Bringing Life to Animation Naturally

We have reached the halfway mark in our journey to discover the principles of animation. Congratulations for getting this far! The next two principles that we are going to cover are, “arcs” and “secondary action”.

In life, most movement happens in an arched or circular trajectory. The principle of applying this to animation is called “arcs”. This helps to provide fluidity and a natural flow to animation. This is especially important when animating a human character. When movement is created in a straight or linear fashion, it feels dull, stiff and unnatural, however when “arcs” are used properly they create a more expressive natural movement.

Our animator has created the below example of properly used “arcs” in movement to demonstrate it for you…

Animation Arcs

Another important principle is that of “secondary action”. Let’s get into detail as to what makes this so important. “Secondary action” is what gives life to the movement of your character. Unless you are on the show Seinfeld, it is natural for someone to swing their arms while they walk, that is a great example of a “secondary action”. These “secondary actions” help to emphasize the attention to the primary function of the character, not distract from it. They make the animation more realistic and provide emotion, but may remain unnoticed by the audience, like real life.

Our animator has created the below example of the principle of “secondary action” to demonstrate it for you…

Secondary Action Animation
Secondary Action

With only four more animation principles to go, I am sure you are excited to get to the next ones, but what are they? The next two that we will cover next week will be “timing” and “exaggeration”.

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