The Principles of Animation

"When we consider a new project, we really study it .. . not just the surface idea, but everything about it."

Walt Disney

A new jargon was heard around the studio. Words like "aiming" and "overlapping" and "pose to pose" suggested that certain animation procedures gradually had been isolated and named. Verbs turned into nouns overnight, as, for example, when the suggestion, "Why don't you stretch him out more?" became "Get more stretch on him." "Wow! Look at the squash on that drawing!" did not mean that a vegetable had splattered the artwork; it indicated that some animator had successfully shown a character in a flattened posture.

Some of this terminology was just assigning new meanings to familiar and convenient words. "Doing" a scene could mean acting out the intended movements, making exploratory drawings, or actually animating it; and once it was "done," the scene moved on to the next department. Layouts were done, backgrounds were done, recording was done, and, eventually, the whole picture had been done. Mixed in with these terms were the new names and phrases with more obscure meanings.

The animators continued to search for better methods of relating drawings to each other and had found a few ways that seemed to produce a predictable result. They could not expect success every time, but these special techniques of drawing a character in motion did offer some security. As each of these processes acquired a name, it was analyzed and perfected and talked about, and when new artists joined the staff they were taught these practices as if they were the rules of the trade. To everyone's surprise, they became the fundamental principles of animation:

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