Understanding The 12 Principles of Animation

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Every once in awhile the YouTube algorithm leads me to discover something I didn’t know I needed.

If you have been following the blog posts you may already know I recently discovered an unexpected thrill from the animation assist feature in Procreate 5. If you haven’t read that post yet check it out here!

As a result of trying to figure that feature out, I ended up watching a number of videos on it. Thus leading YouTube to know that I was getting into animation.

This then caused this video on the 12 principles of animation showing up in my recommendations. Check it out below.

While the video is a good introduction if you’re anything like me you need a little more than just a video to wrap your mind around it. This was my first exposure to any of these principles and as a beginning animator, I need to really absorb these concepts.

What Are The 12 Principles of Animation?

The 12 Principles of Animation are basically mental toolset that animators can use to ensure that what they are creating appears to follow the laws of physics.

Designed by a couple of Disney artists, Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas, it will help us to understand how to create fluid motions in our characters. It will also help us to understand things such as emotional timing and character appeal.

Disney’s 12 Basic Principles of Animation

  1. Squash and Stretch
  2. Anticipation
  3. Staging
  4. Straight Ahead/Pose to Pose
  5. Follow Through & Overlapping Actions
  6. Slow in and Slow Out
  7. Arcs
  8. Secondary Action
  9. Timing
  10. Exaggeration
  11. Solid Drawing
  12. Appeal

At this point, these principles have just entered into my awareness and each will require more study for me to better understand and explain in more detail.

This topic and further study of it will likely require a more detailed animation section on the site rather than just a quick blog post.

I will need to put each to practice in my own animations before I can explain it to you any better than this. At least now we both are aware of them and can utilize them going forward as needed.

Marc Spagnuolo

Hey there! Thanks for reading my article! I'm Marc the creator of this website. I'm a growing artist and web creator seeking to share what I'm learning in the hopes that it helps someone out there like you. I hope you found this information useful. If you're interested in learning more about me and my story click on my name or on my picture!

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