The Principles Of Animation | Opi Chaggar | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

The Principles Of Animation

teacher avatar Opi Chaggar, Senior Animator + YouTuber

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Squash and Stretch


    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.

      Follow Through And Overlap


    • 6.



    • 7.

      Secondary Action


    • 8.



    • 9.

      Solid Drawing


    • 10.



    • 11.



    • 12.

      Slow In Slow Out


    • 13.

      Pose To Pose And Straight Ahead


    • 14.



    • 15.



  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this class we will cover each animation principle in bitesize form. The course will cover the all the animation principles below:

  1. Squash and Stretch
  2. Anticipation
  3. Staging
  4. Follow through and overlapping action
  5. Arcs
  6. Secondary action
  7. Exaggeration
  8. Solid Drawing
  9. Appeal
  10. Timing
  11. Slow In Slow Out
  12. Pose To Pose And Straight Ahead


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Opi Chaggar

Senior Animator + YouTuber




Hello, my name is Opi.

I'm a Professional Senior Animator working in the video games industry.

I have over 18 years experience in the Video Games and Animation Industry and I've created these courses to give back what I have learnt and hope to inspire the next generation of animators.

Companies I have worked for:

- Ninja Theory (UK)
- EA (UK)
- High Moon Studios (San Diego, California)
- Trion Worlds (San Diego, California)
- Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (UK)
- Warner Bros (Tt Games) (UK)
- Genjoy (A Scopely Studio) Seville, Spain/Culvar City, California)
- LavaLabs (UK)

My Mentors:

- Jason Schiefer - Weta Digital/PDI Dreamworks
- Steve Gagnon - Cady -Weta DigitalSee full profile

