The Power of Appeal in Animation: What It Is and Why It Matters

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What is appeal in animation?

Appeal is the ability to attract the viewer’s attention and make them want to watch the scene or the entire movie. This involves not just the visuals, but also the audio, story, and characters. Achieving appeal requires a combination of many things.

In this article, I’ll explain what appeal is and how to achieve it in animation.

What is appeal in animation

Unlocking the Magic of Appeal in Drawing

When I first started my journey as an animation student, I quickly learned that creating characters with a strong appeal is crucial. It’s not just about making good-looking characters; it’s about making them feel real and relatable to the audience. I remember working on a project featuring outer space explorers, and I knew I needed to make the lead characters stand out. I wanted them to have that special “it” factor that would make people want to watch their adventures.

I started by focusing on their shapes and designs, experimenting with different styles and proportions. I found that a mix of simple and complex shapes, along with a bit of exaggeration, usually resulted in more appealing characters. I also made sure to give each character a distinct personality, making them feel like real people with their own quirks and traits.


Designing for Appeal: The Art of Crafting Engaging Visuals

Designing appealing characters is only one aspect of creating a captivating animation. The overall design of the project also plays a significant role in drawing the audience in. I remember working on a scene featuring a villain’s lair, and I knew I had to make it as interesting as the characters themselves.

I started by looking at examples of great designs in animation, from classic Disney films to modern-day masterpieces. I noticed that the most appealing designs often had a strong sense of balance and harmony, with a good mix of round and angular shapes. I also learned that color and lighting can have a huge impact on the overall appeal of a scene, so I made sure to pay close attention to those elements as well.

Also read: this is why appeal is one of the 12 principles of animation

Learning the Invisible Charm: Mastering the Skill of Appeal

As I continued my animation journey, I realized that achieving appeal in drawing is not just about technical skills. It’s also about understanding what makes a character or design resonate with the audience. This invisible charm is something that can’t be taught in a course or learned from a book; it’s something that comes from experience and a deep understanding of storytelling.

Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way to help you achieve appeal in your own drawings:

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  • Study examples of appealing characters and designs, both in animation and other art forms.
  • Experiment with different styles and techniques, and don’t be afraid to break the rules.
  • Always keep your audience in mind, and think about what will make them connect with your characters and story.
  • Practice, practice, practice! The more you draw, the better you’ll become at creating appealing visuals.

Embracing the Journey: Growing as an Animator and Artist

Throughout my animation career, I’ve come to understand that appeal is an ever-evolving skill. As I continue to work on new projects and learn from my experiences, I find that my understanding of appeal grows and changes. This constant growth is what makes animation such an exciting and rewarding field to be a part of.

So, whether you’re a student just starting out or a seasoned animator looking to improve your craft, remember that appeal is an essential ingredient in creating memorable and engaging animations. Keep pushing yourself, experimenting, and learning, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering the magic of appeal in drawing.

The Magnetic Power of Appeal in Animation

As an animator, I’ve always been fascinated by the way a character’s appeal can make or break a scene. It’s that intangible quality that draws the viewer in and makes them care about what’s happening on screen. A character with great appeal has a certain magnetism, a charisma that makes them impossible to ignore. It’s not just about creating a visually stunning design, but also infusing that design with a sense of life and personality that feels genuine and relatable.

Realism and Relatability: The Key to Engaging Content

When I first started out in animation, I quickly realized that the most successful films and shows were those that managed to strike a balance between realism and fantasy. The characters and worlds they created were fantastical, but they also felt grounded in reality, making it easy for viewers to connect with the content. By adding appeal to your animation, you’re able to create a sense of realism that generates interest and keeps your audience engaged. It’s that delicate balance that makes animation so captivating and fun to watch.

Creating Scenes That Pull the Viewer In

In my experience, the most exciting scenes in animation are those that manage to create a strong pull on the viewer. This is achieved through a combination of great character design, dynamic movement, and a strong sense of appeal. When these elements come together, they create a magnetic force that draws the viewer into the world of the animation and keeps them hooked.

Some tips for creating scenes with a strong pull include:

  • Focus on the emotions and motivations of your characters
  • Use dynamic camera angles and movement to create a sense of energy and excitement
  • Pay attention to the small details that can add depth and realism to your scenes

Learning from the Greats: Tutorials and Inspiration

One of the best ways to develop your skills as an animator and learn how to create appealing content is to study the work of the greats. There are countless films, shows, and tutorials out there that can provide invaluable insights into the art of animation. By studying these resources, you can learn how to create characters and scenes that are not only visually stunning but also capable of generating a strong emotional response from your audience.

Some of my favorite resources for learning about appeal in animation include:

  • Classic animated films from Disney, Pixar, and Studio Ghibli
  • Online tutorials and masterclasses from industry professionals
  • Behind-the-scenes documentaries and interviews with animators and directors

Remember, the key to creating great animation is to always be learning and growing as an artist. By studying the work of others and constantly pushing yourself to improve, you’ll be well on your way to creating content that truly stands out.

