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                              CAT (Character Animation Toolkit)

                              Definition of CAT

                              CAT is a 2D animation tool created by Disney to design and pre-visualize 2D traditional and computer-generated animations.  It is a crucial animation tool adapted to many studios, and CAT’s primary purpose was to design the keyframes of a movie before it became a feature film. CAT is most well known as the software tool used for creating animation before 1996 when one of its main users, Disney’s ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’, won two Oscars with over 100 million dollars in sales on video alone. CAT also came into use during the production of other animated films such as Beauty and The Beast, Pocahontas, Tarzan, Fantasia 2000, and Lilo & Stitch.

                              Disney's Animated Film 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'

                              ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’

                              CAT allows animators to create rough drafts of motion that can then be refined in the computer. CAT helps animators to create and modify ideas quickly, from the beginning stage until full production. CAT is unique in that it allows for free-flowing expression without being restricted by time.

                              Where CAT was used for the first time?

                              CAT was first used during the production of Toy Story, which utilized CAT for character animation – named CAT: Character Animation Toolkit. Because CAT was so successful at effectively creating animations previously done by hand, other studios such as DreamWorks Animation Studios adopted CAT, and various versions emerged. This allowed increased versatility and capabilities, such as an improved user interface to accommodate two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) animation.

                              CAT can storyboard and enable users to apply design principles of classical animation and conventional ideas of acting or directing. In addition, CAT allows for experimentation with different interpretations regarding character design, staging scenes, and even working with movement and music.

                              CAT allows the user to work on one frame at a time or multiple frames at once using layers. Autodesk currently owns CAT.

                              The CAT product line includes Cat Motion, where CAT came from – this was created back in 1991 by Mark Bregman. CAT was originally made for Disney and used in many movies, including The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tarzan, and Fantasia 2000.

                              Animated Film 'Fantasia 2000'

                              ‘Fantasia 2000’

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