Free knowledge: The 12 Principles of Animation

Free knowledge: The 12 Principles of Animation


Understanding (and perfecting) the 12 principles of animation took Frazer most of his first year of university.

Which makes sense. If you one day want to create a smartphone superhero you’d better have the basics down.

But then Frazer stumbled across this series of animation tutorials that boil all of his learning into a half hour crash course.

The videos, by animator Alan Becker, cover the twelve principles of animation as outlined by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, legendary animators from a little company called Disney.

Obviously such a resource is deserving of a wider audience, so here it is:

  • 1. Squash and stretch

  • 2. Anticipation

  • 3. Staging

  • 4. Straight ahead and pose to pose

5. Follow though and overlapping action

6. Slow in and slow out

  • 7. Arcs

  • 8. Secondary action

  • 9. Timing

  • 10. Exaggeration

  • 11. Solid drawing

  • 12. Appeal



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