What is animation?

Animation is taking a still object and manipulating it to move and do different actions; to create the illusion of movement when the pictures are shown as a sequence. (

What are the "principles of animation?"

The principles of animation are the essential ideas that make animations more realistic.

For example, with the idea of a bouncing ball, when the ball hits the ground it should stretch. If it didn't then the whole animation would look unrealistic. The ball has depth, therefore the pressure pushing down on it when it hits the ground causes the ball to spread, and then the equal and opposite reaction should cause the ball to lift itself off the ground again. This example is of 'squash and stretch.'


(Image found here)

The principles of animation are:

1) Staging
2) Stretch and Squash
3) Straight-Ahead Action and Pose-to-Pose Action
4) Anticipation
5) Follow Through and Overlapping Action
6) Secondary Action
7) Exaggeration
8) Arcs
9) Slow in and Out
10) Timing and Motion
11) Appeal
12) Strong Drawing

Some of these examples are here.

Animation Tools

There are many tools available for creating animations either on the school computers or online.


Animation-ish is our favorite. It is available on school computers in the High School lab.


Pencil is a free program that one can download for free to have at school and/or at home. There are various versions of it, so having a Mac or a PC doesn't make a difference.


Pencil has some of the same tools as the commonly known program Paint, like the pencil tool, the paint tool and the eraser. It also has a timeline along the bottom where you can control the background and all the foreground movement. Pencil is good for beginners because there isn't anything too extreme for someone to understand. All the main functions are easy to understand after a little practice.

A tutorial of how to do the very basics can be found here.


"DoInk" is an online program, that you can find here. This program is more appealing to the younger generations, such as middle schoolers. This is because it is also a game at the same time. You can earn coins for your animations. When you gain coins you can buy different backgrounds to add to your animations! Also you can make friends online with this amazing program! DoInk is free; Its easy to create an account on and ready to use fast!



There are many online drawings tools in addition to the ones we just mentioned.Another place where you can make a movie is Kerpoof.