Different Principles of Animation

Principles of Animationation, For mastering as an animator one need to know about the principles that is the base of any animation. Anybody who is related with creating appealing and realistic animation follows these principles. Discussed here are those principles before you start looking for animators.

Timing and Spacing

In animation the objects move and thus timing and spacing is very important. The number of frames used between two poses is referred as timing while spacing relates to the placement of those individual frames. When the spacing is close then the object moves slowly while when the spacing is far apart the objects will move faster.

Squash and Stretch

Squash and stretch is used for giving flexibility to the characters and objects. It is used in different areas like blinking of eyes, giving facial expression etc. they are best for adding flexible movement to the objects.


In animation one needs to set expectation for their audience and that is anticipation for. It states that such movements must be created that helps the audience to anticipate what can happen next.

Ease in Ease Out

Movements in animation must be natural else audience will lack interest in viewing it. Thus, for making natural movements ease in and ease outs are required. Like when a car stops it will stop slowly and not suddenly become zero after full speed. That will not be natural. For making this principle work the concept of spacing is used.

Follow Through and Overlapping Action

Although follow through and overlapping actions are two different principles yet they are related closely. In follow through it is noticed that even after a character has stopped all its parts will not stop at once. It will stop slowly.

Similarly, overlapping states that different parts of the body will move at different time. thus the frames are needed to be created accordingly.


The more realistic the animation is more will be preferred by its audience. Thus, one need to follow the principle of arch where one needs to ensure that the animation is smooth and thus use of arcs is necessary. Humans do not move straight, only robots can do that.


For adding more appeal to any action, exaggeration is used. Some degree of exaggeration must be implemented for giving better actions to the characters.

Solid Drawing

In this age of 3D animation the use of solid drawing may be reducing but there should be the concept of solid drawing. It helps you pose the characters by keeping the balance and proper weight. In 2D animation solid drawing is still prominent.


Wherever possible add more appeal to the animation. It is appeal of the objects or characters that make them alive to the audience. For adding appeal you need to create characters or objects with which the audience can connect easily.

Secondary Action

There must be some action for supporting the main action and thus you will need secondary action. It gives animation a more convincing appearance. However, it should be remembered that secondary action should be subtle than the main action.


Setting the screen is important and this is staging all about. Everything starting from placing the objects to setting the background and foreground is included in it.

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