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Principles of Animation
These are the 12 principles of animation. The definitions are from the handout given by SCAD Animation professor, Troy.
Terms in this set (12)
Squash and Stretch
This action gives the illusion of weight and volume to a character as it moves. It can also be useful in animating dialogue and doing facial expressions. This is one of the most important principles and is used often.
This movement prepares the audience for a major action a character or effect is about to perform, such as the start of a run or the pause before an explosion. Almost all real actions display a major or minor form of this principle.
This directs the audience's attention to the story or idea being told. The background design shouldn't obscure the animation or compete with it due to excess detail behind the animation. They should work together in unison.
Straight Ahead and Pose to Pose
Straight ahead animation starts at the first drawing and works drawing to drawing to the end of the scene. This can produce spontaneity and freshness. Pose to pose is more planned out and charted with key drawings done at intervals throughout the scene. There is more control in the scene this way.
Follow Through and Overlapping Action
When the main body of a character stops, all other parts continue to catch up to the main mass of the character. Nothing stops all at once. When the character changes direction, things such as clothing or hair will continue to move in the old direction and then catch up a few frames later.
Slow-In and Slow-out
This principle softens the action, making it more life-like. As the action starts, we have more drawings near the starting pose, one or two in the middle, and then more drawings near the next pose. Fewer drawings make the action faster, while more drawings make the action slower.
All actions follow this type of path. It gives the animation a more natural action and better flow. Many character movements and special effects elements are subjected to this type of path.
This action adds to and enriches the main action. It adds more dimension to the character animation. It supplements and/or re-enforces the main action. These actions should work together in support of one another.
More drawings between poses slow and smooth the action. Fewer drawings make the action faster and crisper. Adding a variety of slow and fast actions within a scene adds texture and interest to the movement.
This can consist of extreme distortion of a drawing through facial features, expressions, poses, attitudes, and actions. It can add a more dynamic feel to a walk, an eye movement, or even a head turn.
The basic principles of drawing (form, weight, volume solidity, and the illusion of three dimensions) apply to animation as they do to academic drawing. You draw cartoons in the classical sense, using pencil sketches and drawings that reproduce life.
This principle includes an easy to-read design, clear drawing, and personality development that will capture and involve the audience's interest. It gives the story continuity, allows for character development, and results in a higher quality of artwork throughout the production.
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