Database for Animation Studies


Reviewing and Updating the 12 Principles of Animation

This article suggests a discussion on the reconfiguration of the 12 principles of animation and their necessary refinement for contemporary animation to address the growing complexity and expansion of the animation industry. The expansion of the 12 principles of animation into the various animation techniques requires a consideration of their development, which, in the 1930s and 1940s was sufficient for animation’s hand-drawn animation needs; since then, the principles have proven themselves accurate and incredibly helpful for subsequent decades. Nevertheless, this article indicates that a refinement of the principles is required to accommodate a broader range of animation techniques. The great advantage of the 12 principles of animation is their simplicity and logic; however, they do not apply in their entirety (as the full set of 12) to hand-drawn digital animation, stop-motion animation, experimental or digitally animated media. Therefore, this article explores the initial 12 principles with additions and variations suggested by artists and scholars over the last 30 years, and concludes with a reorganization and expansion of most of the principles’ content, a breakdown into sub points and an updated terminology to reconceptualize the 12 principles of animation for all animation techniques.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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