Level: All Levels

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Intro: Animation is such a great art form. You can express what you feel through the acting and body mechanics power to tell your story to the world. In some cases, change the world and people's mind. Remember, is fulfilled or games, my name is open. You can check me out on the fitness animated on Instagram or YouTube channel. I've got where I teach animation and share my fitness journey in my free time, I like to teach, help students understand the principles of animation and how to apply them to your characters using simple methods and workflows. This course is part of a series of video games animation classes I've published. When I started off in animation, I found it quite tough until I graduated from Animation Mentor and realized everything was about the bouncing ball and how we can apply this to our animation in the most simplest way. Then as I learn more at my workplace, working with seniors leads principle animate as an animation directors, This opened my eyes up even more to the other animators workflows. And I started incorporating these skills into my work. The animation community is very helpful. And during my years working at anatomy, I have got constructive, critical feedback from some great professionals and this hasn't made me grow as an animator. And that's what I wanna do for you. I want to pass on my 18 plus years of experience in this wonderful off, or we call it animation. At the end of the class, you will have a complete understanding of the principles of animation. So I encourage you to exercise each principle with your favorite rig, or you can use the leader and statuary that I'm using to. These principles have been laid out in bite-size sessions in most simplest ways to get across the essence of each principle of animation. All it's all now, so grab your mouse in your house, and let's start animating. 2. Squash and Stretch: All right guys, welcome to this quick fire principles of animation. We're going to talk about the squash and stretch as the first principle. Now very simple enough cost and stretch can be used for the bouncing ball. It can be useful in the face, thermally things. And the idea is to add a bit of weight and bit of texture to the animation. So for example, we've got here a simple little stitch for majority of these principles just to show you the principle when it lands, you can see there's a bit of volume to the head, right? So that's what we use it for. It's more to do with iden, a bit of weight. And when we do facial animation, when we're stretching the mouth, stretching the head, It's the same concept. So overall, the squash and stretch, it just adds that bit of volume and you can do in the body as well with breathing. You got controls on legs that help you breathe. So that's what this principal mainly is useful. And for the ball typical in a bouncing ball squash stretch, squash down and then stretch up, and then squash down, stretch up. So really, it's just for adding volume and a little bit of weight. As you can see if we had, for example, if I go to the control here. So say if I go to get the rig up, it's a desktop control, controls the weight. So say if we go to the graph editor here, and we'll literally, we can, what we can do, we can go into the mute this. And now if we check now, you can see it's very solid, right? There's no volume, it's very rigid. So when we unmute, if I go here and unmute, you can already feel that organic weight scale. So that's what you're trying to do whenever you can add a bit of volume and it flushing the animation. Now, even in the body, when you have those muscle systems that some VFX companies have, quite stark Kind of squash and stretch in the muscle when it's going forward and back, forward and back, forward and backward. You're getting that kind of volume. When you're extending and contracting. You're getting that volume that this kind of squash and stretch. You could see it in that way as well. Very similar thing. So it just adds that little bit more that you could block out the whole animation. And at the end you could start adding a little bit squash and stretch is to polish it, bring it up a notch, add a little bit that way. That wouldn't normally be there. Squash and stretch can also be, doesn't necessarily literally squash and stretch. It can also be like going down in a pose. So you could, for example, and when you're going to, when you're going to jump, you could squash like this where you're in that kind of circular pose going down. So everything is more or less squashed. And then the stretch. The stretch could be the character starting to take off, right? Is taken off. It's called 14 off the ground. That, that is a rectangle. So basically form a circle, you get into a rectangle that can be a squash and stretch. Principle can be thought about in many ways, not literally just the squash and stretch. It could be the actual shape which is going down and then extending into a rectangle. And that's what animation is a contrast from small shapes, two different shapes. So again, all these different contrasts, circle, rectangle, triangle, you get all these different variations which shows the shapes of each poses. And you're getting that big contrast between each when you change it from one pose to another. Simply that's what's causing stretches. So we'll move on to the next principle. So I'll see you in the next video. 