Understanding The Wave Principle And How To Apply It To Animation

TipTuts explores the wave principle and how it applies to animation.

Animation is more than just drawing pictures, although it often starts out that way. It’s also about breaking down an idea or scene into its smallest parts and then putting those components together again with different movements for each element in order to produce a cohesive final product; essentially telling stories through movement which can be seen as both art form but also rather technical skill set.

The discipline may seem like wizardry at first glance because there are many principles associated with animation (some not so well-known), including one called “the beauty corve.” This principle concerns waves on water–or even better yet…a beautiful melody! But don’t worry if you’ve never heard of these terms before: I’ll break them all down here.

As Fryer discusses in this article, there are two common types of curves that designers use to create natural-looking movement for their characters. One is an S curve and the other Z shaped curve; regardless if you’re animating 2D or 3D animations they form loops when put together with these shapes at different points on each respective shape’s side (top vs bottom).