What is follow through and overlapping action? Guide For Beginners

If you’re new to animation, follow through and overlapping action might be a term you’ve never heard of. Follow through and Overlapping Action is the fourth principle of animation out of the 12 Principles of Animation. But don’t worry, we’ll explain it all in this guide for beginners.

So let’s start.

What is follow through action?

When creating any type of animation, be it 3D or 2D, it’s important to have good follow through action. This means that the animators must animate the characters and objects in a way that makes their movement appear realistic and fluid.

follow through action example

The animation will look choppy and awkward if there is poor follow-through action. In order to achieve good follow through action, animators must take into account the principles of physics, such as inertia and momentum.

They must also be aware of how different body parts move relative to each other. For example, when a character is walking his or her hair should also follow the momentum. If not, it will look like the character is having

What Is Overlapping Action?

Overlapping action is a type of animation technique that is used to create the illusion of depth in a 2D or 3D space. This technique is achieved by animating objects or elements so that they appear to overlap each other as they move across the screen.

overlapping action example

This can be done using 2D animation software, or 3D animation software. Overlapping action is often used in motion graphics and video effects, where it can be used to create a sense of depth and realism.

What is the difference between follow through and overlapping action?

In animation, follow through and overlapping action are two important principles to create believable movement. They are often confused with one another, but there is a key difference between the two:

Credits – Alan Becker

Follow Through refers to the way parts of the body continue to move after the body has stopped. Overlapping Action describes the offset between the timing of the main body and its other parts. All two of these are basically describing different aspects of the same thing.

Why is follow through and overlapping action important for animation?

Animation is all about making things look believable and real. In order to create that sense of realism, animators need to pay close attention to follow through and overlapping animation. Follow through happens when an object continues to move after the force that was causing it to move has stopped.

follow through and overlapping action important for animation
Credits – Nikhil Ray

Overlapping animation is important because it helps create a sense of realism by making objects seem like they have weight. When two objects overlap each other, it creates the illusion that they are actually touching each other.

This is especially important for 3D animations, where creating a sense of realism is key to making the viewer feel like they are in a different world.

Follow Through And Overlapping Action Examples

Follow through and overlapping action are essential for strong and successful animation! By learning how to properly utilize these techniques, you can achieve a fluid and realistic movement that will really impress your audience.

So let’s start going through the examples.

Follow Through Animations Examples

Follow Through is the idea that loosely connected parts of an object or body will continue to move after an actor stops moving. As you see, the tip of the head is still moving, but the head has ceased moving.

Follow through animations examples
Credits – Alan Becker

Overlapping Animations Examples

Overlapping Action is a similar idea in that it describes how different parts of a body or object tend to move at different rates. Here you can see the delay in the tip of the head when the head starts moving and how the tip of the head is dragging itself after the head has come to rest.

Overlapping Animations examples
Credits – Alan Becker


In conclusion, follow through and overlapping animation are two very important aspects of animation that beginners should learn about. They can help you create more realistic and fluid animation. Practice makes perfect, so continue to experiment with these concepts to improve your skills as an animator.