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The 12 Principles Adapted to The Computer

As animations were put on computers they had a very mechanical feel and did not appear very smooth or life like. However, arguably with the animation from Pixar “Luxor Junior” this all started to change. They applied the 12 principles and created a great animation which would be the start of a new generation of animation.

Squash and Stretch – At the beginning junior jumps on the “I” in the Pixar Logo, causing it to stretch and squash. Luxor Junior steps on the ball which causes it to squash and stretch according to his force. Most of Luxor Juniors movements are squashes and stretches.

Timing – The ball rolls and hits Luxor which engages the audience and also cues for Luxor Junior to enter. Also when Luxor Junior gets excited about the ball and jumps up and down, it helps the audience understand how small and light Luxor Jr. is compared to Luxor and how much energy Luxor Jr. has.

Anticipation – This is noticeable when Luxor Jr. wriggles and gets ready to go after the ball. Also when Luxor studies the first ball and pushes it off-screen only for it to come back again.

Staging – Dark, blank background focuses attention on the characters in front as well as the light from both lamps

Follow Through and Overlapping Action – When both Luxo and junior push the ball you can clearly see their whole body following through on the motion.

Straight Ahead Action and Pose-to-Pose Action – The large ball is rolled in and out of frame non-stop. The first ball rolls into frame, stops and is rolled back out.

Slow in and Out – Junior enters the frame and hurries forward but slows to look Luxor then hurries away again. As the ball rolls into view it slowly slows after it hits Luxor.

Arcs – As junior hops around after the large ball he is moving in an arc.

Exaggeration – The idea that these lamps come to life but also Luxor Jr flattening the ball as he repeatedly jumps on it. Also the movements of junior as he trying to balance on the small ball

Secondary Action – When they both move their wires move with them.

Appeal – Luxor Junior’s excitement and enthusiasm is appealing to the audience




Storyboards come in all shapes and sizes and for different reasons. They help put your idea together and allow others to understand what you plan to do.

The Thumbnail Storyboard is the first example I’d like to speak about. It really is what it is called, each shot in a small thumbnail sketch and allows to quickly put your ideas down but may not always be the most readable therefore it is usually a starting point.


The Floating Storyboard is a more comprehensive board as the drawings are in rectangles matching the aspect ratio that the film will be shot in. However, it does not have to be within a rectangle hence the “floating storyboard” and doesn’t restrict you to a certain space.





The Framed Storyboard is where the drawings are in a fixed aspect ratio so that you are forced to think carefully about how things will be shown on the screen. This is a good storyboard for final ideas.



Finally, The Photo Storyboard, is again as the name suggests. The aspect ratio is automatically produced therefore it is less of a worry. This time though you have puppets and small sets created so you can photograph them.


These are other examples of storyboards. All credit goes to


Production Storyboard (READY FOR PRODUCTION): The complete production guide for you step-by-step, with as much detail as possible.

 Conceptual Storyboard (SCRIPTING): The sequence of images and ideas (concepts) to communicate the aural style of the piece. You could think of this as like a photo-essay. Arrange and re-arrange these elements to test yourself out.

 Rush Storyboard (IN THE MIDDLE OF PRODUCTION AND POSTPRODUCTION): This helps you in the planning stage and during your production & post-production work. Assemble all or most of the pieces and give them names. The name ‘Rush’ is taken from film – the rushes to be edited from each day’s shoot, and viewing these rushes.


The 12 Principles of Animation by Disney

Disneys principles of animation can be seen in the majority of cartoons. This clip gives an example of all 12 principles of animation in a clever way and then explains them later in the clip. –



Timing – The easiest way to demonstrate timing in animation is through a ball dropping, this picture shows the movement of the ball throughout an animation. The speed of which it drops has to be a lot faster at the beginning as it is from a greater height – law of physics – and then slows as it reaches the end of the frame.

Slow in and slow out – The example for “timing” also fits well with this technique as it is clear than at the beginning and end the animation will be slower.




Squash and Stretch – This little example is good for showing how squash and stretch works in animation and goes through the process. It is a valuable clip that proves worth watching despite having to read subtitles.


Arcs of motion – A lot of cartoons use this technique to create believable motion.
 From this picture of Mickey Mouse it is clear to see he looks more realistic in his stance.






Anticipation – The Lion King – Mufassas Death. From 0.37 the music changes to a more ominous tone and sets the anticipation for what is about to happen. Simbas eyes look more worried, then the rocks on the ground start to tremble, birds fly over in the sky and then the herd is seen moving towards where Simba is.  At 0.51 we can see the sheer terror in Simbas face (squash and stretch). With the music heighten the audience have been captured and begin to anticipate what will happen in the forthcoming seconds.


