What are the 12 principles of Animation?

Walt Disney’s 12 principles of animation were first set forth by the animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in their book The Illusion of Life (now translated into English). Through looking at the work of leading Disney animators from the 1930s to the present day, this book condenses Disney’s methods to 12 “universal principles of animation.”

If you want to be working in the Animation industry or you are a college student looking to pursue Animation as a career, then you should familiarize yourself with these rules. You’ll do well as a trainee in Animation or seeking to accomplish a career in this field if you want to keep to the rules and work.

As an integral part of the animation field, the principles introduced by the twelve stages have become widely acknowledged by animators working on animated video projects. By understanding these principles of animation, you can increase your animation skills.

In order, the principles of animation Consists of

  • Squash and Stretch
  • Anticipation
  • Staging
  • Straight Ahead Action and Pose-to-Pose
  • Follow Through and Overlapping Action
  • Ease-In, Ease Out
  • Arcs
  • Secondary Action
  • Timing
  • Exaggeration
  • Solid Drawing
  • Appeal

1. squash and stretch

principles of animation

So the first principles of animation is “squash and stretch.” This is the principle that animated objects will get longer or flatter to emphasize their speed, momentum, weight, and mass.

The quantity that an object squashes and stretches (recites profondément la proportion de la masse) indicates something about its mass. The more squash and stretch, the softer the object. The less squash and stretch, the stiffer the object.

A simple principle that is important to keep in mind is that the distance of the object should remain constant. Commonly, this is the thing that gets people in trouble during their very first attempts at “squash and stretch.” As they lengthen the ball while it is in the air, they have a tendency to shorten it as it touches the ground. This is what you must NOT do. The ball’s overall volume must remain consistent so as the ball gets longer, it also gets narrower. When it gets flatter, it also gets wider.

It is important to bear in mind that the ball does not have to stretch completely the entire time that it is in the air. When it first starts to fall, it should have a mostly spherical shape, and only last when it is about to hit the ground will it stretch the most. Hence, do not use squash and stretch in this manner. Squash and stretch also apply to characters.

2. Anticipation

The second principles of animation is known as anticipation. This is when a character prepares for an action to provide the audience a clue to what’s going on and whether or not it will happen soon. Also, it makes it more convincing for the action in question.

An example would be when a character is about to leap. Before he jumps into the air, he has to crouch down to gather his energy. It’s a sort of spring that coils up before releasing. Consider the different characters jumping with no anticipation. It seems unrealistic because it is an automatic jump without any necessity for preparation.

Anticipation helps establish expectations and prevent disruption to the audience by being ready for the next action. This can happen in many ways, such as if a character is about to take something out of their pocket. They make their hand very visible and in the air before going into the pocket. Otherwise, the audience might miss it and question how they got that object in the first place.

3. staging

principles of animation

Stories are told clearly and thoroughly when they are staged. Once upon a time, this was a very broad principle because it included a lot of areas of animation. It could apply to acting, timing, camera angle, and positioning, among others. When you’re in the process of animating, make sure you’re in complete control of where your audience is looking. You’re essentially saying, “Look here, now look at this.”

Where do you position the camera when you’re filming a scene? Where do you direct the actors? What do you put them to do? Modeling all these choices is what we call staging. Staging is one of the most valuable ideas to effectively direct the spectators’ attention.

4. straight ahead and pose to pose

principles of animation

So the fourth animation principle is called straight ahead and pose to pose. This term describes two methods used to animate drawings. The first method straight ahead is where you draw the first drawing and then you draw the second drawing and then the third drawing and so. The second method is to post to pose, where you draw the beginning and end of each main pose and go back later to fill in the drawings in between.

So there’s an advantage to both methods.⋅Pose to pose is generally better for actions that give you the most control because you have a good idea of what the result will be early in the procedure instead of worrying about what the result is. You decide how your character ends in the beginning, and work backward from there. Using straight ahead animation can lead to the character changing the size or being on a different level from beginning to end.

Pose to pose can save you a great deal of time and effort. If you were to describe an entire sequence from the beginning and then discover that a single pose is out of alignment, you would then have to modify numerous drawings. But since doing the pose to pose focuses your attention on the main poses, you can catch potential issues early in the process. Straight, lag animation may demonstrate unforeseen motion. Examples of this include flame, water drops, dust clouds, and even smoke.

5. Follow Through and Overlapping Action

principles of animation

This is a process of having parts lagging behind the rest of the body and the body is suspended when this occurs. Follow Through and overlapping actions are often part of another practice called drag. These names all refer to the same thing but with different connotations.

