Abbott Media Productions, LLC. Blog 

What is the magic behind animation?

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Topic: Animation

If you’re like me, the world of animation is hugely fascinating and a little bit mysterious. Whether I’m watching an animated cartoon or a business logo bounding across my computer screen, the idea that this boring inanimate object has come to life and seems to have a personality all it’s own amazes me. As children we believe that it could be magic, but as adults we strive to understand the mystery behind these things. So, what makes animation work?

Let’s start with the very basics. Animation is made up of 12 principles. These principles are what make an ordinary lifeless graphic become alive and dance across the screen. They are what make animations seem more realistic, like they could jump into the real world and live among us. These principles are the same whether it’s special effects in a movie, a shy curious little lamp investigating the world on it’s own or Mickey Mouse chasing after Donald Duck. What are these 12 principles?

     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 Action
     9. Timing
     10. Exaggeration
     11. Solid Drawing
     12. Appeal

You may have no idea what each of these are or how they apply in the world of animation, but over the course of the next six weeks we’ll go into detail what each of these principles are, what they entail and show you an example in action. Every one is important to breathing life and individuality to inanimate objects, and providing emotions and personality to new characters. I hope you are as excited as I am about learning the basic principles of animation. Hopefully it will inspire you or at least shed some light on the artistry that is animation.