What is Staging In Animation? Guide For Beginners

Staging in Animation is the process of positioning objects, creatures, and characters within the frame in order to create the desired visual impact. In short, animation staging is what creates the illusion of reality on a screen.

There are many different types of animation staging, but they all have one common goal: to create an effective visual narrative.

What is Staging In Animation?

Staging is one of the 12 Principles of Animation and, commonly, is overlooked by animators and overlooked by viewers. However, it’s a helpful tool that can inform the audience concerning character and narrative. Staging is related to acting, timing, cinematography, and setting. When An Animator understands staging, they control the audience’s attention.

good animation staging and bad animation staging

Always set the action in a place where the audience will notice it. If you are staging a character or a personality, make sure the performance is clear and memorable. Additionally, good staging will improve the way that the performer interprets the other characters’ body language and overall, it will engage your audience.

What is the importance of staging animation?

Staging is related to acting, timing, cinematographic, and assembling. When an animator knows staging, he or she handles the audience’s focus and helps move the story.

Here are a few reasons to believe staging is important.

Rule 1

  • A pose or action should clearly display to the audience the character’s attitude, mood, reaction, or concept of the situation as it relates to the story and its direction and continuity of the prologue. A notable silhouette and a strong pose are easier to read.
animation staging silhouette

Rule 2

  • The effective use of the long, medium, or close-up shots, as well as camera angles also help in conveying the story. Since in a film, there is a limited amount of time, thus each sequence, scene, and frame of the film must relate to the overall story.
animation staging

Rule 3

  • Don’t be too distracting for the first scene, unless you are depicting an action that is to portray clutter and confusion. Take charge of what the audience looks at first.
staging animation

How to apply to shots

1. Halves and thirds

Dividing one frame into halves or thirds places the important areas of the characters directly on the cutting plane, keeping the story’s focus where it belongs.

staging animation

With the Protagonist in the middle, our attention is focused on her. She is also in the foreground, making him appear larger and more important. So the staging allows us to pay better attention to what she is saying. She is also surrounded by children which tells us that she’s occupied.

In the above image, Anakin is near the left side of the frame while showing the picture is split from the Jedi Council. He is also toward the dark side of the frame, saying that something about his emotional state has emerged at this time in the story.

2. Lines of focus

By setting lines, other elements, and cameras up in certain locations, a Animator can create appealing lines that may provide a focal point for the viewer’s attention.

staging animation

Here all the Characters have their eyeline toward the Character sitting in the middle of the frame, thus drawing our attention to him. It tells us that he is the important character here.

3. Consistent Screen Direction

Screen direction is to progress in which a character is currently looking or moving. Placing a consistent screen direction is key to successfully passing on information to your audience.

Here the Character is passing by the camera. To avoid confusion, the screen direction of character remains constant throughout the sequence.This straightforward approach prevents the audience from feeling confused or distracted.

What is the rule of thirds in animation?

The Rule of Thirds is a basic principle of composition that can be applied to still images and moving images alike. The rule of thirds is all about creating a more balanced and pleasing image by using imaginary grid lines dividing the image into thirds, both horizontally and vertically.

rule of thirds in animation

The theory is that our eyes are more likely to wander around an image if its elements are placed along these lines or at their intersections. There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to using the rule of thirds – it’s simply a guideline to help you create a well-balanced composition.

When it comes to animation, the rule of thirds can be used in a number of ways. For starters, you can use it to help plan your animation by placing Poses along the grid lines. You can also use it to determine the placement of your characters and props within your scene which will help you for better staging in your animations.


In conclusion, animation staging is important for creating a clear and concise story. By understanding the basics of staging, you can better create scenes that flow and make sense to the viewer. As a novice animator, it’s important to learn the basics of animation staging and use them to your advantage in order to create better animations.