Theoretical Animation Principles

Morphing: Taking two objects and transforming one into the other by rearranging themselves.



Believability: The believability is the realism of the actual animation making it look more believable.


Exaggeration: This isn’t just distorting the image so that the movement is perfect. The animations properties must be carefully chosen to exaggerate it. If not thought about correctly the animation might seem less realistic.

Metaphor: Giving the animation another meaning to what it actually is.

Condescension: This would be to strip away the main effect of an object for example a sharpener is unable to sharpen.

Anticipation: The technique of anticipation helps to guide the audiences eyes to where the action is about to happen. Anticipation, including motion holds, is great for announcing the surprise. In three-dimensional computer animation it can be fine-tuned using digital time-editing tools such as time sheets, timelines, and curves. More anticipation equals the atmosphere to be less suspense.


Squash and Stretch: This action gives the look of weight and volume to a character as it moves. Also squash and stretch is useful in animating dialogue and doing facial expressions. How extreme the use of squash and stretch is, depends on what is required in animating the scene.


Following through and overlapping of movement: When the main body of the character stops all other parts continue to catch up to the main mass of the character, such as arms, long hair, clothing, coat tails or a dress, floppy ears or a long tail (these follow the path of action). Nothing stops all at once. This is follow through.

Secondary Action: This action adds to and enriches the main action and adds more dimension to the character animation, supplementing and/or re-enforcing the main action. Example: A character is angrily walking toward another character. The walk is forceful, aggressive, and forward leaning. The leg action is just short of a stomping walk. The secondary action is a few strong gestures of the arms working with the walk.


Slow in slow out: As action starts, we have more drawings near the starting pose, one or two in the middle, and more drawings near the next pose. Fewer drawings make the action faster and more drawings make the action slower. Slow-ins and slow-outs soften the action, making it more life-like. For a gag action, we may omit some slow-out or slow-ins for shock appeal or the surprise element. This will give more snap to the scene.


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