Today we had our group presentation on the 12 Principles of Animation.

For this we all researched the principles of animation and brought this together along with examples showing where they had been used within animations.

I was very happy with how the presentation came together however when it came to presenting I got a bit nervous and forgot what I had wanted to say, hopefully this wasn’t too obvious!


Eases (Slow Ins and Outs)

Slow In and Out means adding more frames to the beginnings and endings of actions, with the ease in usually taking up slightly more time than the ease out.

Eases are important within an animation as in real life objects and humans need time to both to pick up momentum before they can reach full speed and decrease speed before coming to a complete stop.

This principle is very closely linked to timing, as the timing must be spread between the ease in and out and the main action in the middle in order to make the action doesn’t seem robotic or unnatural.

In this GIF from Snow White, the dwarfs start off slow gain speed on the way down and then become slow again on the way back up, giving an authentic feel to the weight and use of the tools.


Disney – Snow White (1937)

Solid Drawing

Solid drawing refers to the idea that even in a 2D drawing you must consider the character as though they are in a 3d space.

This means giving the drawings more depth by adding shadows, gradients, scale, and perspective. It also means that 2D characters should be able to be drawn from any angle in a believable manner.

An example of solid drawing is Bob McKimson’s Bugs Bunny character studies where you can see believable rotations of the character. It shows that he is aware of the weight, volume and balance of the character


Bob McKimson Character Study – Bugs Bunny (1942)


Staging  in animation refers to setting the scene in a way that makes the idea completely clear to the viewer.

It how the animator controls where the viewer is looking and can apply to acting, timing, setting and the angle/ position of the camera all of which provide context for objects within the animation.


Cartoon Network (Rebecca Sugar) – Steven Universe

There are three main aspects of staging which can be seen in the GIF above:

  • Characters and objects should have strong silhouettes to more quickly understand them
  • The environment should be interesting, without drawing attention away from the characters
  • Objects, and actions and major actions should be presented one at a time in order to prevent confusion.


Pose to Pose and Straight Ahead Animation

Pose to Pose and Straight Ahead are the two main ways of animating a sequence and most animators will use a mix of the two of these in their pieces.

Straight Ahead Animation


Studio Ghibli – Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

This is when every frame of the sequence is drawn as you go. This is best for things which are unpredictable such as water or fire. It also gives animators more freedom to explore and discover as their work progresses.

Pose to Pose Animation


Disney – Big Hero 6 (2014)

This is when the main points of the animation, the beginning, middle and end are drawn in first, then the animator goes back and draws the poses in between these, this gives the animator more control over the whole piece. 


Appeal in animation is everything that makes a character a character, it is what makes the character or object more interesting and relatable to the viewer.

Appeal doesn’t necessarily mean that the character is attractive or cute in any way but rather that the character is unique/ memorable and something that viewers will want to see more of.

An example of appeal in a character is Cricket in Disney’s Mulan, although he has no lines and is quite a small character (not just literally) he is very memorable and there’s just something about him that the viewer connects to


In the real world, actions don’t start right away, the same principle applies in animation and is referred to as anticipation.

In an animation actions need to be set up in order to make them seem more realistic and to prepare the viewer for what the next action will be. The anticipation for an action can be seen as a character building up their energy for their next movement.

For example: Pongo moves his head back slightly before leaning over to lick Missis


Disney – 101 Dalmatians (1996)

Anticipation can also add humour to a movement, if the action that follows the build up isn’t what the viewer is expecting to happen:


Disney – Big Hero 6 (2014)