Disney’s 12 basic principles of animation were introduced by the Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in their 1981 book “The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation“.

These 12 Principles are for better animation Work. The most valuable use is for your Character Animation.

In this article, we will Learn all these Principles of animation with Helpful Gifs from Vincenzo Lodigiani.
Let’s Get Started

12 Principles of Animation- Animaders

01. Squash and Stretch

Squash and Stretch-12 Principles of Animation
Squash and stretch – GIFs Animation from Vincenzo Lodigiani
Squash and Stretch is the most important Principle in 12 principles of animation.it’s give a sense of weight, gravity and flexibility to your character or object. It can be applied to simple objects, like a bouncing rubber ball, how a bouncing rubber ball may react when tossed into the air: the ball stretches when it travels up and down and squishes when it hits the ground.

02. Anticipation

Anticipation – GIFs Animation from Vincenzo Lodigiani
Anticipation helps to prepare the viewer for what’s about to happen. When applied, it has the effect of making the object’s action more realistic. For example, if you have to hit a ball with your bat but without pulling your hands.it would look unnatural to make it natural you have to pull your hands. Just like this, you need Anticipation for your object or character.

03. Staging

Staging - 12 Principles of Animation
Staging – GIFs Animation from Vincenzo Lodigiani
Johnston and Thomas defined it as “the presentation of an idea so that it is completely and unmistakably clear”, whether that idea is an action, a personality, an expression, or a mood. This can be done by various means, such as the placement of a character in the frame, the use of light and shadow, or the angle and position of the camera.

04. Straight ahead action and pose to pose

Straight ahead action and pose to pose - 12 Principles of Animation
Straight ahead action and pose to pose – GIFs Animation from Vincenzo Lodigiani
There are two different ways to handle the drawing process. straight ahead action scenes are animated frame by frame from beginning to end. If you’re looking for fluid, realistic movements, straight ahead action is your best., while “pose to pose” involves starting withdrawing a few keyframes and then filling in the intervals later. This technique gives you a bit more control within the scene and allows you to increase the dramatic effect of the motion.

05. Follow through and overlapping action

Follow through and overlapping action
Follow through and overlapping action – GIFs Animation from Vincenzo Lodigiani
Its am a general heading for two closely related techniques which help to render movement more realistically and help to give the impression that characters follow the laws of physics, including the principle of inertia. When objects come to a standstill after being in motion, different parts of the object will stop at different rates. Similarly, not everything on an object will move at the same rate.

06. Slow in and slow out

Slow in and slow out - 12 Principles of Animation
Slow in and slow out – GIFs Animation from Vincenzo Lodigiani
The movement of objects in the real world, such as the human body, animals, vehicles, etc. needs time to accelerate and slow down. In animation, this effect is achieved by adding more frames at the beginning and end of an action sequence. Apply this principle to give your objects more life.

07. Arc

Arc - 12 Principles of Animation
Arc – GIFs Animation from Vincenzo Lodigiani
When working in animation, it’s best to stick with the laws of physics. Most objects follow an arc or a path when they’re moving, and your animations should reflect that arc. This technique can be applied to a moving limb by rotating a joint, or a thrown object moving along a parabolic trajectory. The exception is mechanical movement, which typically moves in straight lines.

08. Secondary action

Secondary action

Secondary action – GIFs Animation from Vincenzo Lodigiani
Adding secondary actions to the main action gives a scene more life, and can help to support the main action. Just like the movement of your clothes, hairs, facial expression or it can be any secondary object which reacts according to the first.

09. Timing

Timing – GIFs Animation from Vincenzo Lodigiani
For Timing, you need to look frames or drawing motions carefully which translate to the speed of your animation. For instance, if you jump your character more quickly or slowly that it would naturally move in the real world, the effect won’t be believable. Using the correct timing allows you to control the mood and the reaction of your characters and objects.

10. Exaggeration

Exaggeration – GIFs Animation from Vincenzo Lodigiani
Exaggeration is an effect especially useful for animation, as animated motions that strive for a perfect imitation of reality can look static and dull.

11. Solid drawing

Solid drawing
Solid drawing – GIFs Animation from Vincenzo Lodigiani
For this Principle, you must aware of three-dimensional space and understanding form and anatomy, weight and volume, and lights and shadows of your character or object in three-dimensional space.

12. Appeal

Appeal – GIFs Animation from Vincenzo Lodigiani
Appeal in a cartoon character corresponds to what would be called charisma in an actor. A character who is appealing is not necessarily sympathetic, villains or monsters can also be appealing, the important thing is that the viewer feels the character is real and interesting.

Must Read: Three tips for making a good Character Animation


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