3. Anticipation: All right guys, welcome to this lesson. This is going to be the anticipation. Now the anticipation is really important. The anticipation is basically when a baseball player does a pitch, your wind up right? Now if you didn't wind up, you don't let the audience know what's going to happen. They can't read the scene. The same thing is with this example here. When the character is jumping up, the anticipation is it comes down first and then jumps way. So that's the anticipation, the whole impose here. And then jumping up, you know, the character is going to do sum, is gonna do a jump. He's getting prepared for something. So anticipation also making the character think. It's already thinking, or I'm gonna do this first. So the audience knows are described as getting prepared for something. Whereas if you didn't have it, so say if we started dare say if we did this at 15, is just a pop going up. Which in video games you do for gameplay purposes. You don't really have an anticipation, you haven't anticipation pose. But this is like it's just like a hop up. There's no time to read what the character is thinking. It's just hopping up. Whereas if you put the anticipation in, the audience has a little bit of time to know what the character is going to be doing. Examples I'm giving just to very rough examples. And I've animated is very quickly just to show you examples. But that's all it is, is like the thought process. So the audience can register what the character is going to do next. So it's kind of preparing for your making. The character thing is preparing for his next move. When is an anticipation, then doesn't reaction, and it comes back down. And then the next pose, little antiques. Antiques before the text has all these little pre antics that you can do as well when we were taught in training. So there's all these little subtle anticipation is that we may not even see an animation that are there when we watch films. So that's, that's all they preparing you for the full process for the next action that the character is gonna do. And it's preparing the audience has also they can read everything clearly because it's all about what the character is thinking about, guys, I hope that's a little bit of insight. Let's move on to the next principle. And I'll see you in the next video. 4. Staging: Hey guys, welcome back to this next lesson. This is the staging principle of the animation video we're going to talk about. So what is staging? Staging is, okay, what is the most important thing in the scene? What is really driving the scene is a presentation of The idea. Is that whether the idea is an action person, that expression, you know, you've got to think what is the most important thing that's happening in this scene right now? And how clear can I present it? That's a form of stadiums LinkedIn leaks into the other principles which is posing or solid drawings in the traditional sense, which we'll go over. But mainly this is the main thing. Trying to direct the audience's attention and make it clear, that's what you're trying to do. Okay? So that's more, in a nutshell, what this principle is about. Very simple, very straightforward. Just keep everything as clear as possible so the audience can read it. Classic example or uses a rabbit out of the heart if you're gonna present it like this. And this is the rabbit in the camera is not gonna be clear. Perfect, presented like this, is clear, right? Because the negative space, everything is clear. But like this. Same pose, but it's not clear. That's the best way I can describe it. So it's keeping everything as simple and clear as possible. Alright guys, are seen in next lesson for the next principle. 5. Follow Through And Overlap: Welcome to the next lesson. Follow through an overlap. There's the next principle. So let's play this animation and talk through it. As you can see, the main action has stopped, which is the hips and the ears are following through. So that's what we're, that's what the fall of foods when the main action, which is the hips, it stops, then it is, or any other thing they might have, like a belt. It could be your bandana, could be a scarf. These are the kinds of things that carry on and this is what a drag principle comes in. And the secondary motion. So the main, so basically it's when the main action stops and everything else follows after. So even the head, the head, the hip stop, then the head comes, then there is come. And it's all happening at different times. Often as students, we tend to pose everything. I've fallen victim this one, our first animation, we would animate everything so it stops at the same time. That doesn't make your animation feel organic. It just makes it feel very robotic. So when you break down the animation and add the secondary motion, this will make your animation look looser, more organic, more natural. And this is what we're trying to get. This isn't a nutshell. Very simple principle. Main action comes first, other parts of the body. Secondary action that ketchup they come after. Okay guys, so I'll see you in the next video. 6. Arcs: Hi guys, Welcome back. This is the next principle of animation, which is very important. We'll use the same jump animation. So let's check this jump animation out. What do I mean by arcs? So we're looking at, when we look at arcs, we're looking at. So for example, I have a located based on the nodes. So this tracks the head. So what I do is I go to animation here, visualization and create editable motion trail. And then what I'll do, I'll show it in air motion trail. And you can see the arc of the head. We're going to get nice curves. Let's get smooth curves. And the same thing the other controls you look at for this. Our hips will do the same thing here. And arms rest is really important. So rest, arms and ankles. These are the main things we look at. And as you can see, the arcs here. The row like nice, nice curves. And thus what you want, you want to see these nice curves. So what we'll do, let me just come in here and delete some of these curves. Okay, so that's one example. We've got the hips. There. We go to motion trail hips. And we can see it's got a nice curve going up. That's what we want. Often. As students. Again, we can end up doing jaggedy. Okay, Let's pick this. We can do like we end up doing like jaggedy, like jaggedy opposes like that. Not really having smooth organic lines. So we want to make sure, if we want to make sure everything is going in a nice