The Art of Animation

Things to Keep in Mind

  • We are using digital animation. So take advantage of the flexibility of this medium
  • We are animating in the context of the animatic
  • Stylized work is encouraged as opposed to high detail realism
  • These skills will prove useful during game development

When it comes to the basics of animation, the 12 principles are the most relevant set of principles we can apply.

Why are these principles important?

The 12 principles
 - why use them?

-Knowing the 12 principles of animation is akin to knowing color theory or perspective rules. It gives you a visual vocabulary for motion.

-Games often involve motion and the expectations for graphic quality and motion elevate each year.

-It helps to be able to converse and give feedback and direction to the artists that you work with. As a game designer who is in a position to direct (perhaps this is your personal animation/game) if you make vague statements such as "It doesn't look right" there is a lot of room for misunderstanding on the part of the artist.

-Knowing the principles of animation will help provide you with a vocabulary that pinpoints problematic areas of motion in your game. Even if you are not in a managerial role, you may very well be called on as the last wall of qc as you integrate art assets into a studio. Being able to give clear qc feedback can be of great use to your company.

The 12 principles




4.straight ahead & pose to pose

5.follow through and overlapping action

6.slow in and slow out


8.secondary action



11.solid drawing


Pneumonic: SassFSasTesa - "So always seek security first Seek answers second then end seeking all-together."

The visual aspects of the 12 principles can essentially be bundled into Newton's 3 laws of motion.

What are the 3 laws?

Newtons laws

1.An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest.

2.Force is proportional to mass and acceleration.

3.Every action as an equal an opposite reaction.

Let's unpack this to the 12 principles.

Who create the 12 principles?

Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston

Squash and Stretch

Squash and Stretch




Straight Ahead and Pose to Pose

Follow Through and Overlapping Motion

Slow In and Slow Out

Slow In and Slow Out


Secondary Action



Solid Drawing


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by bwiley


Public - 9/26/16, 5:38 AM