Key points on the ART OF ANIMATION!!!

Hey all. I ‘am here to discuss some important topics which might help many of them become better animators. Hey hey hold on mates!!! i’ am not a master in this ,but am struggling hard to get a hold on the art of animation since few years and i will be discussing my way of approaching to a shot and what i got from my research and investigation on the subject.

I’ am in the category that Keithlango speaks about!!! the new generation animators !!! Experimenting a lot, trying out different things and exploring the facts of animation being close to the traditional style and its principles and trying to preserve the flavor of it. To be so, you need to do some extra research on what you are doing.

I spend most of the time doing research on the aspects of my shot like seeing lot of references, before going on to my machine as part of my i believe a lot in planning, it is everything that leads to quality animation without any confusions. It gives a clear idea of what you are doing.

"Damn it dude, you never plan ahead, you never take the long view, I mean here it is Monday and I'm already thinking of Wednesday... It is Monday right?"

I' am not discussing anything about the 12 principles as everybody knows about them and they are the basics for an animator.Keith says not to force ANIMATION PRINCIPLES onto a scene but use them to guide how to construct a scene, not as a checklist of things to stick into your work.

Things which help my animation look better and easy for me while animating :

Thumbnails mostly help us making some strong poses.Especially when you are using pose-to-pose method of animation, you need few strong poses.Here thumbnails helps you as a reference to your poses.You draw them to make your poses strong,clear and more dynamic.It is not that you stick to your thumbnails tightly, but then you could do so if you are very much convinced with that.But you should not get too much attached to your thumbnails,but use them as basic reference as a stage of exploration i.e experimenting on the desired pose you want, on a paper, check out different poses as it is the fast,easy and economical way of expressing and experimenting.I usually play more with my pencil and paper before getting on to the machine.But i will not settle on things until i get on the PC ,as things may act different when i' am there and even my mind might need some freedom to experiment. Keithlango advises not to become a slave to your thumbnails.He says "thumbs are great servants ,but hard masters".

A few examples of thumbnails above.

Ok guys!!! I' ll be discussing how thumbnails help making a pose.And the role of posing in animation.


Posing is to show personality of the character and positioning it in such a way as to tell a story while showing his business in the scene.It is about showing appeal ,balance ,attitude,force ,energy ,exaggeration ,flow...

Good poses instantly communicate character.Each pose should have the ability to work as a single frame illustration. Good poses allow the audience to see inside a character's soul . It all include a research study of his personality and other information like how old is he? ,his background, his mood ,his intentions and many.There are several ways of showing his personality.mood, attitude etc.but the degree of emotion he needs to have defines the pose.

"Your animation is only good as your poses. You can have good timing, good overlapping action, good follow through.but if your poses are not strong and to the point [telling the story] you do not have good animation."

-Ham Luske

Pose has two primary functions :


Allow the audience to easily access the soul of the character for a quick understanding of what the character is feeling. Appeal defines the pesonality and mood of the character.


Clearly express the true feelings in the heart of the character for that given moment.The character is in the pose.The pose reveals the character.The pose is not a symptom of a movement.Thus pose the primary mechanism for telling the story.

How you pose a character i believe will determine how much smooth your animation will flow from one extreme to the next.Having strong poses will actually make your animation easier when you go from your blocking to splining. It will help your animation read clearly.You can convey just about every emotion with your posing very clearly.To get the point of doing good poses we need to understand few things first.






Every pose in action has to begin with a line of action.This line often known as Center line , is in reality a make believe or imaginary curved line that travels down the center of the character.This line determines the flow and the sweep of the movement or action.Every pose has a line of action that shows the primary force of a pose , indicating direction and energy ( kinetic or stored) of the character's pose.

In thumbnail i usually draw this line first and start constructing the figure around it. Contrast in line of actions or reverse line of actions of 2 poses results in great animation.


Balance enables the human being to keep from falling whether he is in motion or standing still.This occurs because the weight of the character is equally distributed.However, the state of balance is constantly changing ,depending on whether the body is stationary or in motion.So, when a pose is not having a proper balance, the animation doesn't look lively and believable. Most of the characters balance can be shown by adjusting the COG controller and spreading of the legs as desired.


Accentuating the essence of an idea via the design and the action.It is to represent as greater than is actually the case and to enlarge or increase to an abnomal degree.Exaggerating your pose gives the charactermore energy. It should be done according to the mood of the character.

Exaggerations helps you show energy in your pose. Exaggeration is not extreme distortion of a drawing or extremely broad, violent action all the time. Its like a caricature of facial features, expressions, poses, attitudes and actions. Action traced from live action film can be accurate, but stiff and mechanical. In feature animation, a character must move more broadly to look natural. The same is true of facial expressions, but the action should not be as broad as in a short cartoon style. Exaggeration in a walk or an eye movement or even a head turn will give your film more appeal.


A silhouette is a view of an object or scene consisting of the outline and a featureless interior with the silhouette object usually being black. In silhouette view ,you can see your pose clearly and make it more interesting.In the look through camera view make sure that the silhouettes of your poses are good.

Keith says that we should do everything we can to make it flow so as to maximize the appeal of a pose.He often work in silhouette when polishing his poses and so do i.

Ok guys !!! I' ll be discussing about more important points in my next post..

cheers!! HAPPY ANIMATING !!!!