curves. And these curves could be small, could be big. Like this. There can be very subtle, very small ones. But really we just want to keep these moving in nice arcs. And it doesn't have to just not necessarily be like this. It could be like all over the place, like we have with the nose. So if we put the nose again and do editable motion trail, you can see in this arc is going all over the place right? Going down and then coming up, down and up. And following a nice arc. So that's when we come to the polish phase where we're thinking about these while we're animating, but we're also in the polish phase. This is where we really go in and fine tune all the oxygen, track them as fine as we can. So thus, overall, arcs are there to make your movements organic. You're always got them in the back your mind, you're always thinking about the trajectory of the hips, of the risks of the head, of the feet. You know, which way are they going? And not just necessarily the arcs of each individual wrist, hips, and legs and knows, but also the overall arc of the body. How's it getting from one pose to another? Is there a flow in the body? Is the flow is a nice arc. The character is anticipated into, stretching into and going into the next key pose. These are really important arcs as well. So there's two types of arcs that you have to think about. All right guys, I'll see you in the next principle. The next video. 7. Secondary Action: Okay guys, this is one of my favorite principles because it kind of adds a bit more character. For example, the main action here is the secondary action. So the main action there is a character is looking away as if he's just looking at something or maybe even talking to someone, but he's bouncing a ball at the same time. So the Belsen of the board is the secondary action, thus what it is. So the secondary action is something, is an action that supports the primary accent. But it could be a character chatting while the cutting away with carrots or vegetables or something. But it's kind of backing up the main action, primary action. It could be low, it could be a character talking. And the second reaction can be as course, cigarette in his hand and he's smoking. Got it out there while he's chatting in it might be fidgeting with it, or fidgeting with a coin. That's another secondary action that might be there is always a classic like in this example, it's an opportunity to give your character a little bit of personality as well, show a bit of that. So quite simply that the secondary motion in I'm trying to keep this principle is simple to just get these examples as simple as possible without over complicating it. So in a nutshell, that is the secondary action, secondary motion. All right, guys, I'll see you in the next video. 8. Exaggeration: Hey guys, welcome to the next principle. This is exaggeration. This is also a really good one. Let us play through the simple animation that I've done. Examples I'm giving for these animations. But as you can see, the exaggeration is right there where what you're basically doing is you're, you got oppose. What I've done. Say this is the pose, this is the actual follow-up prose, right? It's going to settle into what have I done? I've exaggerated the in-between there, so I've just added a little stretch coming back down. Sometimes you want to push these exaggerated a bit more because you can always turn him down. Always try and push your poses more than you initially think that when you get feedback, you, they live in a society that works. Oh, it's a bit too much, then at least you can do is turn it down. Same thing as timing, right? You think you're doing something quicker, do it a bit quicker. Because the animation you're trying to get your iron. And sometimes when you first start, animation can really slow. And really liked so slow-mo style. So, but let's stick to this principle. So exaggeration, so basically what you're doing, you just exaggerating the pose, more action. And this could be enacting the full process, right? You're, you're getting that anger, that buildup, you're exaggerating that anger or sadness, whatever it is, it can relate to everything exaggerating the emotion, which you are doing here really as well. You know that anger and scaring. So that is the exaggeration pose. You know, you're just exaggerating this, making it bigger than what it is. And then turning it back down. Alright guys, that's a simple in a nutshell explanation of this principle. I'll see you in the next video. 9. Solid Drawing: Hey guys, welcome to the next lesson, the next principle, and this is solid drawing, which is basically solid posing in 3D as well. So basically, you, The main thing about this is you want to know exactly what the character is expressing. One is in a silhouette straight away here. This is a scary pose, right? And the nails kind of give that off and does what you're doing. And the mouth that makes a big difference but in certain areas. So that's all we're doing. That's all it is. A solid, very clear drawing or pose. That's all this principle is. And we make sure it reads the character, make sure it reads in a silhouette. Make sure it reads in all angles. And that's how you know, you've got a good solid posts. Guys. I'll see you in the next principle. 