Exaggeration – Aladdin is full of exaggeration, this example of the genie singing “friend like me” as Aladdin is floated along and the genie grows and shrinks from the lamp. His eyes and eyebrows grow creating a humorous scene.


Secondary Action – This technique makes a scene more in depth and complex and can gather more interest from the audience. This particular picture shows body language that shows the character is happy, his face adds to this as it is full of delight.


Follow through and overlapping action – Mickeys Circus has a great example of this. as Donald Duck walks forward and his hat goes with him but then runs to fast and it stays behind for a split second. It’s a classic clip that shows the majority of the animation techniques.


Straight ahead and pose to pose – This picture illustrates how some animators use the straight ahead technique in which they will draw every frame to create movement of their animation. However, others use pose to pose – the bottom part of the picture – in which they create the key drawings and by animating these, the character is brought to life.


Staging – The Lion King. Hakuna Matata – During the performance of this song, there is a stage light that signs on to the characters showing who is in the centre stage and is very like what a staged performance would be like therefore it is a good example of staging in animation.


Appeal – Appealing to audiences through animation means that cartoons have to be drawn well to support a well-developed character. As animation technologies grew you will notice the difference of the original drawings to what today’s standard can bring. However, these drawings were still good enough at the time and created much appeal. These drawings of Cinderella and the Disney princess’ demonstrate this.











Solid Drawing – This picture of Aladdin and Jasmine establishes a great example of solid drawing as it is with the background and definition of the characters that links back to appeal and gives a good desired look of the animation.


The Loop Technique

Many animations use “the loop” which allows them to only focus on a few drawings but reuse them to create the idea of continuous movement. This is seen a lot in scenes where animations walk or run.

This example is from Disney’s “Snow White”. At the beginning of the scene you will notice the dwarfs hacking at the ground, look more closely and it is shown that a “loop” technique is used. This gave the animators more time to focus on more important scenes yet give this one enough attention to make it effective.

Another example of this is in “The Lion King” during the well-known scene “Hakuna Matata”. It can be seen throughout this clip as it is a common technique but specifically at 2.53 where the three are walking across the tree bridge and Simba starts to grow, however, the same drawings are used to progress through.



The Simpsons.

As technology advances, animations are becoming more and more realistic which in turn helps the believability. However, classic animations such as “The Simpsons” is a good example of believability in animation as these yellow people who never age with blue hair etc. appear to be an average family. There are many situations because it is not real that can be exaggerated and pushed to their limits yet the audience can still allow themselves to watch this and accept what happens.

This particular example plays fully on reality therefore is completely believable to the audience as they realise that “Mapple” is in fact representing “Apple”. This is completely different to this other example in which Homer gives his soul to the devil because of eating a donut which can be read in numerous ways but still is a good example of believability.

Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh is an ultimate classic that many of us have grown up with and loved. It is a prime example of believability and plays on a childs imagination all within a book, yet for the 22 minutes or 120 minutes it is on the audience can totally believe that this bear and friends are real. I think it is a great example of believability.

Metaphor – The Big Snit

“The Big Snit”like other animations has many metaphors. These are the ones I have picked out of this particular animation.

  • “Scrabble” – They are playing an endless game of scrabble as the husband has only a few of the letter “E” left. This is like married life; it is an endless game where they both get frustrated at one another then joyful when a word is placed. The woman pretends not to care but cannot help but be frustrated and disappointed at her husband.
  • Domestic life is like a nuclear war – While the world outside is in complete havoc the married life between the couple is similar. It’s explosive and fierce but when all is calm and peace is restored it is fine.
  • There is life after death – The couple appear to be angel like and have a life after death showing they are at peace


This short film “Love Triangle” constantly shows synecdoche in things such as crumbs coming from squiggly lines which represent his chest hair. Also the fact that the women changes into a triangle in order to represent a “samosa” and the idea of “you are what you eat” comes under the concept of synecdoche. This is a good example as the flowing shapes convey people or parts of them.

Another short film by Blackwatch describes the womens Uncle Stephen. The artist uses blotches of ink which convey not only the uncertainty of him because she cannot quite remember him fully but also because he writes therefore it is a constant reminder of him. It is a good example as many of the objects shown are a recollection of her past and therefore convey more than just flowers or records but a person. I think this is a good example of synecdoche as it illustrates the story of her uncle.