Of Timing vs Spacing

After learning animation for 3 years, I am still continuously finding new things regarding even the most basic of the 12 principles of Animation.

Only when I started proper training in Tiny was I enlightened on how to distinguish what is Timing and what is Spacing, one of the two most commonly used words in the animator’s dictionary.

Let us use the classic Bouncing ball in order to demonstrate what is the difference between both for this entry.


So what is timing? Let us take the bouncing ball. When the ball falls from a distance and travels across the screen, it takes a certain amount of time, with a series of hits on the ground ( the bounce ). So it goes, Boink, Boink, Boink, Boink, then probably rolls to a stop.

So the rhythm of which these boinks make is the TIMING. It could be.. Boink….. Boink… Boink.. Boink boink. Or Boink.. boink boink bonkbonk. How fast the time it takes from one boink to another, to the next, is called, Timing.



Spacing, on the other hand, is how the ball travels from one boink, to the other. This is the one we usually discuss about in terms of slow in and slow out. What it basically is, is the distance of the drawings from one frame to the next. When the spacing of the drawings are close to each other, the object “travels” at a slower pace, as opposed to drawings of objects which are further apart from one frame to the other.

Together with the timing, spacing affects how the viewer reads weight, resistance and the force of the object’s movement.

It can be confusing. But it will take some time to digest.

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