The principles of Animation


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In animation there is a set of principles animator adhere to. Base on Disney’s 12 principles of animation, its aim is to produce a more realistic and tangible characters h the illusion of them adhering to the laws of physics. Even though the set of principles was created during the early during the early 1980’s which is intended for hand-drawn animation, it still finds relevance in today’s more prevalent computer animation. They are 12 basic principles of animation which is Squash and stretch, anticipation, staging, straight ahead action and pose to pose, follow through and overlapping action, slow in and slow out, arc, secondary action, timing, exaggeration, solid drawing and appeal.

Base on animators from the movie industries, probably the most important aspect amongst the 12 principle of animation would be the Squash and stretch.  This gives the animated characters flexibility and weight so it may create and illusion to us audience that those characters are following the laws of physics. One main importance in maintaining the realistic illusion is the volume of the character should not change while in the process of getting squashed or stretching. Width, length, and depth(3D) all of them should contract or be squash correspondingly. The second greatest challenge in designing an animation is deciding on the timing. Timing is determined by the amount of frames allocated in a single second. This creates the illusion of movement and individual orientation of the characters. It also determines the intensity of that particular scene, for example during a fight scene more frames are used to create the exhilarating atmosphere.

To keep the audience on their toe, animators imply the anticipation principle into their animation. It’s meant to prepare the audience that the character is about to execute and action. The whole idea of anticipation is selling the audience believable movement that the character could take. Ease in and ease out is a part of an animation to make it look more realistic. It’s the effect of accelerating and deceleration to make any movement look more realistic without any abrupt or jerky movement. The fifth principle would be follow through and overlapping action. The idea behind this principle is to conjure up a more realistic and fluid movement only real person can do. In real life not everything moves at the same time thus with this aspect in mind animator try their best to implement it into their animation.

Arcs are considered the defining moment between fluid movement and robotic movement. In real-typical life scenario everything moves in an arc like motion. Nothing in nature moves in a perfectly straight line unless you are animating a robot. If an object that falls out of the arc motion the audience will find it unrealistic and unnatural. Exaggeration is added to make the animated character do more readable movement. For example before the animated character jumps up he will squat down a bit before propelling himself upwards. Solid drawing has to be taken into account when it comes to animation. Shape, balance, weight, anatomy, shadow and lighting are all the variables to make the character look more live like. But in modern animation CGI have help improved the animation studios in creating a more live like character but solid drawing stills play an important role.



Appeal is what give the character charisma and also give the character distinguishable traits audience can immediately recognize such as a villain or a hero. Secondary action is used to emphasize the character in the animation and to bring more live into it. Straight ahead and pose to pose are techniques on how the character accomplishes the task. Last but not least is staging. Its how the character and the ambient surrounding interact with one another.



One response to “ The principles of Animation ”

  1. ftleow says:

    1. lack of reference and no citation are added to the report
    2. No personal reflection on what you have studied for the design plan?
    3. Should further arrange the content and layout in the infographic

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