All action should be premised with anticipation in animation or the action itself gets lost in translation. In the example of our fist punch, anyone with any training in boxing or martial arts knows that pulling back before delivering a punch is a TERRIBLE thing to do. This is because it telegraphs the movement. In an actual match, you don’t want your opponent to know the punch is coming; however in animation you absolutely must communicate this to the audience otherwise they will miss it and be left wondering what the hell just happened.
Whether in color or not, we know exactly what the character is up to here.
The basic idea is that Straight Ahead animation gives you more of a free flowing animation, and Post to Pose is easier to plot out and time your actions specifically. Most professional animators use Poes to Pose more often for this reason alone. Straight Ahead Timeline – These two animated timelines show the order in which the drawings are created. One frame right after the other, or drawing the important pose positions first, then filling in the blanks. Pose to Pose Timeline -
His jowls and ears drag as He turns his head His head arrives at its Destination. But his jowls and ears arrive late and keep going.
This may be more relatable if you think about driving your cars, when you put on the brakes if the car were to come to a complete and sudden stop you would be thrown right through the wind shield. Instead we slow gradually, and the same is said about speeding up. We must increase speed slowly to get to 60mph or our brains would get sucked to the back of our skull and probably not feel very good. This principle makes physics seem like they are actually functioning in our cartoon worlds.
Here Figaro from Pinocchio performs the action of climbing into bed, but he doesn’t do it by simply sitting on the edge, rotating to a prone position, and Voila! Instead he does it with style, he snuggles into the bedding, he kicks his paws up, and he comes to rest half in and half out of the bed frame. The result is that he does not simply perform an action; he does it like the characters personality suggests he would do it.
The above graphic shows the timing as our “boinks” At each of these intervals might take half a second between them. The spacing is the dotted line, or in other words how many drawings the bouncing ball is in the air before the next boink. If you are unsure about this one simply think of it this way. If you are planning to make a character do a specific action, get a stop watch and time out how long the action takes you to do in real life, then simply figure out how many drawings it will take to mimic that action at 24 frames per second as well as factoring in how fast or slow the object moves at any given time. The ball will move slower through the air in the beginning of the animation before it reaches the next bounce, and then speed up as the ball loses momentum. This means that more drawings are necessary in the beginning between bounces than at the end.