The 12 Principles of Animation are well-known among those involved in the animation industry, especially those who work in an animation studio. So, what are the 12 Animation Principles? And, under these 12 principles, how do the top animation studios apply the Anticipation principle? Let’s find out in this article with the help of Animost Studio!

How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?
How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?

12 Principles of Animation – The Illusion of Life

Walt Disney – one of the best animation firms – and his associates (Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, and others) devised and produced a list of – 12 Principles of Animation – in the 1930s as pioneers in their profession. This is what has created the foundation and main direction of the animation business over its nearly century-long history, as published in the book “The Illusions Of Life.”

How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?
How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?

Walt Disney did not “naturally” develop these 12 principles as a pioneer full of zeal and fire, but rather as the product of a long process of comprehending, analyzing, and summarizing these 12 ideas by Walt Disney Studio. Walt Disney sought to figure out how to make “genuine” and “soulful” action, as well as transmit the character’s spirit and personality — a huge undertaking at the time when the animation industry was still in its infancy.

Despite the fact that the 12 principles of animation have been around for nearly a century, they are nevertheless referred to as a “bible” for animation fans. During that time voyage, Walt Disney’s background was used to create all of the cartoon items we’ve ever seen, including historical films, iconic movie characters, and so on.

Those principles have all been “instilled” in animators during the training process, so that when they talk about “anticipation” or “follow-through,” everyone knows what they’re talking about – 12 animation principles have become a common language for animators.

If you find it useful, please follow Animost’s website to learn more! If you’re a beginner, start with the first rule: squash and stretch. For now, let’s start with the second principle: Anticipation.

>>>Read more: 10 storyboarding tips for creating animation film learnt from Pixar film Coco

Animation Principles: Anticipation

What is Anticipation?

Of the 12 principles of animation discovered and synthesized by Walt Disney and his colleagues, anticipation is the second principle mentioned after squash and stretch. So what is anticipation?

How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?
How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?

According to the Oxford dictionary, anticipation means the expectation that something is about to happen. Anticipation is a subtle and gentle signal that something “new” is about to happen, and you have to watch it to find out.

Anticipation is therefore a rather important principle among the twelve mentioned. However, anticipation is often neglected when animators are engrossed in poses, timing, motion smoothing, etc. Without anticipation, the movement of the object can become rigid.

Some examples of anticipation in motion include:

  • Body bouncing down to gain momentum before jumping
  • Heel pressed down before a step
  • Mouth slightly tightened before opening to speak
  • Blink before the character turns

As can be seen from the examples above, the application of anticipation can be realized in animation in many forms. Forms of anticipation for full movement can be very discreet, gentle, yet effective.

How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?
How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?

The image above is Richard Williams’ example of the cartoon character’s anticipation when he stooped down to get ready to jump.

>>>Read more: Basics types of animation and 3D animation revolution

Why does an animation studio need to apply Anticipation?

Anticipation is not a concept that animators come up with on their own. In fact, anticipation is a factor summed up by animators by observing actual movements.

Before there is any movement (usually rapid or decisive movements), the object will have anticipatory motion as a preparation step.

Imagine a spring being compressed (anticipation) before bouncing up and moving (movement). The spring is compressed as a preparation for the spring to be turned on logically, and smoother in the eyes of the viewer. Similarly, there is an example of the character stooping down to get ready to jump as mentioned above.

How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?
How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?

Guess what, with the example of anticipation in the image above, what action is the Bugs Bunny about to do?

By applying the principle of anticipation in motion, animators can infuse the “soul”, the vitality of the character, and the movement. The “rebound” of motion is thereby expressed (and sometimes amplified) in an attractive, eye-catching yet completely logical manner.

In many cases, anticipation can be combined with squash and stretch (the first of the 12 principles) to animate objects.

How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?
How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?

Anticipation is a very easy but powerful way to signal to your audience that something new is about to happen. Having the audience’s vision foreshadowed and prepared for something to come can make the animation viewing experience more enjoyable.

However, the essence of anticipation is not at all to break the “surprise” of the movement, but instead, to make the “surprise” element of the movement more interesting with anticipation. As a way to increase suspense (for the action that is about to happen), The audience watching the animation will therefore pay more attention to the action instead of missing it.

The most common application of anticipation is the “classical” method: “moving in the opposite direction first”. If the character is about to move to the left, it will be a natural movement if the character is leaning slightly to the right before.

How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?
How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?

However, this is only a fairly simple method of anticipation. The application of the “move to the opposite side” method is only basic, but nothing new and unique.

Sometimes animators need to be flexible in their application of anticipation, as in the following example, it makes sense for the character to blink slightly before turning their head in this case, instead of turning their head “in the direction” facing” mechanically.

Notes in the application anticipation in an animation studio

From a physical perspective, the principle of anticipation can help an object express preparation, and store kinetic energy before starting to move (as in the jumping example mentioned above).

How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?
How does an Animation Studio use the Anticipation principle?

Some of the crucially important factors in applying anticipation that animators need to pay attention to are the mastery of timing, dynamics, velocity/acceleration, and the shape of the movement.

The anticipation and the movement need to match the above factors like a mathematical formula – so that the movement looks “real” and “believable” in the eyes of the viewer.

This flaw in animation can be pointed out in many places – with superhero cartoons being the most “typical” place. To make superheroes look like superheroes with superpowers, filmmakers often want them to be “faster” and “stronger”. This is completely understandable.

However, during the animation process, if the anticipation is reasonable (in which, there is the process of energy movement, motion acceleration, etc.), the character’s movement will lose logic and no longer be worthwhile. believe. Often the anticipation steps are insignificant, or too short. The movement of a superman would be more logical if anticipation was applied with calculation and logic behind it.

One of the ways animators can survey and gauge the anticipation of their own movements is by rewinding the action. In this situation, anticipation becomes follow-through. If the movement is a bit stiff and unreasonable, it is a sign that the anticipation of the movement is flawed, or needs correction.

Conclusion

As can be seen, anticipation is an important principle of motion. Animost animation studio hopes this article will bring you the necessary knowledge for animators in the application of 12 basic principles.

Next time we continue this topic, Animost will take a closer look at the next principle: Staging.

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