Secondary Action


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This lesson will introduce students to the animation principle
of Secondary Action:

Secondary Actions add to and enrich the main action of an
animated sequence. Secondary actions add more dimension to the
character animation, supplementing and/or re-enforcing the main
action. An example: A character is angrily walking toward another
character.  The walk is forceful, aggressive, and forward
leaning. The leg action is just short of a stomping walk. The
secondary action is a few strong gestures of the arms working with
the walk. Also the possibility of dialogue being delivered at the
same time with tilts and turns of the head to accentuate the walk
and dialogue, but not so much as to distract from the walk action.
All of these actions should work together in support of one
another. Think of the walk as the

primary action
and the arm swings, head bounce and all oter actions of the
body as

or supporting actions.

Students will observe, identify and analyze a cartoon for
primary and secondary actions.

Students will create add one or more secondary actions to a walk
cycle of a cartoon character or sequence. Examples of secondary
actions could be flapping ears, bouncing, hair, swishing tail,
trailing cape, moving facial features, or other gestures. These
actions should help build interest and bring more life into the


Learning Registry Activity


    Topics and Grades

    Grade: 9 to 12, Community College to Graduate