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.

Information from: http://minyos.its.rmit.edu.au/aim/a_notes/anim_principles.html

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