AM - Class 1 / Week 2 - Lecture

This week's lecture was about the Principles Of Animation explained in a very basic manner, but they will be diving deeper into these principles latter on in future classes.   The lecture was hosted by co founder of Animation Mentor Carlos Beana.  Carlos has animated on many of Pixar movies like Toy Story 3, WALL.E, Ratatouille, Finding Nemo.

The principles of animation are :

Squash & Stretch.   Is what gives characters or objects the organic & elastic feel, while maintaining there volume.

Anticipation.   Is (in simple words) preparing the audience for the next action a character will make, without anticipation the viewer will not understand that action.

Staging.    Staging your characters in an interesting and clear pose.

Straight A Head & Pose To Pose.    Those are the two methods of animating.  Straight A Head method is to animate a character sequentially as you move forward in time.   Pose To Pose is creating the main key poses for a character then
filling in the in-between.

Overlapping.   A robot walking will have no overlapping action, on the other hand a human walk has a complex overlapping actions between arms, hip, head, & legs , so Overlap is what adds natural non robotic feel to the character.

Ease In Ease Out.    In real life nothing moves or halts without ease, so easing ( in-out ) is what helps giving a character natural non mechanical flow.

Arcs.    Everything in life moves in arcs, its as simple as that.  So take good care of your Arcs.

Secondary Action.    Is what keeps characters alive, it should support the primary action but not affect it, otherwise its no longer a secondary action.

Timing.    Is one of the most important principles in animation.  Timing is basically the number of frames that you have in
your animation, and how do you space them out in each frame.

Exaggeration.    Is pushing the action over the usual.

Solid Posing.   To enhance the character in the frame.

Appeal.   Is animating your character in way that looks visually pleasant and appealing.

I would like to wrap up this post by quoting a couple sentences I really liked from guest animators interview during the lecture.. The first one : " Moving a character from point A to point B is not animating, Animation is way far beyond that "    Second : " A lazy animator will create the main poses, & let the computer figure out all the in-betweens "


  1. thanks for sharing what you know about animation and what animation mentor told you about animation, I'm really excited to find your blog, I like the way you seprated each week's lectures and assignment. I find this blog the only one till now to tell us a bit more in detail about what animation mentor procces of learning is, really wonderfull.
    I really love animation and but i can't afford to pay the tuition so here i am searching every where to learn the best way of animating. as i said your the only one till now that i found who shares informatoin in detail and i like to ask you can i send you my quastion and use your tips and advise. thanks again

    1. Thanks Mustafa for the kind words! I'm glad you're finding the tips on my blog helpful. Sure you can ask me whatever that comes to your mind in terms of animation and I'll be more than happy to answer, I might take some time to reply though, but I always do eventually, Inshallah :)