Jono Doiron made a rat run. You should see it, it's adorable.
Even so, I found it a little mechanical, so I did one of my own up. I'm not trying to compete with him or any such nonsense. Just telling him what I know about a little something that's evaded a lot of us college guys: inbetweening.
This rat isn't nearly as adorable, nor as well fed. But it's motion is stronger, and took about the same number of drawings as Jono's did. The key is...well, not the keys, but the drawing that drag them from one key to another. If you pause and play the animation, you'll see that I put the keys in blue, breakdowns in green and inbetweens in red.
The keys are all about the posing, information, and all that other crap I was talking about two posts back. In this, I used the breakdowns to set where my animation was moving the fastest. In other words, my breakdown drawings should be the hardest ones to see, because they're the most seperated in motion.
Now the inbetweens are what make the animation seem longer than it actually is (13 drawings looped, basically). each red drawing is leaning more towards the blue drawing, the key. that way, the main pose becomes the most noticeable. That's why keys are important. They should have the strongest pose, because normally the inbetweens bend into them. This is the system that gives animation its fluency.
Televised animation normally has less of this to save time and money, but to an individual animator, it's not that hard to do. After a while, it doesn't even require that much time and effort. Suffice to say is that because of that, schools tend to teach very little about inbetweening, as though it weren't important at all. I struggled all through my second year to try and put fluency into my animation because no one really told me about it. It's all over Richard Williams' book and I didn't even really see it. I had to figure it out by tweening symbols in flash cartoons and taking a second to wonder what the slow-in/slow-out options of tweening might have to do with traditional animation. Well now I know, and anyone who doesn't, I hope you find this helpful in some way.
I might want to point out that this is the usual inbetween system for Disney, and feature stuff. Inbetweens have different uses in other types of cartoons, many of which are out of my own grasp, but I'm always studying to find out. Anyone out there who knows other methods of inbetween, pleeease educate me.