Strand Studios

The principles of 2D animation: timing, spacing, and more

2D animation is a complex art form that requires a combination of artistic skill and technical knowledge. To create effective and engaging 2D animation, animators must understand and apply a range of principles, including timing, spacing, and more. Here’s a look at some of the key principles of 2D animation:


Timing is the most fundamental principle of 2D animation, and refers to the speed at which the action unfolds. Good timing is essential for creating a sense of momentum and weight, and for making the action feel natural and believable.


Spacing refers to the distance between keyframes, or the “in-between” frames that are drawn to fill in the action. Proper spacing helps to create a sense of flow and smoothness, and can help to make the action feel more realistic.


Exaggeration is the use of over-the-top or extreme actions to create a more dramatic or comedic effect. By exaggerating certain elements of the action, animators can create a more memorable and engaging experience.


Appeal refers to the ability of the characters and designs to engage and interest the audience. By creating appealing and likeable characters, animators can help to draw the audience into the story and keep them invested in the action.

Follow-through and overlapping action:

Follow-through and overlapping action refer to the way in which objects and characters move and interact with their environment. By incorporating these principles, animators can create a more realistic and believable sense of motion.
These are just a few of the many principles that animators must consider when creating 2D animation. By understanding and applying these principles, animators can create engaging and effective 2D animation that draws the audience into the story and keeps them invested in the action.
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