Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Comparing timing and spacing

From: 2D Animation Principles

Video: Comparing timing and spacing

This section, is about timing and spacing, and it's very easy to get these mixed Let's look at this guide, the even spacing of railroad tracks. It really just takes a while to get going.

Comparing timing and spacing

This section, is about timing and spacing, and it's very easy to get these mixed up, but they're quite different, and I had them confused for a very long time. Think of timing as, in the case of this quick animation, very simple of these various balls moving from left to right. I'm just going to hide most of them, except for the one on the top. Let's look at this guide, the even spacing of railroad tracks. The most boring of the lot. So, think of the timing as the extremes, the key frames one and 17.

The most outermost. They determine when the ball begins to move, and they determine when it arrives. It leaves on frame one, it arrives on frame 17. If I wanted to change the timing, I would change the number 17, to number 25, and have it arrive on frame 25. So that's the timing. And, you can see a different timing chart beneath, where I've used a slow out and a slow in, using traditional terms. With frame nine is exactly halfway between the two. Slightly more interesting look, and again, the timing is the same.

The spacing now, is different. The spacing of the twins, that are determined by this timing chart, are completely different. So, worry apart from obviously the midpoint frame nine, which is the same on both. If you're working in a 3D program or some other program, After Effects, each program has its own hypergraph editor or timeline editor, or way to slow in or ease in, ease out. It behooves you to learn which is the one that works for you, and to learn the difference between timing and spacing, and to try in general to avoid so-called, railroad track spacing as we see at the very top.

So, I'm just going to show you, one of the problems that I have with a lot digital twinning, is that it tends toward this, even when you apply ease ins and ease outs. It's actually not easy, many times, I find, to get the spacing that we were able to get when you were doing this by hand. So, let me show you just some other examples. I'm going to compare the entire set here. At the bottom, you can see an extreme slow and very snappy, where it almost pops in there. On this one here, you can see a slow out on thirds, meaning the first in between is a 1 3rd favor of frame one.

And let's just look at that by itself. It really just takes a while to get going. This makes it feel like it has more mass. It's taking more energy to get that thing to start moving. Much more so than let's say, hm. The one below slow out on halves. And you can see the slight differences. Not slight, sometimes quite big, that slow out on thirds. This one in here, is looking quite different from the others. So again, these are traditional timing charts. These would enable the animator to control the exact positioning, of the in-between frames. Let me show you some digital equivalents.

I just made these in Flash, and, I'll just look at the top four first. These are using the classic twin, and I've got the twin settings here, of easing of 100, 90, 80, and 50. And you can see, they more or less do the same thing. I'm going to keyframe these. So that I can show you what they look like, with all the frames in outline mode. It's pretty smooth, almost too smooth. They're still pretty evenly spaced for my taste. So, what if you want a more traditional slow in, slow out. Can you get that with a hypergraph? Well, I played with this for a while, I think I got pretty close.

Let me key frame the whole thing, so again, we can see it in outline mode, and that's not too far away from what we saw here, with the slow out, slow in on third, it's remarkably similar. Let me switch off the multiple frames option, and as you can see, that's feeling much zippier than the, than the classic twin, that's for sure. So, we have, the possibility of making them manually, I just manually set these positions. Well obviously, you're manually setting key frames, very tedious, and I don't think anybody really wants to do that.

So, I suggest that you don't take the spacing options for granted, you know, a lot of us, I think, have a habit of using the default ease in, ease out settings. And it tends towards the sameness, it tends to look the same. So, let's show you some examples of how you can use spacing to convey different feelings of mass. So, I'm going to show a cannon ball falling, like a bouncing ball. So, this was the first one. And again, if we show multiple frames. This is the spacing. The timing is about 12 frames, half a second from top to bottom.

So, what I did, was I took this, and I changed both timing, and, to a smaller extent the spacing, I pulled out this in-between frame here. And, you get a much greater feeling of mass from the ball, because again, we've gotten rid of that frame. So, as you can see, the spacing and the timing have an enormous effect on the physical properties of the object. Here's another good example. It's a man, hitting an anvil. And, this was an animation I did based on an old cartoon, from the 1940's. It was fortunately in the public domain. And, as you can see, there's a huge slow out on the backswing of this.

So, it's about, yes, 26 frames, and it's at a 24 frame per second, so it's a full second of anticipation on the hammer, and it takes this long to recover back, into the zero post. And so simply by changing on this version, all I did was I change the frames from this point, to the down swing, and then we slam into the impact, and let's see what's that looks like, much harder. It's much deeper animation. So let's look at both of these, side by side.

I'll just, open out the stage. Grab this one. So this is the hard hit on the left, and this is the, lesser on the right. You really feel more physical force. Just by a change of timing and a change of spacing. And so, it's a powerful set of tools, try not to confuse them, and don't be afraid to experiment with whatever ease in and ease out settings, you have in your software.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for 2D Animation Principles
2D Animation Principles

35 video lessons · 8548 viewers

Dermot O' Connor

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 42s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 18m 9s
    1. Understanding appeal and design
      4m 3s
    2. Comparing body types
      6m 27s
    3. Understanding silhouette
      1m 52s
    4. Creating gesture drawings
      2m 50s
    5. Tying down the drawing
      2m 57s
  3. 18m 10s
    1. Comparing storyboard styles
      5m 8s
    2. Understanding shot composition
      4m 36s
    3. Demonstrating lighting
      4m 8s
    4. Understanding the 180-degree line
      4m 18s
  4. 13m 8s
    1. Understanding X-sheets (dope sheets)
      3m 25s
    2. Comparing frame rates
      4m 39s
    3. Creating sweatbox notes and preparation
      5m 4s
  5. 18m 42s
    1. Understanding arcs
      7m 38s
    2. Squash, stretch, and volume
      4m 59s
    3. Comparing timing and spacing
      6m 5s
  6. 10m 4s
    1. Using anticipation, overshoot, and settle
      4m 2s
    2. Breaking and loosening joints
      2m 43s
    3. Leading action
      3m 19s
  7. 19m 51s
    1. Understanding primary and secondary action
      4m 14s
    2. Using overlap and follow-through
      6m 0s
    3. Applying lines of action, reversals, and S-curves
      4m 34s
    4. Moving holds and idles
      5m 3s
  8. 15m 52s
    1. Understanding walk and run cycles
      5m 24s
    2. Creating eccentric walks
      6m 50s
    3. Animal locomotion
      3m 38s
  9. 14m 31s
    1. Finding dialogue accents
      2m 42s
    2. Creating dialogue through body movement
      2m 46s
    3. Creating stock mouth shapes
      5m 4s
    4. Using complementary shapes
      3m 59s
  10. 13m 8s
    1. Creating thumbnails
      4m 31s
    2. Comparing straight-ahead and pose-to-pose animation
      4m 37s
    3. Adding breakdowns for looseness
      4m 0s
  11. 2m 9s
    1. Next steps
      2m 9s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed 2D Animation Principles.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.