The 12 Principles of Animation

The 12 Principles of Animation were developed in the 1930’s and they were a result of Disney’s dream to create a new way of animating that would conform to a more truthful way of how things moved in real life and how movement can be used to express different personalities and characters.

The 12 principles of animation are:
1) Squash and Stretch – Relating to the illusion of a character having weight and volume as it moves.
2) Anticipation – Preparation for a major action or movement that a character is about to make.
3) Staging – Communicating to the audience the appropriate mood, emotion or attitude, in relation to the current story, background and animation should work together.
4) Straight ahead and pose to pose animation – Working from the first drawing and onwards until the end of a scene.
5) Follow through and overlapping action – When a movement brings a characters main body to a stop and then other parts catch up a moment later ( such as arms, legs, clothes), they all follow the path of the action.
6) Slow-out and slow-in - More drawings at the start and end and then some in the middle, to soften the action out and make it more life-like.
7) Arcs – The path that a movement follows
8) Secondary action – All the other actions outside of the main body that are uses to accentuate the feelings and attitude of a character as they move.
9) Timing – More drawings make the action slower and less make it faster, timing is vital and can make a key difference to how your character looks when moving.
10) Exaggeration – Characters must have a variety of movements to look more natural and so adding emphasis to certain movements helps.
11) Solid drawing – Weight, volume solidity and adding a 3D/4D effect to animation can bring pencil sketches to life.
12) Appeal – Getting an audience’s attention and commitment to what you are making is vital and so keeping up an appeal is majorly important when animating, this relates to all character types.

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