What are the principles of game animation?

Game animation is a field of art that involves the creation and development of animated characters. The goal of game animation is to create believable characters that can be used in video games. Game developers must create animations that are visually appealing, but also realistic enough to make the player feel like they are interacting with a real person or creature.

This article will explore some of the basic principles of game animation, as well as how to apply those principles in practice.

The ‘principles’ of animation

Animation is a form of art that uses drawings, models, or other visual images to create an illusion of movement. This can be achieved by photographing a series of static images in rapid succession, creating the illusion of motion when the viewer’s eyes connect all those still frames together.

Animation can be used in many different forms of media including video games and films, but it’s also often used for commercials or web advertisements.

Arched trajectory

The arched trajectory in-game animation is a method of animation that uses a curved path to represent movement in both time and space.

This type of animation is useful for adding fluidity to a character’s movements because it reflects how the human body works.

Human joints only allow rotation of each component, so a walking person’s arms and feet follow an arc motion path.

Scaling of bones

One way to improve the performance of game animation is to use the scaling of bones. This technique allows game developers to make changes to the scale of bones local to an object. However, this feature is not widely supported by most animation systems.

In addition, it can cause a significant performance hit. It should be avoided if possible.

If you are using real bones, you should remember that the system does not support sliding parts. However, you can use objects to act as bones, such as weapons and vehicles. In addition, you can use a constrained slide bone on an object to make it move.


Anticipation is the action of moving a character in anticipation of the start of another animation. For example: If you have a character walking forward, and they need to suddenly stop, instead of simply having them stop immediately and then resume walking, you can use anticipation to smoothly transition into that state by having them start braking before actually coming to a halt.

Anticipation is also used for easing transitions between animations or poses-for example, if a character is holding an object above their head with both arms outstretched and then wants to lower it down to arm’s length behind their back, anticipatory movement can be employed so that the arms don’t just drop straight down with no warning; rather, they’ll appear to slowly move along with the rest of their body as it prepares for this change in posture.


Staging is the art of directing the audience’s attention to the most important aspects of a scene. Staging is an essential part of storytelling, and it can make or break a story’s effectiveness.

One way to think about staging is as a camera operator who works for you; he/she is telling your story, but with a different perspective than yours. You see everything from your point-of-view (POV), whereas the camera operator sees it from his/her own POV.

In in-game animation we do not have any camera operators; instead, we use cameras in our scenes that are controlled by us as animators (the POV). It’s up to us how we want our scenes staged so that they tell our story effectively!

Straight ahead action and pose to pose

Straight ahead action refers to animating in a more “organic” way, by jumping straight into the scene and moving your character through it. Pose-to-pose means you start with key poses at the beginning and middle of your animation, then fill in the rest between these poses.

When you use one over the other will depend on what kind of shot you are working on. If you have a lot of dialogue or need to focus on something specific like a look or an expression, going straight from pose to pose might be best because this approach can make sure those important details get their due attention.

However, if there isn’t as much time for detail work or if a scene has multiple characters moving around each other, using straight-ahead action will keep things simple and prevent any confusion when trying to follow multiple actions happening simultaneously (like two people talking while they walk).

Follow through and overlapping action

Follow-through and overlapping action is a principle that describes how an object will follow through with an action. For example, if you drop a ball, the ball will fall down along its trajectory until it stops bouncing.

Follow through and overlapping action can also be used to describe how multiple animations come together to create fluid motion: if one animation ends while another begins, the second animation provides an “overlapping” motion that continues from where the first animation ended.

With this knowledge in mind, try using this principle when animating your next game! Try making sure there’s some overlap between each movement-for instance when someone runs across a room and jumps into bed for the night (or whatever), their legs should move as though they’re still running even if their arms are resting on their pillow or blanket.

This principle makes for more realistic characters who behave like real people do when performing everyday activities like getting ready for bed or running away from danger!

Slow in and slow out

The principle of slow in and slow out is one of the most important principles in animation. It describes how fast or slowly an object or character moves across the screen. As you may have guessed, it’s all about weight and mass.

When animating a character, if you want them to feel heavy, you’ll need to slow down their movements on the way into the frame and then on the way out of the frame.

This creates a sense of power for your animated personage-and shows that they’re not just some wimpy stick figure!


Arc is the curved line that connects the start and end points of a motion. It’s important for animation because it indicates the force applied to an object.

In the real world, when you throw something, there’s going to be some kind of arc as your hand moves through space.

This same concept can be applied to animation by using arcs in your animations to show where force is being applied without having to show every single frame with keyframes every time someone moved their arm or leg.

Secondary action

Secondary action is the action of the character’s body that is not directly involved in the main action. This can include things like a character’s movement when it takes a step, or how it leans back to stretch out before reaching for something. Secondary actions help to create a sense of weight, realism, and intentionality in your animated characters.


Timing is the spacing between poses, and therefore the rate at which an object moves from one pose to another. It’s also one of the most important elements of animation because it determines how realistic an animation looks. If you don’t have proper timing for your animation, it will look choppy, stiff, and unnatural-and that’s not what you want!

Timing is what makes your character’s actions feel believable; it gives them personality and makes them relatable. When done right, it can make even the most mundane scenes interesting to watch-but when done poorly… Well, let’s just say that audiences will probably lose interest pretty quickly (or worse: laugh at you).


Exaggeration is a very important principle in animation. You can use it to make an action more dynamic or to make your character appeal more to the audience. For example, if you want to make the action look cooler, you can exaggerate that move by making it bigger or faster than what you would see in real life.

This will help your audience understand what’s happening better and be able to relate more easily with your character because they feel like they’ve seen something similar before!

If you want your character’s movements/actions/reactions to standing out as unique from other characters, then you can also exaggerate their movements even further using exaggeration so that they stand out even more!

Solid drawing

  • The drawing should be clear and simple.
  • The animation should be balanced in terms of weight, size, and shape.
  • The drawing should be consistent with the character’s personality.
  • The character’s actions should match his or her appearance

Solid drawing is a basic principle of in-game animation, and it aims to create a more accurate representation of a character. This is achieved by breaking the character up into simple shapes and emphasizing the integrity of these shapes. Exaggeration is also a great way to emphasize different effects in animation.

This principle relates to the physical laws of acceleration and deceleration. An object begins to move slowly, then increases in speed. When it reaches a certain speed, the spacing between two points decreases until it reaches a rest position. This visual path is referred to as an arc. It can be anything from a bouncing ball to a moving arm or mouth during a dialogue scene.


The appeal of an animation is the emotional response it elicits from the audience. The appeal can be very broad, ranging from laughter to tears and everything in between. It can also have a powerful effect on an audience member’s mood, evoking feelings of happiness or sadness, excitement or fear.

As you would guess by how important this topic is to me personally, I think there are two ways to achieve strong appeal: through character and story.

The most obvious way is to create appealing characters that audiences want to see succeed or fail at life’s adventures-and if possible, both! But another compelling way is by telling a great story that establishes tension early on and resolves it with enough catharsis to satisfy but not disappoint your viewers’ expectations after investing so much time into watching something animated for hours upon hours (or days).

The animation uses many different principles to achieve a sense of realism


Animation has been around for a long time, but it’s still evolving and changing. What I hope you take away from this article is that animation outsource is an art form that can be used to create anything from cartoons to video games. The principles behind the animation process are universal and will work in any medium-but there are some differences between 2D and 3D that you should consider when deciding which one fits your project best!

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Hi, i am Haider Jamal Abbasi and founder of iamhja.com. I start my blog journey in 2018 and i love writing on trending topics people love to read. Any Question? and Issue! Contact me


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