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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.

                  richard williams book

                    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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                      Published on June 30, 2020

                      What Is Unconscious Bias (And How to Reduce It for Good)

                      What Is Unconscious Bias (And How to Reduce It for Good)

                      Many conversations are being held nowadays regarding unconscious bias, but what does it really mean and how can it affect your life and the people around you? With many types of biases, it can get quite confusing. In this article, we’ll touch on cognitive bias, and then zero in on unconscious bias. Both types of biases have an immediate impact on your life because they relate to how you and others think about yourself and other people.

                      If you want to protect your relationships and make good decisions about other people, you need to know what these biases mean[1]. Once we have clarity about that, we can explore in more depth unconscious bias and how to address it[2].

                      Cognitive Bias

                      Let’s start with cognitive bias[3], a predictable pattern of mental errors that result in us misperceiving reality and, as a result, deviating away from the most likely way of reaching our goals[4].

                      These mental blind spots impact all areas of our life, from health to relationships and even shopping, as a study recently revealed[5]. In other words, from the perspective of what is best for us as individuals, falling for a cognitive bias always harms us by lowering our probability of getting what we want.

                      Cognitive biases have to do with judgment, not mood. Ironically, cognitive biases — such as the optimism bias and overconfidence effect — more often lead to positive moods. Of course, the consequence of falling into cognitive biases, once discovered, usually leaves us in a bad mood due to the disastrous results of these dangerous judgment errors.

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                      Unconscious Bias

                      Unconscious bias is different from cognitive bias. Also known as implicit bias, it refers to unconscious forms of discrimination and stereotyping based on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, age, and so on[6]. Despite cognitive biases sometimes leading to discriminatory thinking and feeling patterns, these are two separate and distinct concepts.

                      Cognitive biases are common across humankind and relate to the particular wiring of our brains, while unconscious bias relates to perceptions between different groups and are specific for the society in which we live. For example, I bet you don’t care or even think about whether someone is a noble or a commoner, yet that distinction was fundamentally important a few centuries ago across Europe. To take another example, most people in the US don’t have strong feelings about Sunni vs. Shiite Muslims, yet this distinction is incredibly meaningful in many parts of the world.

                      Unconscious Bias and Discriminatory Behavior

                      Organizations often bring me in as a speaker on diversity and inclusion to address potential unconscious discriminatory behavior. When I share in speeches that black Americans suffer from police harassment and violence at a much higher rate than white people, some participants (usually white) occasionally try to defend the police by claiming that black people are more violent and likely to break the law than whites. They thus attribute police harassment to the internal characteristics of black people (implying that it is deserved), and not to the external context of police behavior.

                      In reality – as I point out in my response to these folks – research shows that black people are harassed and harmed by police at a much higher rate for the same kind of activity. A white person walking by a cop, for example, is statistically much less likely to be stopped and frisked than a black one[7].

                      At the other end of things, a white person resisting arrest is much less likely to be violently beaten than a black one. In other words, statistics show that the higher rate of harassment and violence against black Americans by police is due to the prejudice of the police officers, at least to a large extent[8].

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                      However, I am careful to clarify that this discrimination is not necessarily intentional. Sometimes, it indeed is deliberate, with white police officers consciously believing that black Americans deserve much more scrutiny than whites. At other times, the discriminatory behavior results from unconscious, implicit thought processes that the police officer would not consciously endorse[9].

                      After becoming aware that unconscious bias does exist, the next step would be learning how to recognize it in order to reduce it. I’ve outlined three crucial points to keep in mind below while further exploring the unconscious prejudice discussed above.

                      How to Reduce Unconscious Bias

                      Remember these three important points if you want to work on reducing your unconscious bias.

                      1. Unconscious Bias is a Systemic Issue

                      When we understand that unconscious bias is ultimately a systemic issue, we understand that internal cultures need to be checked and addressed first.

                      Interestingly, research shows that many black police officers have an unconscious prejudice against other black people, perceiving them in a more negative light than white people when evaluating potential suspects. This unconscious bias carried by many — not all — black police officers helps show that such prejudices come – at least to a significant extent – from internal cultures within police departments, rather than pre-existing racist attitudes present before someone joins a police department.

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                      Such cultures are perpetuated by internal norms, policies, and training procedures, and any police department wishing to address unconscious bias needs to address internal culture first and foremost, rather than attributing racism to individual officers.

                      In other words, instead of saying it’s a few bad apples in a barrel of overall good ones, the key is recognizing that unconscious bias is a systemic issue, and the structure and joints of the barrel needs to be fixed[10].

                      2. There Is No Shame in Unconscious Bias

                      Another crucial thing that needs to be highlighted is that there is no shame or blame in unconscious bias as it’s not stemming from any fault in the individual. This no-shame approach decreases the fight, freeze, or flight defensive response among reluctant audiences, helping them hear and accept the issue.

                      Unconscious bias is prevalent and often doesn’t match our conscious values. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs and prejudices stemming from our tendency to categorize people into social groups. This developed naturally as a way for our ancestors to quickly size up a possible threat. Unfortunately, it doesn’t translate well in modern life.

                      3. It Takes a Sustained Effort to Prevent and Protect Against Unconscious Bias

                      After being presented with additional statistics and discussion of unconscious bias, the issue is generally settled. Still, from their subsequent behavior it’s clear that some of these audience members don’t immediately internalize this evidence. It’s much more comforting for their gut reactions to believe that police officers are right and anyone targeted by police deserves it; in turn, they are highly reluctant to accept the need to focus more efforts and energy on protecting black Americans from police violence due to the structural challenges facing these groups.

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                      The issue of unconscious bias doesn’t match their intuitions, so they reject this concept, despite extensive and strong evidence for its pervasive role in policing. It takes a series of subsequent follow-up conversations and interventions to move the needle. A single training is almost never sufficient, both in my experience and according to research[11].

                      Conclusion

                      The examples and points raised illustrate broader patterns you need to follow to recognize unconscious bias. Only by doing so will you be able to determine if, and what type of, intervention is needed to address it.

                      Unfortunately, our gut reactions lead us to make poor judgment choices when we simply follow our intuitions. Unconscious biases are systemic and need to be addressed in order to make the best decisions[12].

                      We need to learn about the kind of problems that result from unconscious bias. Then, you need to develop the right mental habits to help you make the best choices[13]. A one-time training is insufficient for doing so. It takes a long-term commitment and constant discipline and efforts to overcome unconscious bias, so get started now.

                      More Tips on Overcoming Unconscious Bias

                      Featured photo credit: M.T ElGassier via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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