The 12 principles are a guide to creating fluid, life-like movements in animation. The animators still use them all over the world. The 12 principles of animation were first outlined by Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in their book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation.It is important to learn how animation works to understand VFX later on. There is a certain set of principles that explains it perfectly. In order to better visualize the 12 principles of animation, I have utilized videos created by: AlanBeckerTutorials

1. Squash and Stretch

This principle is all about giving your character or object some life. When you watch a cartoon, everything seems to squish and stretch. This is because the animators are using squash and stretch to make it look more realistic. By using this principle, you can make your content more engaging and fun to watch.

2. Anticipation

Anticipation is key in animation. It's what makes an audience feel the character's emotions and understand their actions. By emphasizing anticipation before a major action, an animator can make that action feel more powerful and significant.There are a few different techniques that animators use to create anticipation. One common technique is to use a slow build-up before the action. This can be done by gradually increasing the speed of the animation, or by adding more elements to the scene that hint at what's about to happen.

3. Staging

The purpose of staging is to create a clear and concise picture in the mind of the audience. This is often done by making sure that each element is given its own space on the stage. Additionally, the actor has a clear understanding of who they are and what they want to communicate to the audience. In theatre, staging is the placement and movement of actors on the stage. In business, staging is used to create a clear and concise presentation for an audience.

4. Straight Ahead and Pose to Pose

Straight ahead action is a fundamental principle of animation that animators use to create the illusion of motion. This principle is based on the idea that once an object begins to move, it continues to move in a straight line until acted upon by another force.Pose-to-pose is another key principle in animation that helps create the illusion of motion. This principle is based on the idea that once an object begins to move, it doesn’t necessarily move in a straight line. Animators can use pose-to-pose to create more fluid and realistic animations.

5. Follow Through and Overlapping Action

When a part of an object moves after the whole object has stopped, it is called following through and overlapping action. This is often used to create the illusion of realism, as it gives the viewer a sense that the objects in the scene are actually alive.One common use of follow-through and overlapping is in character animation. When a character moves, their limbs and other body parts will continue to move for a short time after they have stopped moving overall. This creates a more life-like appearance and as a result, makes the character seem more real to the viewer.

6. Slow In and Out

The "Slow in and slow out" principle is a basic animation principle that helps make animations look more realistic and smoother. This principle states that objects should start slowly and speed up as they approach their endpoint, and then slow down again as they move away from it. This makes the animation look more life-like and natural.

7. Arcs

The principle of Arcs refers to the natural motion of objects. All things in the natural world move in arcs, and this principle applies to animation as well. When animating an object or character, it is important to make sure that their motions follow arcs, in order to create a sense of realism.Arc motions are more natural than straight lines, and they create a sense of flow and movement. When animating something, it is important to think about the arcs that the object or character would naturally follow. This will make the animation look more realistic and natural. We recommend you to read Principles of Visual Effects.

8. Secondary Action

Secondary action is the act of animating secondary elements in order to help clarify or emphasize the main action. When animating secondary elements, it’s important to make sure that they are relevant to the main action. It is usually used to make it clear or to give it more impact. Secondary action can also be used to add humor or interest to an animation.

9. Timing

Timing is the control of the speed of an animated object or character. It is the means by which an animator can give a sense of weight, emotion, and personality to an animated character. Timing also affects the rhythm of animation and its ability to convey information to the viewer.There are three main principles of animation timing that help creating fluid and life-like animation. These are:1) Slow in and fast out – This principle emphasizes that objects should be slow to enter and fast to exit the screen. This consequently gives the illusion of realism and makes movement seem more natural.2) No sudden movements – When objects move, they should be slow and smooth. There should be no abrupt changes in direction or speed.3) Avoid overlapping objects – Objects that overlap each other appear to have less depth than those that do not overlap. If you must have overlapping objects, try to use some sort of highlight or outline to indicate which object is on top.

10. Exaggeration

Exaggeration is the use of extreme motion or shape in order to create a comic or caricatured effect. It can be used to make a character more appealing, to stress a certain action, but also to make an object more recognizable. It is often used to make an object or character more lively and interesting.

11. Solid Drawing

Solid drawing is the foundation of all animation. It is what gives an object or character its three-dimensional form and weight. An animator’s work will look flat and lifeless as a result of the lack of solid drawing. The basic skills of solid drawing include understanding particularly perspective, anatomy, weight, and form.Perspective is how objects appear to change size and shape as they move away from or towards the viewer. Anatomy is the study of the human body and its proportions. Weight is how much something weighs in relation to its size. Form is the shape of an object, whether it is round, square, or triangular. Many beginners focus on making their drawings look pretty and fluid. However, it is the solid drawing skills that give your work its foundation. If you learn to draw in perspective, create realistic anatomy, understand weight and form, then you will be able to animate characters with convincing actions and reactions.

12. Appeal

Appeal is what makes us drawn to a character, even if they’re not real. Characters with the appeal are especially interesting and likable. They have a certain something that makes us want to watch them and in effect, learn more about them.

I suggest reading Principles Of Animation in VFX next to give yourself an idea about how the Principles of Animation are used in VFXThank you for reading i hope you found this helpfulCheers

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