Principles of animation: Exaggeration--

Today's principle is: Exaggeration

Exaggeration is pretty much what it says. It’s the process of looking at the the movement and actions within the animation and seeing where there are ways in which they can be pushed.

The main reason to exaggerate is to make a point or action clearer as well as to give a character more appeal.

Most animators will use reference for their animations, usually a recording of themselves acting out a performance. This is a great way to pick up on nuances and subtle actions that we otherwise wouldn’t think of. However if we just copy the reference exactly we can end up with a rather flat and boring looking animation.

For cartoon characters like Loony Tunes, exaggeration is usually essential to really fit into that world. However even realistic motion can really benefit from exaggeration, even if it’s just an exaggeration in relation to a particular movement.

Sometimes a movement just needs a little boost to be read or “felt”. For example an impact or a subtle jump when a character is surprised. If the exact motion is copied from reference or if it was recorded from motion capture, sometimes it just doesn’t read so well on the 3D character. This is when using exaggeration really comes in useful.

It’s also worth pushing the motion further than what you feel would look right and dialing it back rather then just pushing it a little bit at a time. By pushing it to extremes you can work a lot more quickly when it looks wrong rather than doing it in baby steps. It’s surprising how far you can push things before the start to look wrong.

I hope these tips on using exaggeration were useful. If you do find these blogs of use or have any questions, please comment below.

Also if you have any animation needs please get in touch.

In till next time,


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