According to this Wikipedia entry, a video is the display of moving visual media.

If so, then what do you call a chain of still images that when you press the 'play' button, it plays automatically (like a video)? My reasoning is that those picture are not moving, just switching image to image.

  • Good question. @damkerg-t definitely covers the case where the images are not related. But is there a specific word for where the sequence of stills tells a story?
    – Keith
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 23:41
  • A video is not necessarily "moving". You can take video of a stationary object.Traditional movie film moved through a projector, but it is just a series of still images displayed quickly enough to fool our eyes into seeing motion. Same with videotape. DVDs spin, so they're moving, but they too just deliver still pictures at a sufficient frame rate that they seem to move. Your cellphone might be able to capture and play digital video without any moving parts. Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 9:40
  • @BrianHitchcock I mean as in switching pictures every few seconds. So, images displaying slow enough that we are able to respond to that it is a slide show. An example would be 1 frame/images every 5 seconds. I would edit to clarify the question, but since I have the answer I require, there is no need for that.
    – CipherBot
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 9:54
  • Yes I agree . Slide Show is exactly the right term for what you described. I was just qubbling with the definition of video that you cited, "moving visual media". In older video technologies, the media always moved, but with newer technology, it doesn't. Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 10:04

4 Answers 4


Judging from your description, I think it is "slide show"
(rather than animation, stop motion, or rotoscoping).

From Wikipedia:

A slide show is a presentation of a series of still images on a projection screen or electronic display device, typically in a prearranged sequence. Each image is usually displayed for at least a few seconds, and sometimes for several minutes, before it is replaced by the next image.


Video game developers and enthusiasts often call those a sprite strip or a sprite sheet.

Here's an example:

In video games, things on screen are represented by textures drawn in 2D or 3D. Textures are either static, which means they only use one image and it never changes, or dynamic, which means they change over time, most commonly by simply looping over a number of frames.

Sprite strip is what contains a number of sprites (separate images) and they can be seen as still images in an image editor like MS Paint or Adobe Photoshop.

Old video formats and animated GIF images (in the simplest form of description) work very much like the example above − they display a sequence of images with equal dimensions and your player may do so in a loop.


I think the answer is rotoscoped frames.

Rotoscoping - an animation technique in which animators trace over footage, frame by frame, for use in live-action and animated films.

  • 1
    I think I've also seen the term "stop-motion animation". Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 13:34
  • 5
    Both rotoscoping and stop-motion are generally used to produce fully-animated video. The OP's question describes a sequence of images that do not appear to be moving.
    – recognizer
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 15:52
  • Ah, here comes ambiguity - pictures not moving, just switching (description) - plays automatically like a video (product) - chain of [still] images (essence). That's how I interpreted. The first thought I had when I read "chain of still images" was self-made cartoons done by flipping over several leaves of paper - similar to rotoscoped frames
    – shin
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 16:30

Could potentially be a stop motion film, eg. claymation, The Nightmare Before Christmas, etc. This is if you are using this sequence of images to create an animation or something reminiscent of an animation.

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