Applying the 12 Principles to 3D Animation
Tito A. Belgrave, Wednesday, 23 July 2003
From Isaac Kerlow’s recent presentation at the 3D Festival in Copenhagen, and from the 3rd Edition of his book The Art of 3D Computer Animation and Effects, being premiered at SIGGRAPH 2003.
The twelve principles of animation were done in the early 1930s by animators at the Walt Disney Studios. These principles were used to guide production discussions as well to train young animators better and faster. These twelve principles became one of the foundations of hand-drawn cartoon character animation. The twelve principles, as they are commonly referred to, also helped to transform animation from a novelty into an art form. By applying these principles to their work these pioneering animators produced many of the earliest animated feature films that became classics: Snow White (1937), Pinocchio and Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942).
The twelve principles are mostly about five things: acting the performance, directing the performance, representing reality (through drawing, modeling, and rendering), interpreting real world physics, and editing a sequence of actions. The original principles are still relevant today because they help us to do more believable characters and situations. They can be applied to almost any type of animation, even though they work best for comedy. But, some of these principles require updates, and a few new additional principles are also needed to address the new techniques and styles of three-dimensional computer animation. Continue