These animation principles every animator should follow

Animation is everywhere, whether in video games, television, or filmmaking. It is also used in advertisement, promotion, or video content. 3D animation can make a simple image into captivating storytelling.

A SaaS development company also needs the support of animation and graphics to create a good SaaS game. Unity 3d game development is one of the most popular tools for 3D animation; however, without knowing the animation principles, it is hard to deliver seamless results.

Disney animators revealed insights about these principles in 1981 in their book. The two animators, Ollie and Frank, collaborated for nearly four decades and developed these principles together.

These guidelines are now universally acknowledged and followed by most animators.

The global animation market was valued at $ 20.40 billion in 2022. And it is expected to grow to $ 51.03 billion by 2022-2030, at a CAGR of 12.1%. Source: Grandview research

Furthermore, around 12,873,916 animators are working globally. Surprisingly, only 32% have a degree in animation, with the remaining 68% being self-taught.

Therefore, you can understand how important it is to know these principles. So let’s explore these Principles.

Animation principles

First Principle

You must have laughed when Tom fell from a great height and burst into bits. It is the result of the squash and stretches animation principle. You can use this idea to create the impression of magnitude for your characters or objects. It also contributes to the characters’ elasticity, and weight. However, while employing this technique, it is critical to maintaining object volume consistency. As a result, as Tom stretches Jerry, he becomes thinner, and when he squashes, he becomes wider.

Second Principle

This animation approach aids the audience in preparing for the following actions. The action becomes more realistic as a result of this effect. Let’s look at a simple example: throwing a ball. It is impossible to throw the ball without bending your arms behind your back. It appears to be unrealistic.

Similarly, it would help if you instilled expectations in our character for it to appear authentic and lifelike with the help of the anticipation principle.

Third Principle

Another animation aspect that must be considered when generating animation is staging. This idea is about emphasizing the object, character, or action you want the audience to notice. That means you must maintain the motion of everything else in the scenario. Also, less or no movement is required for the least essential items.

Fourth Principle

This approach has two parts. The first is straight ahead, and the second is from pose to posture. Straightforward technique precisely focuses on frame-by-frame creation, from beginning to end. However, the pose-to-pose techniques, first create the beginning, end, and some crucial frames, and later move to the remaining frames.

Fifth Animation

Whenever you stopped a moving object, each portion of it comes to a separate stop. Similarly, each object moves at a different rate. A moving characters’ body part moves at different rates; for example their head, hands, and legs. When they come to a complete halt, their hair or hand will stop at a different rate than the actual character. It is the fifth Animation Principle Follow through and overlapping action.

Sixth Principle

For this idea, consider an airplane that starts slowly, gradually gains speed, and then slows down before stopping. To make it more realistic and reasonable, you can add more effects in middle part of the story. It Principle is called Slow in slow out.

Seventh Principle

Movement rarely occurs in a straight line in real life. We can use a ball as an example. When you throw a ball, it will never go straight but will instead follow an arc until it comes to a stop. The same is true for the characters.

Eighth Principle

Secondary actions are significant because they assist the main activity in a scene. Including supplementary acts improves the story’s expression. Take the example of the person getting scolded by the boss. He has the secondary actions to express his frustration over things.

Ninth Principle

This Principle, named ‘timing,’ is based on physical laws. According to physics, the object will return at the same speed as it went. As a result, the animator must focus on proper pacing to make things appear natural.

Tenth Principle

The animation sector attempts to reproduce real-life stories, but there will always be room for invention. Consider the prior scenario of Tom falling from a great height and breaking into pieces. However, we know it is not feasible. Still, the Principle of exaggeration is at work here, making us grasp the contrast between reality and the realm of animation with the help of the Exaggeration animation principle.

Eleventh Principle

Solid Drawing Principle discusses animators’ abilities in 2D and 3D drawing. The animator should also be conscious of the weight and volume of the item. Also should understand other drawing aspects as they relate to the plot and setting. Some things cannot be changed, such as the sun’s ability to provide only light and heat. Whether working with traditional hand-drawn animation or leveraging advanced techniques from a 3D animation company, animators must be conscious of the weight and volume of the objects they depict.

Twelfth Principle

According to the final animation principle, audience engagement is exceptionally vital. There is no purpose if your work does not appeal to them. As a result, never overcomplicate the character or design of your drawing. Work on the character’s traits first, and then begin designing it.


It doesn’t matter what your experience is. Still, with the help of these animation principles, you can create a memorable animation character. Not only do animation movies need you, but unity 3d game development and SaaS development company also need good 2D and 3D animators. So what are you waiting for? Brush up your skills, and you will be unstoppable.

Also read: Character FX Artist through Animation Courses in Malaysia


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