starts. 

The Pottery vessel found in Shahr-i Sokhta, Iran. Late half of 3rd Millennium B.C. was a five frames based animation

drawn as following frames:

  1. a goat steps toward a tree
  2. climbs it up
  3. eats leaves
  4. comes down.

As modern human we are able assume that these ancient beautiful drawing could be animation; because we are introduced to that type of technology that we used to enjoy while watching back to childhood / teenage / adult times.

but the real question which should be asked: does the creator really meant it to be moving ?

We cannot be 100% sure of that but in all cases. the creator was absolutely trying to address all the " poses " done by the goat to eat.



Another motion was introduced in another majestic ancient civilization from the middle east, is a wall painting found in Egypt, the approximately 4000 years old was mural showing two men as wrestlers fighting. as shown in the following image. you can find that Egyptian artists have put an effort doing most of the frames. needed to be displayed in HD.

first animation in history, a mural of two men as wrestlers fighting found in ( Egypt ) dated to ~2000 B.C. From the main wall of chamber of tomb 15 at Beni Hasan ( tomb of baqet III ) 
Credits (1) 


an image for the mural on the main wall of chamber of tomb 15 at bani hasan ( tomb of baqet III )
an image for the mural on the main wall of chamber of tomb 15 at bani hasan ( tomb of baqet III )

one of the interesting facts about Ancient Egypt is the fact of using animation in almost most of their artworks which have told stories about gods, Pharaohs, journey of after life, mummification ... etc.

Another is that they have appreciated the after life, and that is one of the main reasons why they have filled their tombs, grave and ancient structures. with hieroglyphics scripts, engravings and other types of drawings. as messages to their leaders, priests, kings, and their families that give hints to know how to start their journey in the after life. as well as on the other hand. they were used to address and show a part of life or a specific event in someones life.

I Baqet case; a nomoi  - a territorial division in ancient Egypt. - governor, treasurer of the king of Lower Egypt, confidential friend, true royal acquaintance, and mayor of Nekheb.



You can find such Techniques in ancient times that have been widely used by artist who wanted to register stories, dances, fighting postures. on walls of temples and rich people houses, pottery and caves. the following are photos related to Greeks that have used such techniques.

God of Grapes and Wine Dionysus and Maenads, Berlin
Dance in armour, Vatican Museum


Maenads dancing


If you are an ancient alien fan or something similar, you might think that they have used some kind of a technology back then and looked at a certain point on the wall, and it started to move. but ! unfortunately. I am adding that drawing in specific as a proof for the theory of ancient animation; though, it was meant to show many wrestling poses. regardless the other murals in the same tomb that shown other skills and activities of Baqet such as playing and hunting with his wife.

That might Sound Disappointing as a result, but! lets hope not and continue the journey.


Before and within 19th & 20th Century Animation!

Back in 1800s, before almost 130 years from inventing the very first TV. there was animation that were used to entertain people and kids. for a fact some of the following techniques are still used today by entertainers and animators in specific.

 1. Umbrella lamp of China ( 100 A.D. )



2. Zoetrope 



3. Thaumatrope



4. Box of Mysteries

As Know By Arabs, They have named a box with moving dolls that act in a specific scenario moved by a story teller or the puppet master alongside the story teller.


5. Phenakistiscope



6. Paper flip book



7. RetroScope

which is simply a mechanical device that hold a number of cards and keep flipping them to create the illusion that was described in the previous point (paper flip book).


8. RotoScope

Until the new invention ( rotoscope ) was first introduced by Fleischer Studios back in 1914 as a tool that helped artists to draw over motion pictures as frame by frame animation and the evolution of modern animation era has began. Roto was a device that shows a series of images and artists after all have to trace or draw over these frames to create motion or compose it over real life footage. 



  1. Author: Wellcome Library, London | Copyright holder: Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 | Image title: M0006216 Egypt, Main chamber of tomb 15 at Beni Hasan. Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images East wall of main chamber of tomb 15 at Beni Hasan. Drawing Archaeological survey of Egypt, Beni Hasan. Published: 1893 Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0