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This year we are introducing the 12 Principles of Animation lesson module. We created this interactive lesson set to help students understand the core concepts and practices of animation as laid out in, released by Disney in 1981. The book was written by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston who are known for being part of the group of nine original animators that brought to life the characters of films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinnochio and Fantasia

Years ago, Walt Disney brought together the dream team of animators at a time when animation was created laboriously through hand-drawn animation cells that were then lovingly hand-painted and then photographed to become the individual frames of a movie. 

To capture the experience of creating all the art and design that became the hallmark of Disney Studios and the industry standard for full-length animated features, the book The Illusion of Life—Disney Animation was released in 1981. In this book, the wisdom of the original Disney animation team was captured to help guide the next generation of animators.  

The book is incredible, but for beginning animators, there is a particular chapter that everyone new to the craft must read. Chapter three is called the Principles of Animation. This chapter lays out 12 basic principles every animator should be familiar with. 

In the book there is also a chapter that speaks to what Frank and Ollie refer to as the 12 Principles of Animation. It is these principles that Walt Disney and the Disney animators learned and applied to create the life-like engaging animations that made Walt Disney Studios famous. 

What is fantastic is that all of these principles were developed long before there was ever any computer animation. Since these practices predate computer animation, the students are steeped in the foundation of great animation and character development. All the trappings and distractions of computer applications are stripped away, and what is left is a clear and concise set of concepts that can be applied to any 2D or 3D animation.

Through this module, students learn the original language of animation. This is the language that all the great animators have used since the 1930s. This is a living history that brings to life, no pun intended, the wisdom of decades into a focused set of activities that are as relevant today as they were when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in 1938. 

  

Throughout the course, a professional animator animates and explains each principle. Students learn how the principle is applied, why it is used and the overall effect on the animation. Students then get the chance to take these principles and apply them to their own animation projects that are part of the curriculum. 

Understanding and applying these key principles is also part of the process of students earning their international industry-recognized Web Animator certification from the Web Professionals Global Organization. Since the web is one of the biggest consumers of animation, everything the students create in the curriculum feeds their college- and career-ready portfolio. It also means the industry recognized certification available through this course is stackable with all of the Web Professional Global Organization’s industry certifications. 

Curious how your students can learn and earn their way to a free industry certification for Web Animation? Click here 

Part of why we add a specific lesson set on these principles is that mastering these fundamental skills is a fast way to show students how to quickly improve their animations. Showing students how to apply just one or two of these principles to their animations truly adds so much value to their project work. Confidence and pride go up, and as any teacher knows, it is easier to keep students engaged, learning and expressing their creativity in more challenging ways when they are proud of their work. 

The Web Animation with Marketing curriculum gives your students the best of being immersed in a career simulation with interactive lessons to guide them while creating real-world animated projects for clients. Students get the opportunity to continue to refine their animation skills as they animate banners for websites, business logos, music videos, and other animated projects. Students learn firsthand not only how to animate but also about character development, storyboarding, sound effects, scripting, voice-over, and music development. 

We are excited to announce this new addition to the Web Animation Curriculum, and as always, we cannot wait to hear your feedback. Please share with us what your students learn in this new lesson module as you see them engaged and inspired. 

Curious how this curriculum runs on PC, Mac, and Chromebook? Contact us today