The 12 principles of animations are basic rules for animating.
For example having physics and making something look realistic needs to apply to real world action. Like a ball bouncing around and hitting objects or walls need to squash and stretch so the ball looks like its hitting a hard object applying pressure and making it look like the objects have a fill instead of feeling empty. This was one of the principles the others are:
- Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose
- Follow Through and Overlapping Action
- Slow In and Slow Out
- Secondary Action
- Solid drawing
For character movement and action as well as face expression its easy to us a bone rig tool or parent tool to create smooth movement as well as saving time moving each anchor point on the character. These tool make a connection with 2 anchor points on 2 objects pulling the object connected to it.
These principles and tools apply to stop motion animation as well as 3d and CGI.