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10 Master Principles of Animation

10 Master Principles of Animation

If you are interested in animated films, here’s a basic explanation what animators do to create 2D or 3D films.

Disney developed a system back in the 1940’s which can explain the process well.

Enjoy!

Below is a list from Old Disney master “Ollie Johnston” with a few adjustments.

1. Animators do not illustrate words or mechanical movements  

                                                                                                                                  They illustrate ideas & thoughts, with attitudes and actions. We can see in the drawing below of the little girl how her body is shifted down towards screen left and her head is positioned evenly at a 3/4 position to the screen. The eyes have us leading our eye towards what she is looking at. The body position is helping us determine she is somewhat reserved in her approach. The brows are leading upwards and angled in such a way that we can feel the intensity of the lift and the muscles working in the face to lift the brows. The mouth slightly open but not stretched fully also gives us a sense of awe. Most people do this when staring at something they are unfamiliar with. The clothes and hair position also play a role in executing ideas and thoughts but in a much less obvious way.

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    2. Animators Squash and stretch characters bodies for better visual attitudes.                                                                                                              

    This is very straight forward. In the picture below an exaggerated tongue is used to push the action even further.

    No bull tongue can do what is happening in this drawing but in the cartoon world anything is possible!

      3. They tend to move things before the dialogue/sound even reaches our ears!

      Animators have somewhat of a standard thing they must all remember in there daily routines while at work. Things move 2, 4 or even 8 frames before you can hear dialogue. It is a trick that just stuck over time. Eyesight has a quicker response vs sound which is why animators use this principle.

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        4. Many good animators spend 1/8th to 1/4 of there time planning and 3/4 the time animating in CG.

        The following sketches are rough drawings where the artist is seeking form and planning out positioning which best suits the dialogue and scene.

          5. Some super talented & experienced animators do not plan. They just animate from frame 1 and let things flow.

          The animator with a strait-ahead approach would not require all these mouse poses to be created beforehand. They would create them as they went along.

            6. Animators anticipate everything! Most times they require a pose which shows what is going to happen next.

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            Bugs Bunny hits this “anticipation” pose before running. It adds a whimsical nature to what we see on screen which = entertainment.

              7. Everything pretty much moves in an Arc in animation. Unless something is specifically meant to move in a straight line.

              The red dots here signify spacing between objects. This spacing determines the fluidity of movement & acting on screen.

                8. Exaggeration in animation provides a sense of excitement and visual entertainment vs static drawings or movement.

                The drawing below shows exactly why realism has very little if any on screen entertainment value.

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                Developing a sense for good exaggeration in both 2D and 3D, is a learned skill which gets stronger over time.

                  9. Overlap, Settle, & Secondary Animation are other key components to good animation

                  Author Richard Williams depicts the seaweed movement as a perfect reference for people to see how it plays into principles.

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                    10. A process called “slow in and slow out” is also a key component to why animation looks so appealing on screen. 

                    Below the pendulum swings from left to right but has more drawings closer to each other when moving in and out of position at the top.

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                      praveen nadaraju

                      Classical & Computer Animator & Industrial Designer

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                      Last Updated on June 6, 2019

                      Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

                      Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

                      In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

                      Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

                      Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

                      Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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                         A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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                        The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

                        “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

                        In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

                        The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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                          A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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                          Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

                          “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

                          When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

                          The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

                          As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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                          “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

                          Silence relieves stress and tension.

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                            It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

                            A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

                            “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

                            Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

                            Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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                              The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

                              Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

                              But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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                              Summation

                              Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

                              Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

                              Reference

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