Traditional 2D Animation
This is how it all started. The classical way of making animated productions is to animate any action frame by frame as a part of a sequence of drawings on different sheets of paper. And when you run these frames you can see the action coming to life in front of your eyes.
This can be thought of as the handicraft way of doing things in today's world. But it definitely has it own visual appeal and the old world charm attached to it.
The rough key frames are then cleaned up in a single, neat line as per the production style. These are the lines that are seen in the final result on the screen. No tracing done on the software.
In Betweens (IB)
In order to make the animation smooth and jerk free, additional frames are added in between two key frames. These are called IBs and number of IBs between any two key frames depends upon the timing of that particular action.
Timing Charts (X Sheets)
Proper exposure data for each drawing (frame) is documented in the X sheets in order to standardize the process amongst various departments. A composition artist can easily know the exposures to be given to a particular frame just by looking at the respective X sheet.
Preliminary test are recorded at department level to check and verify the animation quality and seek approvals from the animation director. An animator also performs pencil test just to check if the desired result is reflecting in the work done by him before submission.
Approved animations are then rendered in the composting department by scanning and coloring the frames in the software. Later on dialogues and background score is added to complete the production process.