I think everyone has been looking forward to this, the one lesson where we finally get deep into the fundamentals of what makes animation work as well as it does. Today is all about the 12 principles of animation, a general set of rules created by some of the greatest minds that ever animated as essentially a guidebook to how one would animate. As we were told, the most remarkable thing is how this covers all realms of animation, not just the hand drawn 2d style.
The principles do a good job of balancing out between something being cartoonish and something being realistic, like both aspects are equally important to the process of animating. It is expected to get the most out of animation, one must put a level of exaggeration, to get the most of how anything is possible when animated. At the same time, to get a proper understanding of how to exaggerate, one must learn how realistic movement works so they know what to do when it comes to animating something zany.
Each one of the lessons is something I’ve mostly known about before hand, but there really is something eye opening when you see them explained and dissected down into a way anyone can grasp and understand. The amount of care that goes into a professional animation is a lot more respectable when you understand all the thought processes that would come into making something as good as it looks, with any kind of animation. Below I’ve got a list of examples to show off some of the key principles in action.
An example of both Anticipation and Slow In and Slow Out. As can be seen, there is a build up to the sneeze before it actually happens. giving that brief moment to prepare for the sneeze. There is also the slow build up of the sneeze, followed by the fast sudden action of the sneeze itself, finished with the slower animation of the reeling to the sneeze. Despite being a fast paced animation, the slow and fast movements can still be seen.
An example of both Arcs and Secondary Action. Notice the way the arms move, following that arc pattern almost like a semi circle with the way they bend. It gives a good sense of flexibility whilst still looking like a realistic movement. Also take note of how despite the focus on the movement of the lower body, there is still attention given to the upper body, like the fluttering of the ribbon, the bouncing of the hat and the slight sweeps of the hair.
An example of both Exaggeration and Appeal. The rapid movements combined with each other make the scene look hectic for something that only lasts a couple of seconds. There is a lot of movement to account for, like the facial expression, the arm, the torso and the feet, all giving off a very goofy air. This combines well with the Appeal aspect, as it makes the character humorous in their manner, matching well with the cartoony art style.