Material design by Google and the 12 Basic principles of animation

Pinocchio Walt Disney

Last year Google launched Material Design. Well-structured and in-depth explained, Material Design is a visual system that aims at unifying the user experience of Google products in various electronic devices, from computer to tablet and smartphone.

It is not just a system designed for the latest Android Lollypop release or for the Google complete online services. It is a step-by-step guide on how the pillars of good design and the continuous technological innovations can coexist in a single User Interface, highlighting the usability and the emotional side of it.

The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston

The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston

Looking at the Animation section of Material Design is like reading “The 12 Basic principles of animation” written by the Walt Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in the 1981 book “The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation”. In the book, Johnston and Thomas tried to explain the work carried out by the Walt Disney animators from 1930 onwards.

Conveying the illusion that the characters’ behaviour obeyed the basic laws of physics was the main goal of the 12 principles of animation, but the authors also had to deal with more abstract concepts, such as emotional timing and character appeal.

Cento Lodigliani, Italian animator based in New York, shows the 12 principles in 12 animated gifs in his blog and in a video called “The illusion of life”.