10. Appeal: Hey, that's what our next principle is, a pill. Now, when we're thinking about a pill, it's more to do with what has the character left you with that's memorable. And have they, have they left an acting scene that was memorable to align that deacetylase meant was that person that is appealing to you. There's all these was the character didn't have empathy. These are the type of things that really will appeal to the audience. So this is what you're trying to get into in your performances. Was it more memorable when you look at it, when you see the actin, when you see the animation, I do feel a bit of empathy. You feel like I know what that person is going through, what that character is going through. That's what creates a strong appeal. So that's what we're going to think about when you're doing your animation. And to do that, how do you do that? Well, a lot of animations teachers would tell me you got to draw things from real life. Just as actors do, they draw emotions from your life. That's why as animators were told to go out, experienced life, observed people, look at them, and then put that back into your work because that's what's going to make your work originally. So that's the only real strong advice I got and that I can share with you. Just live a bit. Put that in your work as well. We'll make your animations unique rather than doing all the cliche stuff that is out there. I go. So that's simple analysis of this principle. Let's move on to the next one. 11. Timing: All right guys, for the next principle is timing. So let's check this out. So timing represents the amount of drawings in one frame when you think of it in a traditional sense, and also in computer animation. But as you can see here, there's two different types of timing. The one on the left is 20 frames, same animation. The one on the right is 40 frames. So it's slower. That's all it is. The more you stretch it out on the timeframe, the more slower. Timing can also affect the character's mood, personality, reaction. So all of these things are taken into account when you're animating as well. So in a nutshell, this is what timing goes. Basically keyframing one keyframe on 01, on ten or 20. And then you can either stretched out on the keyboard. So like here you can see, if I stop this. You can see here this is bounce, bounce key-frame, key-frame, key-frame, whereas this one is key-frame, key-frame at 2040. So it's just going slower. And this is on a cycle, basically, it's bouncing. It just affecting the speed. That can play a lot into adding. Showing the weight of a character. Very important. Always, always for why wasn't weight part of one of the principles of animation, which I will add to the end of this video. Because I feel like wait is very important, even though it's tied into timing. I think weight is a very important principle. But in a nutshell, that's all it is what you are doing this for example, if I get this and I stretch it out to 40, you can see it's slowing down. Obviously a cycle there. But it's slowing down is just playing around with the timing here. By moving certain objects like here. Notice it pops up quicker now. Or I could have it at the end. We're slow at the start, then pops down quicker. Just playing around with timing like that in a nutshell. All right guys. I'll see you in the next video. 12. Slow In Slow Out: Hey guys, Welcome to this lesson. Slow in, slow out principle, which basically is imagine these two spheres as poses. And if I play them, they've got the same animation. But one is easing in and one is easy. Now, you can see the difference right? On the top one. The first pose isn't as favored. Sorry, the first one is favored. Excuse me. Yeah, because look is easing in. So you want the audience to read that more. The second one is more direct and it eases in at the end. So think of these as poses. So what you're doing, each character for one person is holding that poems, that last puzzle and this one is kind of easing into that last pose more. So there's more drawings there. The first one, if you look at it, it's easing in first so that you can read the pose more. And then it's going to next one. Then it's up to you later on whether you want to hold that pose for short or framers were longer. And a bit more of an ease in coming in and then coming out of the pose is in. You could, you could come and ease in and ease out. So that's to do with the timing. We want to ease in and ease out completely up to you how you want to do that. But that in a nutshell, is slow in and slow out. So you just, depending on your scene, do you want the character to quickly hit that pose and then work it and then quickly come out of it and then work it. So that's all you didn't exchanging poses, timing. Quickly come out, quickly go in, that you could come out of this pose and then the arm can follow through and then set two. And then as a settling your work in that pose into the next one. So I hope you found that useful and I will see you in the next video. 13. Pose To Pose And Straight Ahead: Welcome guys to the next principle is straight ahead and pose to pose. Now, I will try and explain this in the simplest way and why the hybrid method works. Okay guys, so this is an example of post to post. The top one is pose to pose. The bottom one is straight ahead. Timings are the same 20 frames. So let's check this out. The difference is pose to pose. You can really plan out on one pose. I want the character hair on pause ten or what the pose here. And impose 20 I wanted to pose here. Now the straight ahead method, you can see there's more keys and it's more smoother. So what essentially this means is you have more control as you're going. So instead of going from pose one in postpones and impose them and impose 20. Your work in every, say, three frames. So first pose I want like this. Second pose I want here, food pose I want here. And then the fourth pose here, which essentially is kind of pose to pose, but you've got more control. You can plan your straight ahead animation. You can kind of go with the flow more, right? So you're doing like frame one, frame two, or maybe frame one, frame, free frame for. Whereas pose to pose is very regimented. I want this at this frame, this frame, this frame, this frame. Then you go back in to like the in-betweens and then you might start playing around with the poses there, seeing what works. Whereas straight ahead animation is kind of where you're going in a flow. Frame, one, frame to frame free. It's not strictly like this frame. It's going to be disposed. Then. You're not putting all those coupons and you also put into breakdowns as you're