Wednesday, 24 July 2019

12 Principles of Animation

We're recommending this introductory video outlining the 12 Principles of Animation.  If you're studying animation for the first time, and starting to learn the basics, then this video is a very helpful introduction to the medium.  Unlock the secrets of Squash and stretch, Anticipation, Staging, Straight ahead action & pose to pose, Follow through & overlapping action, Slow in and slow out, Arcs & Paths of Action, Secondary action, Timing, Exaggeration, Solid drawing and Appeal.  Sounds like a long list? You don't have to memorise them all. Just be aware of the principles, and then gradually start to apply them in your animation.

The 12 Principles of Animation
The 12 Principles of Animation were developed at the Disney Studios in the 1930s, and then written down and published for the first time in 1970s in The Illusion of Life, written by Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnstone.

The Illusion of Life
The Illusion of Life
The Illusion of Life caused a sensation among animators when it was first published, because it represented for the first time in print the accumulated wisdom of the Disney studio - set out in detail for anyone who cared to learn.

The 1970s were generally a lean time for animation; Walt Disney was dead and the revival that would come with Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and The Little Mermaid was still far in the future.

The Illusion of Life was written by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnstone, two of Disney's top animators who had been with him since the early days and whose work had much to do with the development of the Disney style.

Between them, Frank and Ollie created some of the most memorable moments in Disney animation.

Animation Bible
The last film Frank and Ollie worked on was The Fox and The Hound, not by any means a great film, but better than the next one that Disney would release - The Black Cauldron. By the 1970s Frank and Ollie were doing less animation, and focusing more on their book. The idea was to create a "bible" for future generations of animators, an authoritative reference work that make sure that the craft of animation developed under Walt Disney's benign leadership would not disappear. At the same time, they would tell the story of the Disney Studio.

The book is really two books in one. Around 10% of it is a manual of methods, a how-to guide for the aspiring animator and film-maker. The rest is the story of the Disney Studio - and a compelling story it is too. So good in fact, that it easily distracts the student from their purpose - to learn the nuts and bolts of animation.

Like The Animator's Survival Kit, The Illusion of Life is a book that should be on every animator's shelf.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our BA/MArt in 3D Animation, follow this link.  To apply for our storyboarding evening class, visit this page here.  For the next 12 week animation course, click here.

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