This principle of an Animation was introduced in the book of “The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation’’ by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in 1981. An animation is not into the term of realism. It just provides an entertainment for the people who are looking for a change.
The book is based on the works of the first Disney animators of 1930. Some of the principles stated in the book have been adopted by the traditional studios and referred by some as Bible of Animation. The book was voted as number one in 1999 as one of the best animation books of all time. The relevance of the 12 basic principles of animation that are contained in the book has a great impact in today’s computer animation. Take a look at most used animations in the industry.
Squash and stretch
It is one of the most important principles that give a sense of weight and flexibility of objects of interest. It has something to do with the object’s volume that does not change. The object when stretched vertically always need to correspond contract horizontally.
It is the application of realistic actions of the object for the audience. This technique can also be used for less physical actions. It prepares the audience for a major action the character is about to perform, such as starting to run, jump or change expression.
Its purpose is to provide direction for the audience attention and highlighted the important scenes. The aspect of is generally to keep the focus on the relevant details which in turn, avoid irrelevant details. Staging is a principle in which every action that an object makes should convey a direct intention.
Straight ahead action and pose to pose
These are the two approaches used in the actual drawing process. It is better in producing more realistic action scenes combined with a dynamic illusion and more fluid movement. The pose to pose is the drawing of few keyframe by which the intervals are filled later. It is applied to dramatic and emotional scenes.
Follow through and overlapping action
These techniques provide more realistic movement of an object. Follow through means that the loose parts of the body are into movement when the character stopped. Some of the tied parts are inclined to keep on moving at one point that the character stopped the movement and subsequently pulled back into the center of the mass. Overlapping action refers to parts of the body that moved at different rates.
It is used for greater realism in animation. This property can be applied like in moving limb, a rotating joint, or a thrown object that follows the parabolic trajectory. Most of the natural action tends to follow an arched flight path. Traditional animators draw the arc very lightly on the paper for reference, so that it can be erased later.
Adding a secondary action gives the animation more life and support the main action of the object and character. It is used to emphasize certain actions. Secondary action is an additional action which adds more dimensions to the main action.
Slow in and slow out
It is the movement of the character or object that need to be accelerated and slow down. The best way to understand this principle is to think about the car how it accelerates and decelerates. In both actions, it slows down. If we add more frames at the beginning and at the end of a sequence, this effect can be achieved.
It refers to the number of frames or drawings that are present in a given action and to the overall speed of action in the film. It is critical for the emotion, reaction and character’s mood. Timing animation can be done with more frames (Slower) or with fewer frames (Faster).
The aspect of solid drawing is taken in the form of three-dimensional space wherein it provides volume and weight in the character. It is all about to create an accurate drawing with volume and weight. The animator needs to be a professional artist with the knowledge of 3D shapes, anatomy, weight, balance, light etc.
It is the effect that is very useful in animation. The level of exaggeration depends on the realism that needs to be induced and a style that need to be applied to the character. It is used to push the movements and to add more appeal to any action. If you have any realistic animation you can use exaggeration to make it more readable. Generally used to create cartoony movements.
This is the charisma of the character in the audience. It is very important that the appeal will provide a real and interesting thing to the viewer. Having an easy to read design, solid drawing and personality, we can add this animation to our characters or objects where we need to appeal to the viewer.