April 11, 2011


This is animation gold! Glen Keane is one of the greatest animators alive today over at Walt Disney Animation Studios and is truly an inspiration. The following is a excerpt taken from "A System For Planning and Timing Animation." This has been around for years but if you'd like to read this document you can download the pdf at AnimationMeat.com. This weekend I was going through some of my old files and rediscovered these simple Seven Animation Essentials.

1. Make a Positive Statement

  • Do not be ambiguous in your approach.
  • Thumbnail until you have that clear approach and conviction.
  • Be bold and decisive.

2. Animate From the Heart

  • Feel your drawings.
  • Let your action be an extension of how you believe the character feels.
  • Put yourself in the place of the character your animating- associate.

3. Make Expressions and Attitudes Real and Living
  • Focus on the eyes and eyebrows- mouth and cheeks.
  • Always lead with the eyes.
  • Be sure the eyes are solid and placed securely in the head.
  • Study your own attitudes. Ask yourself, "Does this drawing feel the way my face feels?"

4. Draw As If You Were Sculpting
  • Describe the forms in dimension.
  • Understand the character design in 3D.

5. Animate the Forces
  • Allow the momentum of and already animated movement to suggest the next drawing.
  • Draw the leading edge of forces.

6. Visualize and Feel Dialog
  • Be sure you are truly capturing the inflection, volume and tone of the dialog with proper mouth shapes.

7. Simplicity
  • What is the essence of your scene, your action , your expression- what is indispensable in communicating your thought?

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