Principles of Animation

Inbetweening is the “grunt” job. The inbetweener is responsible for the bulk of the drawings in a cartoon. I used the equation before of 3 keys per 24 frames. Shooting on two’s, that’s 3 in 12 drawings. 9 of the drawings are inbetweens which creates a 1:3 ratio; three times the drawings.

Inbetweening is usually the start-off point for people just getting into the animation industry. There’s no set amount of time that you need to spend as an inbetweener before you move up to an assistant. Part of it depends on how hard you work, how serious you are, the amount of care and precision you put into each drawing, your speed, and reliability..

The inbetweener is the primary person that the timing charts are written for. If a timing chart says 1/2, then the inbetween should be 1/2 way between the two keys. If it’s a favor - make it a favor. If the animator has determined what the timing is, who is the inbetweener to alter the key animator’s decision?

Because you’re the one who will be inbetweening your own key animation, it doesn’t mean you can be sloppy. Take your time and be accurate, even if the animation is rough. Maintain volumes and proportions otherwise your scene will “wobble”. The character won’t appear to be solid.

Read more about inbetweening.

To check out a whole bunch of inbetweening assignments go to this section of the website.

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