12 Principles of Animation - Arcs #Tutorials

It's no secret that the 12 Principles of Animation are the fundamental building blocks for any animator. Get the hang of these basic techniques and you'll be on your way to understanding the language of animation.

First introduced in The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, these 12 principles have remained the quintessential roadmap for aspiring and experienced animators alike. Our animators are no exception! In fact, they have created their very own series of animation tutorials to explain the 12 Principles of Animation, using what you ask? Why, a brown bag, of course!

Last month we demonstrated the Slow In Slow Out principle, so now with no further adieu, let's continue our series with the seventh principle: Arcs

Most actions in the real world typically follow an arc or circular motion. Movement in straight lines would typically denote the unnatural, as in mechanical or robotic movements. In animation we apply the principle of arcs in order to realise a smooth and fluid movement and create a more natural looking action.

In our example animation above, we apply arcs to the brown bag as it swooshes around across the screen, as you can see from the image below:

Hope you've enjoyed our interpretation of the seventh principle, tune in next month for principle number 8: Secondary Action and in case you missed it check out our version of the sixth principle here: Slow In Slow Out!

Anahita Tabarsi

Anahita is Brown Bag Films' Digital Media Coordinator and designated photographer.


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Brown Bag Labs is an exciting online space, brought to you by Brown Bag Films. We share great content for families as well as behind the scenes fun and tutorials from the Brown Bag Films team.