So, ever been animating something that is moving a great distance. Not necessarily fast, just across the entire screen? Or, even harder, across the entire screen SLOWLY? Had difficulty getting those inbetween poses that are freakin' far apart to be solid? Me too... here's a trick. One day I was visiting a friend at James Baxter's studio. He was introducing me to James and I saw James sitting in his seat just tearing bit's of tape off and sticking the ends on his desk like the below photo.
Like so.... anyway, I wasn't real sure what he was doing I just figured he was taping something up or whatever. Well, then I ran into a shot later where the character had to move across the screen very slowly. I was having a bit of a time keeping it solid. I remembered what James was doing and I wondered if this was what it was meant for. So here's what I did. It is easier to inbetween something that is not moving much. So I of course nailed my Key's down like the below picture (BTW the way, these drawings are merely for drawing examples, not meant to be show pieces).
BTW, you can still do separate charting. I wanted the heads horizontal movement to be even, and the head rotation to favor the first Key. So, chart and inbetween accordingly. Nothing has changed, it just got easier to do.
OK, now you take that inbetween pose and place it directly over the other 2 keys so that the head shape matches up with the two keys. It should look like the characters head is just rotating in place.
The corners of the paper your using should reflect your charts. If the horizontal path is even, the corners will be evenly spaced. I also added a bit of an arc so the paper dips ever so slightly.
Now, just inbetween as you desire!! It's pretty simple really. And trust me, it's WAY faster and more accurate than doing it the other way. Now note: THIS IS NOT TRACE AND PLACE! It's sorta related, but not quite the same. Trace and place will for the most part give you the paper cut out feeling of animation. Shapes won't change and it'll be solid, but unturnable (yes, made that word up :) ) and dead to look at. I hate that kind of animation-- sure it's fast, but, ummmmm, that's all it is. I do recommend ruffing out your shots without doing this. You should not be completely obsessed at the first part of the process with technical perfection, you can clean that up in tie down, which is what this trick is meant for! Anyhow this is the final result!
Hope you guys find this useful! ANIMATE WELL!