Animation Critique: The quarrel – good acting and boosting clarity


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This is an animation critique for one of my students. She did a fantastic job with understanding the characters’ attitudes, values and motivations, but there is still a lot to tweak with regard to timing and posing to ensure everything comes across clearly.
Watch it above or click on “read more” to see the core lessons of this animation critique in text form.

At first special thanks to Sam for showing her animation to the world and allowing us to all learn and improve together!

Here are some important points mentioned in the video:

2:23 – Lesson 1:

Use the tools you have access to! Draw all characters on separate layers so timing each is easier.

3:44 – Lesson 2:

Only have one important thing happening on screen at once!

9:18 – Lesson 3:

Big motions take away the attention from small motions.

10:11 – Pacifying gestures:

Rubbing and squeezing motions used to calm ourselves down.

11:38 – Lesson 4:

Remember: Everything important needs to come across when watching it for the first time!

13:08 – Lesson 5:

For good acting references: Don’t observe at the same time, but really become the character as much as possible

14:36 – Lesson 6:

Forcing characters with different values to interact, will bring an interesting conflict to a situation.

15:30 – Lesson 7:

Humans are always doing something: We always have an opinion, attitude or emotion.

16:43 Lesson 8:

You need to leave some time for the character to process a thought! We see, then judge, then act!

18:43 Lesson 9:

Construction scribbles and thumbnails help you to find the most expressive pose and then stay on track!

20:29 – Straight against curves:

A contrast that creates an appealing design.

20:43 – Tilts:

Contrasting tilts and angles bring rhythm to a pose.

 23:24 – Posing Checklist:
  • Silhouette clear?
  • Line of Action strong?
  • Tilts have different angles?
  • Avoided symmetry?

Is there anything that stood out for you in this animation critique? Please share your tips and tricks below!



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Excellent. Thank you for posting.


Can anyone get a critique like this? How do I talk to?

Steve Caryn

This was really great to watch. It reminds me of the stories you read in the older books about Disney animators looking over the shoulder of some young intern to the company and fixing little things to and fro to make it great. You are carrying on that great tradition my friend! Do not stop!


Great info. Lucky for me I recently found your site via Youtube! Got a lot to read now!