Understanding The Basic Principles Of Animation


Animation lies upon a strong foundation that consists of several fundamental concepts. Back in the 20th century, these basics were sought after by several different professional animators who were still grasping onto the concepts of animation. Not only did it aid them at creating featured films but helped them gradually process their animations into refined pieces of art. Their work was eventually pushed to exceed all limits and expectations. 

The fact that animations bring life to unrealistic ideas and make them appear as if they have been a part of our lives and that is all due to the principles that animations follow. As an animation maker online you might have noticed how art depends on certain elements and factors. To help you grasp onto this better here are a few principles that act as driving forces for animations.

1. Squash and Stretch:

This technique showcases an inanimate object shifting its shape once force is applied to it. For example a sphere experiencing a stretch once it lands on the ground, for a split second it expands and then contracts back to its original shape. It is the opposing forces that are acting on the sphere, making motion more evident and highlighted. 

This is made when smaller movements are conjoined together with bigger movements, making changes in state more visible to the viewer and that is what delivers the idea of physics acting on the object, enabling it to appear realistic. 

2. Staging:

This technique is used to clarify narrative functions, for example when a shot is fired there are sparks that light up in different directions whilst the main subject matter remains in focus. It is all made to come into action simultaneously rather than one by one and that is what makes the context of the video content easier to understand. 

The best thing about this principle is that it is extremely simple and yet powerful when it comes to making an impact on the narrative and the viewer by defining details.

3. Pose to Pose:

Pose to pose is often followed by another method that is known as straight ahead, although both of the techniques are different approaches. In straight ahead the animation experiences a new frame within the consisting sequence whereas in pose to pose, the animation focuses on a single pose and then transitions it whilst keeping the previous pose in focus till the animation has transformed completely. 

This strategy can be pretty entertaining to witness, especially when there is a sudden shift occurring within poses. And that is what piques the viewer’s interests, influencing them to engage within the content more effectively. 


4. Overlapping with follow through:

 Follow through followed by overlapping refers to the phenomenon when the object or character within an animation is experiencing a different rate of motion. For example one part of the object moves first and then the next, they are not in harmony and that makes it appear as if the object is being dragged around rather than moving smoothly.

It is a bit similar to the idea of drag, however the only difference is that this technique moves each part one by one and not in a constant and continuous order. It is the randomness that makes this animation principle entertaining and fun to watch. 

5. Slow in and out:

Slow in and out is when the object or a character accelerate or decelerate gradually rather than immediately shifting in speeds. The same concept is also known as ease in and out. The main feature about this principle is that it is monotonous and appears calming and peaceful. 

You might have noticed this concept being used in serious narratives, where the viewer is expected to ease out and just sit back. 

6. Arcs:

This principle came into existence after several observations were made, especially on how living things don’t have a straight movement but it’s rather more curved than straight or aligned. And that is what brought arcs into existence, later onwards as a part of fundamentals for animations. 

Arcs are often sought after to display gracefulness and provide an insight on how experienced and skilled an animator is. 

These 6 major principles can guide you through the world of animation and enable you to craft an impeccable animation that has significance within the industry and stands out. Make sure to implement these principles into your work and gain the best outcomes possible.

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