doing the key poses. But the best method I found was the hybrid methods. So you do a bit of both. So you're trying to get those poses and where you want them, then you're bringing in those breakdowns as well as you're doing the animation. So I would normally work where I might pose a character, I might put my key poses and first I pose to pose. There are come in. And then I'll start adding the breakdowns. Then I might move my keys a bit. My key poses where they, so I can get the timing right. So this is one way you can work as well. But I've found that the hybrid method works, which is basically king every three frames for me. Anyway, some people like pose to pose and then coming back, putting the breakdowns in. But I prefer it where I'm doing straight ahead every three frames or every four frames. Then I might come in-between those three or four frames and then work on the in-between. So I might work, for example, here is every three frames, right? So I might even say, I might even stretch this out. Snap, Yeah, alright, from here to here, the middle, I might want the character to come down a bit. So I might add that. Here. I might want the character to be up a bit. I might add that. Then here I might want the code could be up a bit here. So it's a method that you have to decide. But the main difference is we pose to pose you just regimented. You're putting a pose here basically and then oppose her. Oppose it. If we look at the top one and which straight ahead you're going with the flow you're doing. All right, frame of mind is like this. Frame to this frame free. I want like this. Then maybe I want to dispose to hit this frame at ten, or maybe I can move it to fire pit earlier. It's up to you. So it all depends on how you want to do it. Pose to pose. You can do it then breakdown and the breakdown. Straight ahead. Just going with the flow, just going as you're animating one frame to this frame for like this. So they're the main differences, but the best method I found is the hybrid method. You use both, which is basically king, basically working straight ahead key and every three frames, every four frames. And then playing around with the timing to get to how you want it. Alright guys, I will see you in the next lesson. 14. Weight: Hey guys, welcome back. So this is kind of a bonus video. As always, it's been in the back of mind since I've started animation, and I've always wondered why is weight not one of the principles of animation? So the title of this video, right, is their 13th principle. Well, I'll let you decide that. But I always, I just wanted to talk about weight because even though weight is tied into timing, cue timing plays a big part. Weight is really important. You know what I mean by that is like when a character jumps down from a ledge and it lands, so save it lands on, it's say their lands on its right leg. Then what happens? The right leg will take the weight. Right? Or even the left leg wherever you're doing. It will take the weight. And depending on the character, the size of the character, you will decide whether the character recovers quickly or takes a bit of time. Obviously, the more heavier if it lands on this, right, it's going to take a bit of time to recover the way it's going to shift that way. So then the timing comes into play and then it's going to shift over to the other side. So this is just the principle which has always been in the back of my mind. Because I know it's linked to timing as I've mentioned, but I think it plays a big part. Posing. Thinking about the character is a big cart as a heavy character, if it is, then it's going to take more recovery time. He was a lighter character. It's going to take less recovery time. It'll get back into position quicker. So these are the top things that I would think about when I'm thinking about weight in our question. All these are the main things. Is the character heavy or light? Because that is going to represent everything. So if you've got big creature always just going to take more time, there's more inertia. It's going to take more time to move to a certain position, then follow through, then come back. So this is just summing up as a void to put out there. I just had it on my mind, something that's always on my mind. But are you guys defined If you think is tied to timing or if it should be a separate principle. All right guys, I'll see you in the conclusion. 15. Conclusion: Okay, so now to conclude, what did we learn, we let the bank at 12 principles of animation, we learnt about anticipation, a pill, we learned about arcs, exaggeration, follow-through, overlapping action, secondary action. We learned about slow in, slow out, solid drawing, slowly, solid posing. We learned about squash and stretch, staging, timing. And the 13th one which I think should also be included, is the weight. Wait, is like something that makes the character believable. I always thought it shouldn't be in the principles of animation, but you let me know your thoughts are guys, don't forget, each lesson has an exercise for each principle. So use a rig or use a sphere depending on what principle you're practicing. And just go over it. Just keep practicing. And just so you get familiar with each principle, you can use the rig, Lillian stitch rig or use your own Rick WebView like that's all folks. You can also apply these principles to the other classes I've gotten Skillshare. These are very bite-sized in terms of the principles and me explaining it, they go into more depth in my fundamentals for beginners and animation. And you can go into that as well and check them out. But these are just really bite-sized way of showing the principles animation so that you can get it straight away in terms of how it applies to animation. All right guys, I'll see you in the next class, which should be coming out soon. There should be a ticket class that are working on in the video game series. And in the meantime, happy animating, stay healthy.