Finally! We’re up to animating the spaceman, this is where you see the work come to life, all in two steps; the keyframes and the tweens. If you’d like to see how we got to this point check out our entries about painting a background, designing a character, and planning the thumbnails!
Here is where we draw in all the Key poses (also called Key Frames). These are the poses most important to successfully convey an action to the viewer. This is also the time to refine the comedic timing from the animatic or thumbnail phase, its important to experiment and see how far you can push things with both the poses animation.
Once we’ve got a good sense of the action with the Key Frames, we start drawing all the poses inbetween the Key Poses. This is called Inbetweening or “Tweening”. In the above video, the tweens are green, the keys are blue.
During tweening we’re able to apply overshoot on character elements and have other parts settle. You’ll notice the spaceman’s antenna wiggles around in these tweens (we do more of this in the clean up stage) and his legs settle more.
Tweens are the final rough piece before cleanup, and can be really fun, but more often they can be really tedious compared to the crazy fast paced life of Key Framing. This is probably why it’s common in traditional animation for the lead animator to draw the Keys Poses and a less experienced animator draws all the Inbetweens. The advantage of doing your own tweens (like we did) is you can be a lot looser with your keys and speed up the process.