Creating Characters That Captivate

When designing a character, it’s essential to consider the colors you’ll be using. Colors play a powerful role in creating an appealing character, as they can evoke emotions and make your character stand out. For instance, red is often associated with action and passion, while white is linked to purity and innocence. Depending on the personality you want your character to have, choose colors that best represent their traits. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Experiment with different color combinations
  • Consider the effects of color on the character’s emotions and mood
  • Use contrasting colors to make your character pop

Shape Up Your Characters

Shapes are another crucial tool in designing appealing characters. Different shapes can convey various qualities and emotions. For example, circular shapes are generally associated with friendliness and warmth, while triangles suggest dynamic and active characters. Rectangles, on the other hand, can represent stability and strength. To create a character that stands out, consider the following:

  • Mix and match shapes to create a unique and memorable character
  • Break the mold by using unconventional shapes
  • Keep the character’s body proportions in mind when choosing shapes

Express Yourself: Facial Features and Expressions

A character’s facial features and expressions are key to making them memorable and appealing. Spend some time perfecting the character’s eyes, mouth, and other facial features to ensure they convey the right emotions. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Experiment with different eye shapes and sizes to find the perfect fit for your character
  • Pay attention to the character’s eyebrows, as they play a significant role in expressing emotions
  • Don’t be afraid to exaggerate facial expressions to make them more impactful

Strike a Pose: Body Language and Gestures

Body language and gestures are essential in bringing your character to life and making them more appealing. A character’s pose can tell a story and give insight into their personality. Keep these tips in mind when designing your character’s body language:

  • Use dynamic and active poses to convey energy and movement
  • Consider the character’s personality and how they would naturally hold themselves
  • Experiment with different gestures to find the most suitable for your character

Style It Up: Unique and Memorable Character Design

Finally, to make your character truly stand out, it’s essential to develop a unique and memorable style. This can be achieved by combining all the elements mentioned above and adding your personal touch. Here are some final thoughts:

  • Don’t be afraid to break the rules and experiment with different styles
  • Keep the character’s personality and backstory in mind when designing their appearance
  • Remember that practice makes perfect – the more characters you create, the better you’ll become at designing appealing characters

Creating a Design That Dazzles

As an animator, I’ve learned that the key to making a design stand out lies in the details. Here are some elements that can help you create a visually appealing animation:

  • Color: Vibrant and contrasting colors can instantly grab attention and evoke emotions. Don’t be afraid to experiment with bold color palettes!
  • Shapes: Unique and dynamic shapes can make your animation more interesting and memorable. Mix and match geometric and organic forms to create a visually striking composition.
  • Texture: Adding texture to your animation can give it depth and make it more engaging. Whether it’s a subtle grain or a bold pattern, texture can add that extra layer of visual interest.
  • Movement: Fluid and dynamic movement can make your animation come alive. Experiment with different animation techniques to create a sense of energy and motion.

Character Design That Steals the Show

When it comes to creating appealing characters, I’ve found that these tips can make all the difference:

  • Personality: Give your characters distinct personalities that shine through in their design. This can be achieved through their facial expressions, body language, and even their clothing.
  • Silhouette: A strong silhouette can make your character instantly recognizable. Experiment with different shapes and proportions to create a unique and memorable character.
  • Details: Small details, like accessories or patterns, can add depth and interest to your character design. Just be careful not to overdo it – sometimes, less is more!

Backgrounds That Set the Stage

A well-designed background can elevate your animation and make it truly stand out. Here are some tips to create a captivating backdrop:

  • Perspective: Use perspective to create a sense of depth and space in your animation. This can be achieved through the use of vanishing points, overlapping elements, and varying object sizes.
  • Atmosphere: Create a mood and atmosphere in your background by using color, lighting, and texture. This can help set the tone for your animation and make it more immersive.
  • Composition: Arrange the elements in your background in a way that guides the viewer’s eye and supports the story. This can be done through the use of leading lines, the rule of thirds, and visual hierarchy.

Putting It All Together

When it comes to creating an animation that stands out, it’s essential to consider every aspect of the design. By focusing on the elements mentioned above and adding your own personal touch, you can create a visually appealing animation that captivates your audience and leaves a lasting impression. Remember, practice makes perfect – so keep experimenting and pushing the boundaries of your creativity!


So, appeal is what makes a character or a scene interesting and appealing to the viewer. It’s the magic that draws you in and keeps you watching. 

You can use appeal in your own work by focusing on making your characters feel real and relatable to the audience, and by using the right mix of simple and complex shapes, with a bit of exaggeration. 

So, don’t be afraid to experiment and find your own style. With a little bit of magic, you’ll be able to unlock the appeal in your animations.

Hi, I'm Kim, a mom and a stop-motion enthusiast with a background in media creation and web development. I've got a huge passion for drawing and animation, and now I'm diving headfirst into the stop-motion world. With my blog, I'm sharing my learnings with you guys.