Perfect Timing pt. 1
Most new animators always ask the question, "How do I know where to put the next pose or keyframe and how many frames apart they should be"? My answer to them is "you don't", until you have either experienced, observed, or experimented. Timing has the ability to create tension, humor, surprise, emotion, escentially it gives the sense of life. Without timing there would be no tension in the opening of "Raiders of the Lost Ark", Wiley Coyote falling off the cliff might be gruesome instead of funny and the scenes you animate might not read.
As a Producer and Director I spent a lot of time in editing retiming the animation by cutting out frames or adding frames. You don't want your director to have to retime your scenes in editing so take your chance now to get it right.
So back to the original question, "How do I know where to put the next pose or keyframe and how many frames apart they should be"? Use a stopwatch, act it out, have someone else act it out, sketch! observe! I always hear complaints about sitting behind a computer for hours. Get up, act it out create some video reference of your self or others. Discuss your scene with other animators, get their thoughts on your approach. If you truly feel it won't fit into the time allotted talk it over with the director or your supervising animator. Often you will find your approach is wrong. But sometimes you will find the director will open up the time for you.
You must be sure the timing you are putting on the character(s) you are animating matches the timing throughout the film. This doesn't mean they can't suddenly change due to circumstances in the story but it still needs to feel right to the character. That is how a character maintains their personality. Think of the timing of a walk and run on a particular character. Had it been different it would change the personality of the character.
Tomorrow I will continue with my notes from my timing lecture.