10 Basic Shapes versus Details
Here is a series of three animation drawings broken down into their simplest elements. Basically, simple shapes are what the animator uses in animating a character. When these basic shapes are “working,” then the detail may be added. Most detail such as hair, wrinkles, clothing, etc., can be used to enhance the main action.
In cleanup, the assistant animator must be able to spot the basic shapes and their movements in spite of any details that might tend to camouflage them. Once he has found the essence of the pose or action, the details will nearly take care of themselves; that is, the main action will dictate or suggest the detail action.