In this task, I will be carrying out secondary research for the project I want to explore. I will be listing different methods of animation/ the 12 principles of animation and I will reference these sources.
1. Squash and stretch
In this video, the image displays how a blue ball stretches when falling and squashes when landing, and shows the visual and expressive impact when used to animate. Although this video doesn’t have a large description, the effect of squash and stretch in the video is shown clearly and is easy to follow through. In the beginning of the video, the ball is in a blank background and bounces across the screen in a fluent movement. This shows what the animation will look like, then the next scene of the video shows the keyframe movements of the animation as the ball slowly follows through, it shows where the ball will stretch when falling and when the ball will squash when landing. This basic method in animation can give the moving object or character an exaggerated visual of weight and volume to them. Stretch is a method that can express the law of gravity, giving a visual effect of falling or flying. Squash is a method that shows contact with a solid surface, object or character.
In real circumstances, you won’t come across squash and stretch as a movement, in reality, this is since it’s more realistic and it’s in more than 2 Dimensions. When the method is used in animation, it’s to give the animated object more expression so it’s more visually realistic and more dimensional for the dimension it’s presented in. This method is commonly used in animations for falling or flying
With anticipation, it’s basically the build up to an action or advent that is going to happen. Like when a spring bounces, the first thing it needs to do is coil up and then once the spring has built up enough pressure it will jump. The spring building up pressure is the anticipation and the jumping is the action or advent. This is another expressive method used within animation and is very effective when used. If a person was to just jump without crouching to build their momentum, it would look like the person got unnatural build up from nowhere and wouldn’t be as effective. Anticipation is usually used in a moment when there’s about to be a big event, there is first the build-up that then prepares the viewer for the event making it more exciting.
This method is also used in small moments within the animation like facial expressions. With a shocked face, you notice in an animation that the characters face would scrunch up first and maybe shake their head in disbelief, the face would then stretch, eyes wide open and jaw dropped and the face is how showing a person in disbelief, shock or surprise.
(Unknown, unknown )
Staging is a range of methods to clearly convey an idea, this idea must convey itself clearly and in stages so it’s not to confuse or draw away the viewer. Other actions or ideas will soon follow up, or finish giving the viewer a clear idea what is going on, the only time that staging isn’t necessary is when you’re trying to convey the idea of confusion.
Staging is extremely important when it is used in animated or filmed sequences, as it sets out an event of what is going to happen and clearly keeps the audience focused on the main action or focused character. It’s also used when planning out the visual moment, as sketch board artist’s sketch out stages of what will happen within the visual sequence. Staging is also present within, camera angle, acting, timing, and setting, so in a few words, staging is a presentation on the idea.
4. Straight ahead and Pose to Pose
This method in animation is the way you draw out the frames. Straight ahead is where you draw the animation out frame by frame. The pose to pose method is when you draw out key frames of the animation and then draw in between the frames to make the animation more fluid. Straight ahead is known for being a messy and harder way to animate as your frames are not always drawn perfect and your character or object may become distorted.
Pose to pose is known as the easier and more precise way to animate as it can make it easier to keep the characters size and proportions the same. The method of pose to pose is to basically plan ahead and make a pose in each key frame, from start to finish so if someone was jumping you would first draw their neutral stance. The next pose will be the character coil up preparing to jump, the last pose will be of the character leaping in the air. Once you have the three poses you can then add more frames between the key ones, making the animation more fluid and smooth.
(Charbonneau, 2012) (RIGBY, 2013)
5. Follow through and Overlap
Follow through and overlap is an animation method which shows body parts or other items drag and moves while the character is moving and stopping, like say with superman’s cape. When Superman flies, his body starts to move forward. Other parts of him like his cape start to follow soon after. So follow through is where items on the object or character continue moving after the person or object has stopped. Overlap is where the timing of the object is off compared to the movement of the body. This is also a technique called drag which basically means the same thing but described in a different term.
6. Slow in slow out
Slow in and slow out is a form of animation that shows when an object slowly starts to move, then speeds up and then slows down to stop. For an example think of a moving car, as the car starts to move it is slow but starts to build speed. As the car keeps moving down the road it becomes faster as it builds up speed, then as you go to put on the breaks, the car then slows to the point when it stops. When using this in animation, you’re basically drawing the frames closer together to create the slower parts featured in the beginning and the end. In the middle, you’re spacing the frames out more to speed up the animation.
(india, 2016) (Ford, Unknown)
Arcs are a type of animation technique in which the animated character or object is animated with a curved movement giving the impression of a swing. For an example of this just think of your arm, when your arm swings down to your side it swings in a curved motion.
