Principles of Traditional Animation Applied to 3D Computer Animation

Written after the development of Luxo Jr and the Adventure of Andre and Wally B. This paper discusses the traditional principles of animation and how they were implemented into Computer Animation.

This paper has become fundamental to the development of CG animation. It can be viewed fully here.

1)Squash and Stretch - Defines the rigidity and Mass of an object by distorting its shape during action.

2)Timing - spacing actions to define the weight and size of objects and personality of a character

3)Anticipation - the preparation for an actions

4)Staging - Presenting an idea so it is unmistakably clear

5)Follow through & Overlapping action - The termination of an action and establishes its relationship to the next action

6)Straight ahead action & Pose to Pose action - the 2 contrasting approaches to the creation of movement.

7)Slow in and Out - The spacing of the inbetweening frames to achieve subtlety of timing and movement.

8)Arcs - The visual path of action for natural movement

9)Exaggeration - Accentuating the essence of an idea via the design and action.

10)Secondary Action - The action of an object resulting from another action.

11)Appeal - Creating a design or an action the audience enjoy watching.

The goal of an Animator is to entertain. The animator must have 2 things:

-A clear concept of exactly what will entertain the audience
-The tools and skills to put these ideas across clearly and unambiguously.

Origins Marey Muybridge Fleischer Rob Bredow Q & A Debate Siggraph Panel CG Animation Pipeline Future Squash and Stretch Splines Experiment Summary Further Reading

(c) Shane Aherne 2005

Contact:  shane@shaneaherne.com