In-Betweening Is an Art Form
Exploring an undervalued talent.
Happy Thursday! We’re back with more from the Animation Obsessive newsletter. Today’s issue is all about in-betweening, an overlooked skill in animation.
The art of in-betweening is easy to ignore, or even to write off entirely. In classical 2D animation, the key animator sketches the main poses that define a movement. They outline the action. The in-betweener just fills in the blanks, drawing extra frames in between the main poses to complete the movement and make it look “done.”
On the surface, this may sound like basic, monotonous work — and plenty of studios around the world have used it that way. It’s often an assistant job handed off to beginners, with poor-to-unlivable pay. In the anime industry, it’s hardly treated as real animation today.
But good in-betweens can elevate the work of even a master key animator. You could argue that the look and feel of 2D animation is defined by in-betweens — sometimes more than by the key frames.
We’re exploring that possibility today. Here we go!