Animating Kids #8: Spacing is Speed

What You Will Learn

This lesson is from our Animation Starter Kit, available here. This is one of the most basic ideas behind animation. Make this concept second nature and you will be well on your way to mastering the art of animation.

You will learn how to make things go fast, medium and slow speeds without having to take extra pictures between moves. 

In animation, speed of movement is determined by a combination of frame rate, and the distance you move a prop or character from picture to picture. 

Cars move fast, bubbles move slow. A buzzing bee may be somewhere in-between. You determine the speed by changing the spacing.

You will learn to master this basic concept. It is one of the most powerful recipes in animation. Period.

Why This Is Important

As mentioned above, this lesson is from our Animation Starter Kit. It is recipe #4 out the 21 concepts that are most necessary to master as a beginning animator. 

Spacing is everything in animation. Getting used to working with 15 frames per second as your boss takes practice.

The frame rate never changes, so you can only create the illusion of various speeds by increasing or decreasing the distance you move your props between pictures.

We want you to take one picture after every move so you can see how the frame rate and the spaces between your props work together.  

The most common mistake, made by almost everyone we've ever introduced to animation, is taking multiple pictures between each move to slow things down. Don't do this! It creates a jerky, stuttering motion.

If you can master this recipe, you are 80% on your way to mastering stop motion animation.

Spacing IS speed!

Thank you for watching our Animating Kids animation lessons. To watch other lessons, scrub through Animation Chefs blog or follow us on Youtube or Facebook. 

Stay tuned on Friday, we have another Shark Vs Rabbit coming! 

Until then, 

Bon Animate! 

Animation Chefs

P.S. To get this recipe sheet and the 21 other most important, step-by-step instructions, basic animation vocabulary, rules, and formulas, buy our Animation Starter Kit.