8. Secondary action
A secondary action is a gesture to display what the main action or what emotion it is trying to convey. For an example of this, imagine that someone is getting angry, for the main action their face will go red, have an angry expression. For the secondary action, you would have that person clutching a fist or angrily shaking.
(Unknown, 2014) (Tutorials, 2015)
The principle of timing in animation is when it depends on how fast or slow you want the action to be. With fast or slow movements within animation is also depended on a number of frames you have within that sequence. For an example of this, if a character was to be falling to the ground you would have fewer frames within the animation, this makes the movement faster as there are not as many frames to go through, going through more frames means that the animation will be slower and more detailed. Each second goes through a number of frames, a lot of animators use at least 25 frames or more within one second of animation, this depends on how fast the action will be within the animated sequence.
(shawn, 2013) (AlanBlaker, 2015)
Exaggeration is a method of animation that expresses an idea or a motion. It is basically a form of convincing not distortion. An example of this would be if a character was pulled off stage by a cane, as they are being pulled away you could put more expression in their face to make them look shocked from the sudden action. You could also make body parts bend to express the form of drag.
Using a form of exaggeration in your work can make the action being performed more powerful, say if the character was to be forcefully spun around, for your exaggeration you could make them look like a spinning tornado or limbs can curve while they spin. This method will make the character look like they’re being spun quite fast.
Exaggeration is mostly used in cartoons to make the characters more strangely yet understandably expressive. This can make the action or emotion more visible and clearly displayed which makes it easier for the audience to understand.
11. Solid drawing
Solid drawing is a method in which you give that character or object dimension or realistic aspects. This method would give the character less of a flat 2D appeal and give them more of a 3Dimentional look and feel. This method will help with angled poses, full body rotation or isometric placement of a character or an object.
The appeal is a method in animation in which your character will be in an interesting style, or like is says in the title, the character will be appealing to the eye. This doesn’t just mean colour or how handsome they look, but that they would look unique, using a range of shapes in the body and just generally look unique to other existing characters.
A new Popeye animation was brought out within 2016. This animation is a perfect mix of realistic effects and visuals, cartoony movement and style. The animation is so expressive with its noticeable uses of the 12 principles of animation, and it gives off a very good and entertaining clip and I will point out the use of the 12 principles.
Squash and stretch
This is used quite a lot within the animation, from enemies getting hit to characters moving around in a panicked or speedy motion. For an example, within the clip (33 seconds). You see Popeye pull a leather in which operates a movable sink, once the sink hits one of the enemies on the head, that enemy squashes to exaggerate the power of the hit. Within another example, one of the enemies is wielding a baseball bat, every time the character gets ready to hit the main characters, his body stretches out to express the build-up for the swing of the weapon.
Anticipation is another principle which is commonly used in this short clip, for an example of this that collaborates with squash and stretch, when the enemy is wielding the baseball bat (1 minute), he is first in a normal stance, he then pulls the weapon back to show the build-up which will give the weapon more of a strong hit, he then will swing the bat to hit his rival which unfortunately backfires.
Within the animation, everything is cleverly staged in a various amount of ways. We are clearly informed that the scene is placed in a boat that is sailing in the middle of nowhere, with clear weather and a bright yet warm atmosphere. The main actions are clearly displayed unless there is a scene in which chaos is displayed, and example of this is when Popeye is cornered and the enemy pirates are closing in (26 seconds), all of the pirates are appearing and moving at different times and it makes the scene feel like a think fast moment. An example of a clearly conveyed idea is when (1 minute) the character wielding the baseball bat sees his target, he then swings the bat towards the target, the target then appears in a different place unharmed and then the enemy is looking for his target.
Straight ahead and pose to pose
In this animation, the pose to pose side of this principle has been used because pose to pose is a more professional way to animate, it also allows for characters and objects to keep in the right proportions so they are not misshapen or in a different size.
Follow through and overlap
Follow through and overlap is quite common in this animation, from Olives dress to the limbs of most of the characters. For an example of this (1 minute), when the enemy hits himself with the bat, the smaller yellow character does a small victory dance, when he dances, his limbs such as his tail, arms and legs look like they follow soon after with his body movement. This shows the principle of follow through and overlap in the animation.
Slow in slow out
There are a number of moments in this animation that uses this principle. Such as characters wielding weapons to the movements of other characters, and an example of this when Popeye uses the moveable sink to fight back the enemies. The slow in and slow out is shown when he pulls the lever for the moveable sink, the arm starts off slow, then speeds up as he pulls the lever down, then slows as its stops.
In this animation, there are arcs present within the movement of the characters. An example of this is throughout the animation with Olives movements, as she panics, her arms swing around in an arc motion. The arc motions she creates makes her actions somewhat natural with an exaggerated look, this makes the movement look more fluid and less stiff.
