Breaking Down the 12 Principles of Animation into Easy to Understand Groups
As an animator, you know the 12 principles of animation are your most important tools for creating great animations whether for 2D or 3D. At least that's what you have been told and heard probably a thousand times. But implementing the 12 principles into an animation is often easier said than done. Sure, there are a few principles you probably keep in mind like anticipation, arcs, squash and stretch, but where do the other 9 principles fall? It can be easy to forget about them and find yourself really only using four or five in your animations. This is a common problem among animators; actually implementing all 12 principles into a single shot can be extremely difficult. A principle like squash and stretch is relatively easy to add into an animation and is one of the simpler principles to understand, but what about things like secondary action, and solid drawing? With secondary action you may just throw in a head turn and call it good. Suddenly you fall into the trap of only implementing a few of the principles and tossing the others to the side. This is a trap you never want to get caught up in, because it can be hard to get out. Sure, you may still say the 12 principles of animation is your rule book for all your animations, but is it really the four or five principles of animation? In order to get out of this trap, there is actually a very simple technique you can use to help you understand where each principle should fall within your animation and to help you have a better understanding of each principle. There are four main groups that the principles should fall under, technique, motion, enhanced motion and aesthetics. Once you understand these groups you'll be able to work more productively and ensure you're taking advantage of all 12 principles. Let's go over the four separate groups so you can have a better understanding of when and where each group should be utilized.