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Learning 2D Animation Principles

via LinkedIn Learning


Learn the basic principles of animation to build characters that interact naturally with their environments, convey realistic emotion, and talk and walk convincingly.

Bring a cast of characters to life. By following the basics principles of animation, you can build characters that interact naturally with their environments, convey realistic emotion, and talk and walk convincingly. In this course, Dermot O' Connor shows how to design a solid character and stage and storyboard your animation before you begin. He'll examine principles like anticipation and squash and stretch, which provide characters with a sense of weight and flexibility, and show you how to animate walk cycles and dialogue. Finally, learn how to thumbnail scenes from start to finish, so you can sketch out the action before you commit to fully rendering it.

These lessons are designed with Flash in mind, but work just as well with any other 2D animation program.


  • Welcome
  • Using the exercise files
1. Design
  • Understanding appeal and design
  • Comparing body types
  • Understanding silhouette
  • Creating gesture drawings
  • Tying down the drawing
2. Staging, Storyboard, and Layout
  • Comparing storyboard styles
  • Understanding shot composition
  • Demonstrating lighting
  • Understanding the 180-degree line
3. Technical Issues
  • Understanding X-sheets (dope sheets)
  • Comparing frame rates
  • Creating sweatbox notes and preparation
4. Animated Physics
  • Understanding arcs
  • Squash, stretch, and volume
  • Comparing timing and spacing
5. Anticipation, Overshoot, and Settle
  • Using anticipation, overshoot, and settle
  • Breaking and loosening joints
  • Leading action
6. Drag, Overlap, and Follow-Through
  • Understanding primary and secondary action
  • Using overlap and follow-through
  • Applying lines of action, reversals, and S-curves
  • Moving holds and idles
7. Walks and Runs
  • Understanding walk and run cycles
  • Creating eccentric walks
  • Animal locomotion
8. Dialogue
  • Finding dialogue accents
  • Creating dialogue through body movement
  • Creating stock mouth shapes
  • Using complementary shapes
9. Thumbnails, Acting, and Animating
  • Creating thumbnails
  • Comparing straight-ahead and pose-to-pose animation
  • Adding breakdowns for looseness
  • Next steps

Taught by

Dermot O' Connor

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