Animation process

In this, I will go through what I am doing to create my three animations. I will explain what tools within the programs I use, how some of these tools will help me for my target explorations, what I did for my animations and what principles I have in them and can use in them.


In this, I will show you how I started production on my main project, I will also show you my storyboarding and test sketches of what I planned for these three animations, and where I think is the best place to add the 12 principles of animation.

Planning sketches:


When planning out my three animations, I needed to sketch out ideas of what I was going to do and what I needed for the exaggeration. I was also planning out the right proportions of my character’s anatomy. The hardest part with these sketches was sketching out fluid looking poses without the character looking too stiff in the joints. To combat this problem, I myself or a willing participant would act out a few actions that we could use for primary referencing.

Action 1


The idea for this action was an overhead swing with the staff the character possesses, this overhead swing can use a number of the 12 principles. One of the most effective principles within this idea will be the arc principle, as it makes the movement of the weapon more effective and fluid. Another principle that will be present in this animation will be timing, some frames will need to be shorter than others to give off a faster movement. Such as with the swing of the weapon, as it will be thrown down, there need to be fewer frames to make the faster motion most effective.

Action 2


The idea for this next action was a forwards jab, somewhat like a battering ram action. Within this animation, there will need to be the principle of Exaggeration to display the force of the characters lunge to the right, this will help to make the action seem a little more violent or forceful. Another action that will be presented within the animation will be follow through and overlap, as appendages or accessories such as ears and hats will need to show the effect of momentum.

action 3


For this final Idea, the action will be that of a javelin throw to the right-hand side of the screen. The action will use a number of the 12 principles to make it more realistic and effective. Principles such as anticipation, for when the character pulls back the staff to create momentum that will assist the throw. Another principle that will be good to use within the animation will be secondary action, the primary action will be of the character throwing the weapon and the secondary action will be the characters foot pushing off the ground from the power of the throw.


animation 1 part 1

I opened Photoshop to create a canvas that was 1500 pixels in width and 1000 pixels in height. This is so we would have a decent sized animation to create and display. I kept this canvas size for all three animations.

animation 1 part 2

Using the ruler tool within Photoshop, I created guidelines so that I could use so the character has a floor to stand on, and the animation is staged right.  The ruler marks also helped me so I wouldn’t draw straight on the edge of the canvas when animating.

animation 1 part 3

Most of the drawing for the animation will be within the middle square of the animation. The smaller gap under this square is for any forward based animation, so in case the character has to look like they are stepping or moving forward a little.

animation 1 part 4.5animation 1 part 4Within the layer tool of Photoshop, there will be the frames for my animation that will be displayed within the timeline. Each time I select a frame on the animation timeline, it will display whatever layer I make visible on that frame. So for an example, if I was to draw the first sketch on layer 1, I will then go to my first frame on the timeline and then make layer one visible by showing the eye icon next to the layer.

This is helpful for when I need to draw out the second frame of the animation. I can display more than one layer on a frame, which will help me to make the animation more consistent and will allow me to easily keep a character in place.


This is what I have created for the animations so far. Three animations all with different actions, I will start to add some of the 12 principles of animation to these animatic shorts. I also had to keep in mind, the height of the character, the body proportions and to keep the character mainly within one spot since he does not walk, run or jump away from where he is standing.


Animation one: Overhead Swing


Animation two: forward jab


Animation three: javelin throw


When refining these animations, I will start to add the face of the character onto the sketches, I am also adding accessories such as clothes, ears and body features such as toes and fingers. I will also need to consider any features that will require follow through and overlap such as the ears, the sleeves, and trouser legs.

javelin throw+accessiries animation


jab to right+accessiries animation


Final Evaluation

I have created three animations using Photoshop, all three animations have different actions and display a few methods of the 12 principles of animation. Before creating these animations I had to conduct research from the industry of media to the 12 principles, this research has helped me with understanding what I wanted to explore for my project.

For this project, I wanted to have a better understanding of the 12 principles of animation, I wanted to explore this subject because it’s one of my strongest and most beloved interests. As I grew up I would create comics, dolls/figures out of all kinds of materials, characters of my own design and I was always interested in imagery since it was easier to understand.

I have learned a lot in building a project that I want to explore, displaying and understanding the information that led me to the final outcome. Understanding what skills I have learned within the course and displaying who I am such as my interests, influences, and subjects. This led me to three strong ideas which became my initial ideas, the strongest initial idea that I went with was the idea of creating animations. The other two ideas were creating a 3D character model or creating animation/game concept drawing. The problem with creating a 3D model was that it might take a lot longer to create, and I was not fully confident enough to create a 3D character model. With the concept art, I was fully confident with creating concept drawing but creating animations also had elements of concept drawing in it. So I chose animation as it was my strongest interest and I wanted to explore more about the subject. The hardest part about creating these ideas was that I did not have a somewhat clear goal with these initial ideas so they were quite basic

When in the production of my project’s research, I had come across a hard assortment of resources. Ranging from books to articles to videos and even comment things such as flip books and zoetropes. So there was a huge range or material I could explore, even from companies such as Disney and Aardman. With my research, I could have done so much more, such as analysing animations and pointing out the key principles used and how effective they are. This could have shown that I had a better understanding of the principles and it could have also shown me more ways I could have used them in.

For the development of my animations, I did experiments (primary research) such as rotoscoping a recorded video of myself into Photoshop to analyse the movement of a character and where I could place the 12 principles, doing 1-3 minute briefs to draw actions more fluidly.

Five of the weaknesses I had when creating my final design was one where there were only a few principles that were implemented into the animations if I had worked more diligently and planned out the use of principles I would have had a more effective animation. Two was that the animations were quite sketchy and could have been cleaned up and presented a little more. Three was that the animations were quite short and would have needed to be played a few times for people to see the use of the principles. Four was that some of the proportions of the characters anatomy were different sizes and could have been measured and drawn better, five was that the character was not fully drawn out so there was only a face, hat and ears to go by, the animation would have been a lot better if the rest of the elements of the characters were animated.

Five strengths of my final design were, one that some of the principles that were implemented were presented well and showed what they were describing, two was that the character had a good visual look when turning to the side or turning their head. Three was that the character had good follow through and overlapping visuals within the animation. Four was that the movement seemed somewhat realistic and fluid. Five was that the blade of the weapon was steady and would follow the characters movements well.

The theme for this project was that the character would be in a fighting action, or self-protection as the character would be fighting mythical beings that are somewhat violent. The story behind the animations will give the animations a somewhat drama tag towards this fantasy type of story.

When in the production of my project, I needed to experiment so I would understand what I’m doing and how to make my project better. An example of an experiment that I conducted was the rotoscoped footage of myself. When experimenting with this, I had learned how the character would turn and how gravity would affect the character when performing an action. Another example of experimentation is with the one-minute briefs, the briefs had helped me to make my animations look more fluid in its actions and poses, and it had also allowed me to draw a little faster.