Great animators and great writers have a lot in common.
In writing, brevity is brilliance. We’re drawn to ideas that are easy to consume. When we’re able to process an idea quickly and effortlessly, we like it more than an idea that confuses us. This applies to animation, too. Everything comes down to crafting visuals that are instantly understandable.
Animators place a lot of weight on readability. Strong silhouettes show us how a character feels. A character’s movement gives it weight. Timely cuts give us room to process the story, and the final edit ties it all together. Readable visuals are believable.
Knowing the fundamentals helps. An eye for color and a good understanding of movement can make a scene feel more believable. Just applying the fundamentals doesn’t guarantee a great scene, but a bad understanding of the basics can weaken a scene’s impact.
Like writing, animation is about clarity and persuasion. It’s about making the characters and world believable to an audience. When what we see on screen is easy to understand, we stick around to watch more.