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plaussible impossible animation

Animation – The Plausible Impossible

David Bravo
Mar 1, 2019

Animation is a kind of wonderland. A place where everything imaginable can be graphically depicted and animated. A playground for every creative person. An art that doesn't have to stick to the limits of reality. BUT (there is always one but) as Pablo Picasso said, "Learn the rules like a pro, and then you can break them like an artist."

regeln der animationOne of many rules: Characters stay in the air with animation—until they look down.

The idea of setting a set of rules or guidelines for animation is as old as animation itself. Walt Disney invented the phrase "The Plausible Impossible,’ which defines how animations and drawings visualize seemingly impossible things.

This paradox was already addressed in 1980 in the article O'Donnell's Laws of Cartoon Motion, known as "Toon Force.” The name "Toon Force" is now known as a widespread system that deals with the laws of physics in animation and is popular with the most famous film studios such as Warner Bros or Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

A well-known cartoon law reads:

"Anybody suspended in space will remain in space until made aware of his situation."

regeln der physik bei cartoons

 Excerpt from O'Donnell's article: Cartoons follow their own laws.

Animators deal with the world of physics, the effects of gravity, the rules of light, and the secrets of anatomy. They therefore know how life and its movements can be represented through illustration and animation.

"The biggest win is when the audience feels an emotional connection to the character", says character animator Cassidy Curtis of DreamWorks. "Physics is integral to everything we do as animators because when something doesn't feel like it's physically capable of happening, it pops the audience out of the moment. It reminds the audience what they're watching isn't real". 

An extremely influential lesson on movement in animation is the 12 Principles of Animation:

The illusion of life: Die 12 Prinzipien der Animation.

Once rules are established, time begins to playfully incorporate them. The creative freedom that accompanies animation is fully exploited. The result is a unique, self-created universe with its own laws of physics, a unique atmosphere, and individual rules.

You might be curious about the differences between art and design. In our article "Art vs. Design”, you can get inspiration for your next creative project.

As surreal and crazy as these rules may seem, they are based on the predetermined architecture of animation. A small detail can trigger a magical moment that takes the viewer into completely unknown spheres

The possibilities are limitless – the real challenge is to surprise and engage the viewer.

The point is to make an unspoken agreement with the viewer, whereby the self-created reality of the animation becomes a "possible impossibility”, seducing the viewer in such a way that he can understand what he has seen and enjoy the artistic aspect behind it.

David Blaine shows "Spectacle of the Real".

Headspace uses the art of animation in its video “Kids".

This development of the "possible impossible" is constantly driven by new technologies and the broadening of the creative horizon. The results are fascinating.

Method Studios take the plunge into the cold water and creates the fascinating momentum of the "possible impossible" through an authentic interplay of graphics, textures, lights, and character movements.

We can integrate the anatomy and movement of the human body and recognize how the elements are composed. The remarkable and unusual art is the functional interaction of these elements, which ultimately constitutes the animation.

Unusual and creative implementation: Method Studios takes an unconventional route.

The "possible impossible" is one of the reasons that animated videos have become one of the most popular and powerful communication tools of our time. In principle, animation begins on a black screen, which offers it all the possibilities of creative development and thus inspires its viewers.

Are you more interested in basic design principles? Don't miss out on how you can utilize the power of design.

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