12 Basic Animation Principles

Here’s the illusions of life in character animation as Disney animator’s Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas shared with us in the 80’s in their book The Illusion of life: Disney Animation. I had no clue of these rules. Until I stumbled upon this great video in Premium Beat on What Makes a Good Animation.

12 Basic Principles in Animation

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

Wikipedia gives us a nice brief breakdown of each principle.

Click on the picture to see a GIF animation of each. Pretty cool.

This video here by Cento Lodigiani gives us a modern day look through the use of motion graphics of how each can be applied. Here’s a Q&A of his work with this video.

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