Animation is the art of giving life and motion to still objects.
We are all very familiar with animation basically because of the various cartoons that we were raised on.
Cartoon movies make use of a series of hand drawn pictures or paintings in quick succession to create the illusion of motion.
The eye also cooperates in seeing the illusion correctly through a phenomenon known as persistence of vision, where the eye sees all these rapidly advancing images as one continues motion instead of a series of still images.
Virtually every kind of visual medium like film, television, computer monitors, cell phone displays and game consoles use this technology to display motion on the screen.
Greeting cards have also begun to use animation these days. Graphics and animation came to the PC quite late in the previous millennium. Although high-end workstations were capable of advanced graphics even much earlier, graphics on the PC came at a time when the hardware was affordable enough to include it in every PC. One of the problems with animation is that it occupies a lot of disk space.
Therefore, animations which need to be sent through email have to be quite small. One way to do this is to make the animation loop around so that it runs continuously. A single cycle of the animation would be small but the looping will make it look lengthy. Another way to make lengthy animations is to use Flash which is a vector based animation program. Flash uses mathematical equations to represent the animation and hence a very long animation would still be extremely small in size because it contains only equations.
There are a number of e-card sites that provide free animated email cards. You can visit www.4n-invite.com and use the online form on the site to make you own customized free animated email cards. You can enter the wording for the greeting in the text box featured in the form. You can then add pictures to the card by uploading them from your computer to the form online. You can use animated GIFs to animate your card.