Throughout this animation, there are a lot of secondary actions which explain the mood of the characters and the actions they are performing. An example of this is at the beginning of the animation where you see olive sitting on a crate. The main features are, the bored expression on her face and her arm that is supporting her head, the secondary action is when Olive bobs her foot up and down as she fidgets from boredom.
Within this animation, there is a lot of timing being used for every sequence. Examples of this are in the beginning when Olive is watching something fall through the sky, there will be a large number of frames as her head slowly follows the sight of the falling object. The next part of this scene has fewer frames as one of the enemies suddenly rises from the water, there are fewer frames in this sequence to make the actions faster and more instant.
In this animation, nearly everything is exaggerated, from characters expressions using squash and stretch to the shape of the character and their body movements. When characters in this animation are shocked or surprised, the face and mouth elongate a little to exaggerate the shock of the character. This helps the viewer to understand what emotion the character is feeling and expressing and makes the expression more effective for the viewer. Other examples of this are when the enemies are struck with a weapon. When one of the characters is struck on the head with a movable sink, his body squashes to express the power of the hit and the reaction of the character being hit by that object.
With this animation, everything has been 3D modelled within a program and the only 2d element within this might be the sky. So there are not many lines, but with the bright and open colours of the sky show a warm, open, quiet, peaceful and lively image. The protagonists in the animation have warm and bright coloured skin with no heavy shading, and even if some of the characters wear dark colours such as blues and blacks, they seem more friendly and inviting because of their uncluttered look and soft appearance in texture. The enemies within the animation have dull coloured skin, with lots of body hair to make them look more shaded and menacing in appearance, as they are more cluttered and dark in appearance.
All of the characters in this animation have a different appeal to each other. From Olive being tall yet thin to show her elegant frame to Popeye, as he is quite short yet with exaggerated arms to show that he has muscle. The enemies within the animation have more of a square shape to them, as they give a vibe that they are tall and menacing. The enemies also have smaller faces to exaggerate their height, as the protagonists have bigger yet softer faces to make them seem friendlier.
Why is this relevant to my work?
Within my work, I could use a number of these principles to create a good outcome. For squash and stretch, my character to stretch when swinging his weapon within the air and squash when the blade hits the ground. This will show the pressure of the sudden impact and the use of balance, strength, and gravity within my characters movements.
With anticipation, my character will show this within the build-up on the hit he will make with the weapon. It will show that the character is steadying himself and getting ready to swing the weapon as hard as he can. This will show the build-up for the characters movements and would also show that his weapon has a little weight to it.
Within the animation, the staging will be important for the characters placement. This will show who or what he is facing and the angle the character will face in. The stages that take place within the event will show his blade appearing and then him catching the weapon to then hit the floor. This also includes the time it takes for these events to happen and the place he is present in or the environment that surrounds him.
With straight ahead and pose to pose, I will need to consider these when I’m animating the small scene, straight ahead might be difficult because proportions can go wrong and the animation could look rougher and not realistic enough for proper movement. Pose to pose will be much easier and neater to work with and would help me plan out the animation steps before hand.
Follow through and overlap will be useful with items of clothing and other accessories. When the character moves he will have items and body parts such as his ears and parts of clothing like his hat and sleeves, they will follow a little while after he starts to move giving the sense of gravity within the materials and other objects.
Slow in and slow out will be useful for my character for when I make the movements of his weapon. It will give the sense that the weapon has some weight to it and that the character will speed up as he moves giving the realism of body movement. This will also be good for when the weapon is swung in the air to the ground, as it’s going to work with anticipation it will first build up the strength of the character. Then the weapon will swing slowly, but then build up speed as it is swung.
For arcs, my character will need to swing his weapon in a smooth motion through the air. For that fluid swing, the weapon will need to make an arc motion as the swing would not look natural when the movement is in a straight line. This will also show the gravitational pull within the weight of the weapon.
For the secondary action method for my animation, it might be featured within the facial expression of the character as the action he is making is the main action, and the second action is the facial expression showing what the character is feeling and what type of action he is making. Another secondary action could be when my character catches his weapon, he could tightly grip the weapon showing the emotions of anxiety and persistence.
When it comes to timing in my animation, it will also be involved with slow in slow out, the frames for the weapon will be more spaced out when my character makes a past action and the frames of the animation will be more squashed together to make slow actions appear slow.
When it comes to my animation, the character will be the most exaggerated when it comes to their body movements. As the character would swing their body in the air to build up their strength to swing the blade stretching out more, the characters will them throw themselves up in the air and contort into a smaller size to exaggerate the character putting all his body weight into the swing.
When it comes to solid drawing, my character will need to have a dimension of the movement that they are creating. The dimensions will be easier to draw out since I will have an all angle reference of that character to work from.
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