6. Slow In & Slow Out

principles of animation

Given the following principle, it’s called slow in and slow out. This principle relates to the manner in which most motion starts slowly, builds speed, and moves slowly. This is basically the most important principle for achieving lifelike motions without slow in and slow out, things seem mechanical. The reason is that robots are one of the few things that actually move their parts slowly.

The 2d animation method calls on those scaling the extent of the extreme poses to draw one specific in between and then draw between one of them. The number of slow in and slow out will then be up to your choices. With 3D animation and motion graphics incorporating slow in and slow out via altering the motion curves from linear to spline by utilizing bezier handles. The motion of an object progresses from being slow to being fast and then slowly over time.

Use it well. For example, you wouldn’t add a slow delay to a bouncing ball as it’s touching the ground, but you would add it as it’s bouncing back up to the bucket. You would not add a time delay to a bullet coming out of a gun, but you would add any movement in recoil.

7. Arcs

principles of animation

So few organisms evolved moving in a way that has precise manmade in and out or up and down. The most common living creatures move in a circular path, typically referred to as a circle. Animations must reflect the laws of nature. Most objects follow an arc or a path when they’re in motion, and your animations need to model this. For example, when a ball is thrown up, it follows an arc because of the movement of gravity acting on it.

8. Secondary Action

principles of animation

The 8th principles of animation is closely linked with overlapping action. Frank and Ollie, however, attribute the meaning to their own particular interpretation. Secondary action describes gestures used to complement the main action, adding to the dimension of the animated character. Suppose a character is about to strike a door. The other action may be used to communicate what type of door opened it’s. If it’s his fist, it makes him appear angry. If it’s dainty, it transmits a humble, cheerful vibe. If it’s tucked in while his head is shaken back and forth before striking it communicates that he doesn’t want to be discovered.

For instance, it may not even be a recognized action, such as a face or a secondary object reacting to the first. In either case, it should not distract the viewer from the action happening in the primary scene.

9. Timing

principles of animation

The 9th principles of animation states that the appearance of animation greatly relies on the number of frames inserted between each primary action. Basically, the more often frames are more frequent, the longer the animation will take. The more often frames occur close together, the faster the motion occurs.The fewer drawings you have, the faster the movement occurs. The standard frame rate for movies is 24 frames per second. If one drawing is made for each frame 24 drawings per second are made, that’s referred to as drawing at once. If one drawing is made for every two frames, that’s called drawing on twos. And every three drawings is three and so on.

The technique is actually common among twos for multiple reasons. First, it shortens the number of steps by half; second, it makes slow movements seem smoother than if you were to have drawn each frame individually. Given that the preciseness of drawing in between very close drawings often appears jerky to the eye, some artists argue that drawing in twos is the preferred approach for quick movements. But it’s necessary to draw or add keep the details when there is a critical action that has to be read frequently or when there’s a flurry of activity. That is why it is always everyone’s choice how many drawings to include between poses. Some people establish a greater or lesser amount of streams dependent on whether there’s a good deal of motion. That can produce a lively visual impact.

10. Exaggeration

principles of animation

Any action, pose, or expression that’s taken to the next level can increase its influence on the audience. If a character is unhappy, make him more unhappy. Make him cheerful and make him brighter. Anxious, make him more worried. Wild, make him wilder. Exaggeration does not mean exaggerated at all, but more interesting and convincing.

11. Solid Drawing

principles of animation

Before you can start animating a personality, you need to ensure it feels as though it is one in three-dimensional space with volume weight, and balance. One component that helps create animated figures easier to understand is that you don’t need to redraw them from various perspectives. Achieving this type of knowledge takes time and practice. The principle of solid drawing applies to 3D animation as well. In regards to portraying weight and balance in the pose of a character.

12. Appeal

principles of animation

Characters that you create should be pleasant to watch. Their personalities should in some way be engaging or appealing. This doesn’t just apply to heroes in the story, but also to villains and other characters that you create. An appeal doesn’t always mean beauty. It may also mean uniqueness. Thus, the villain should be fascinating to look at as heroes are remarkable by default.

In order to develop interesting characters, designers can try making a few different shapes instead of relying on a single shape. Most companies have won in the marketplace with their own unique characters.Play with proportions. Cartoon artists ordinarily boost what we have a tendency to like and belittle what we can not see as nice or boring. For instance, the nose and mouth are enlarged, while the entire body is shrunk. Finding the personality of a personality that is distinguishing and exaggerating it can make a more desirable design.Simplicity is always the best strategy for maintaining an animated character simply. Animation adds more to the character than simply telling it what to do. You’re constantly choosing between what you wanted to represent and what the actor needs to do to complete the scene. So keep it simple to keep the animation simple.