Animated Video Production

Principles of Animation: Secondary Action

David 04.22.2013

Secondary action is the use of a subsidiary action within a scene to add more life and dimension to the main action. Generally, this will be something moving (hair blowing, clothes rippling, etc.) that is affected by the main action. If the secondary actions are featured too prominently, they can overshadow the main action, but used properly secondary action can add believability and detail to the scene.

Take a look at an example from a video we made for Viewboost. In the bottom left of the screen we see a “Cheese” Jedi who unveils his lightsaber, and then swings it around. The swing of his lightsaber is the main action within the scene, but look more closely at the way his sleeve swings from side to side. The movement in his shirt is an example of secondary action, as it works to supplement the swinging of the lightsaber.

secondary action

That’s all until next week. May the animated principles be with you, always.

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