Principles of Animation
       by Danielthelion  |  3 December 2005

So before I began writing this tutorial I asked around in the forums if there was any general interest. I realize that a large percentage of the kirupa community is made up of developers and designers so I wasnít quite sure how many here would benefit from this knowledge. Then I realized that what I plan on sharing with you all here can be utilized by just about everyone that uses flash to add more life to whatever projects come your way. Letís begin.

Back in the Halcyon days of Disney, the animators there began trying to dissect really great character animation to figure out what made it great. After years of study they made a list of 12 principles that all great animation utilizes. Those 12 principles are as follows:

  1. Timing
  2. Squash and Stretch
  3. Slow in & Slow Out
  4. Arcs of Motion
  5. Anticipation
  6. Exaggeration
  7. Secondary Action
  8. Follow through & Overlapping Action
  9. Straight Ahead & Pose to Pose
  10. Staging
  11. Appeal
  12. Solid Drawing

Now my plan is to go over each one of these bad boys with you guys and talk about what they mean and how to utilize them in your work. For part one of this tutorial I have selected Squash and Stretch and Timing.

Ok. So what is timing and squash and stretch all about? Lets look at an example:

[ a simple animation created quickly in Flash 8 ]

See how the ball seems really affected by gravity and really squashes and stretches as it falls and bounces?

...yeah, neither do I. Everything is happening at the same slow speed and the ball is not responding to the action. This is bad animation, yet I see it all the time on websites the world over. Lets learn how to give something simple like a ball bounce more life!

Remember, these are principles and meant to carry over into every aspect of animation. As your going through this tutorial, try and apply it to whatever project your working on at the moment. With that said, let's start creating the illusion of life!

Onwards to the next page!

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