There are majorly three things in animation:
1. Anticipation (preparation for the action)
3. Reaction (termination of the action)
"If you can learn to do these things well, you can animate well."
The great animator Bill Tytla, which clearly defines to understand the importance of anticipation in animation, gives this great suggestion.
Anticipation, which is the first part of making an action while animating, communicates what is going to happen. We need to emphasize on using big anticipation. The audience sees what is going to happen and so they anticipate with us.
Thus, anticipation can be called as the preparation for an action.
Anticipation can also create the perception of weight or mass.
Some points to be noted for anticipation are:
• The anticipation is always in the opposite direction to where the main action is going to go.
• Any action is strengthened by being preceded by its opposite.
• Usually the anticipation is slower and less violent that the main action,
i.e. Slow anticipation = fast action
• Any action can be enhanced if there is anticipation before the action.