What exactly is Tweening Animations? This animation technique’s nomenclature, methodology, and implementation have all changed significantly throughout the years. We’ll begin by defining tweening in animation, then look back at its roots before exploring how the technique is being used by modern animators.

What Is Tweening Animations?

What Is Tweening Animations?
What Is Tweening Animations?

Let’s start with a quick definition of tweening:


Tweening is the technique of creating inbetweens, or pictures that appear between keyframes. The outcome is a smooth transition between two keyframes that portray separate moments in an action, often known as ‘inbetweeing.’ Tweening is required to create the illusion of fluid movement with still images. 

Inbetweens are often seen as less important than keyframes. Keyframes are typically drawn by lead artists, whereas inbetweens are commonly handled by lesser artists or assistants.

>>>Read more: How many frames per second in animation

Tweening Characteristics

  • The drawings between keyframes: Keyframes are the visuals that appear at the start and finish of a seamless transition. An animated character, for example, could appear to jump from one spot to another. Each keyframe would clearly define that character, but the figure between those two frames could appear distorted or stretched to fit with the motion and direction.
  • Used to convey smooth motion: When a character jumps from one side of a cliff to the other, you’ll see them make the jump and land on their feet. Tweening animations are used to create the real movement that occurs between the jump and the landing. These animations are in charge of smooth transitions and are excellent for assisting animators in showing distinct places of action within a movement sequence.
Tweening Characteristics
Tweening Characteristics
  • Typically made by junior artists or assistants: Tweening is necessary, although inbetweens are typically regarded as less important than keyframes, which is why tweening is frequently delegated to young animators or assistants. Tweening is frequently an entry-level job responsibility for many animators.

The Origins Of Tweening

Tweening animations date back to the days when every animation was done by hand. Tweening was essential for making frame-by-frame animation look realistic. It was used for both traditional animation played back at 24 frames per second and animation made at 12 frames per second.

>>>Read more: Morphing in Animation: Detailed Explain and Guide

Types Of Tweening Animations

In Animate, there are two sorts of tweens: Classic and Motion. Most typical video-based animations employ Classic Tweens, while Motion Tweens are used in interactive animations such as games or motion graphics.

Classic Tween

This tween, as the name implies, is typically used to generate more traditional video-based animations. Tweening done in Flash CS3 and earlier is sometimes referred to as “classic tweens.” This tweening animation feature is included in Adobe Animate specifically for individuals who want to use it to create seamless transitions.

Classic Tween
Classic Tween

That being said, classic tweening animations are fairly difficult to make, and the finished outcome will be determined by your ability to tween. Property frames, rather than keyframes, are also available for classic tweens.

One significant disadvantage of employing traditional tweening is that it cannot be used for 3D objects.

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Motion Tweening

Motion tweening is commonly utilized by animators while working on interactive animations such as motion graphics and games.

Motion tweening is extremely simple and gives the animator complete control over tweening animations. The finished outcome is also unaffected by an animator’s ability to tween. Motion tweening, like keyframes, is useful when working with 3D animation.

The Role Of Tweening Animations

The Role Of Tweening Animations
The Role Of Tweening Animations

Tweening animations were critical in the process of making hand-drawn animations in the past, and they are still necessary now when using hand-drawn animation.

In Traditional Animation

Hand-drawn animation used to be extremely time-consuming, therefore a method was developed to ensure animators could work as swiftly and efficiently as possible.

This meant that each animator on a team would be responsible for a specific task. There were key animators who were charged with developing all of the keyframes for a project and then handing them off to the animators who were sketching the tweening animations.

These animators were known as inbetweeners, and their sole responsibility was to create visuals in between keyframes to bring the movement sequences to life.

Inbetweeners would also frequently modify keyframes and polish them up if they were rough around the edges. In short, inbetweeners ensured that the animations were realistic while also performing quality control.

In Modern Animation

Although it may appear that tweening animations are obsolete, this is not the case. Tweening animations are still as crucial today as they were when the animation business first began.

Most animations these days are generated with animation software. The digital age has altered how animators work, as well as how tweening animations are used.

Tweening animations are still used in many modern animation productions, but thanks to animation software, animators can now choose to automate the tweening process rather than drawing it by hand.

Animators can readily automate animation tweening using animation software tools such as those accessible through Adobe Creative Cloud (Animate, After Effects, and Premiere). In fact, many animators who use this software aren’t even aware that the procedure is automated for them.

This means that current animators can work considerably more quickly because they don’t have to spend hours perfecting tweens.

Some animators believe that automated animation tweening is only used by lazy people and should not be considered “real” animation. Others, on the other hand, see it as a great way to speed up their workflow and improve their animation clients’ experience.

Tips For Perfecting Tweening Animations

Tips For Perfecting Tweening Animations
Tips For Perfecting Tweening Animations

Take Notice Of The Motion Arc

Avoid making tweening animations that follow a straight line (unless it has to be that way to create a specific look or style). Straight-moving objects or people appear mechanical and unimpressive.

So, unless you have a train passing by or one of your characters is a robot, when creating tweening animations, you’ll want to create a subtle motion arc to ensure that your movement sequence appears realistic.

Keep Tabs On The Layers

This cannot be overstated. You’ll waste a lot of time and deal with a lot of aggravation and confusion if you don’t keep track of the many layers you’re working with. You should create separate layers for characters and backgrounds. This way, you’ll know exactly where everything is, and it will also speed up the tweening animation process.

Consider The Spacing Between Frames

Every animator understands the importance of space when it comes to creating lifelike animations. The amount of space between frames has a significant impact on the final movement sequence.

The more time you spend tweening animations and adding frames, the smoother your movement sequences will look. You’ll also be able to record details more efficiently, improving the overall quality of your work.


What is the benefit of tweening?

Tweening is required to create the illusion of fluid movement with still images. Inbetweens are often seen as less important than keyframes. Keyframes are typically drawn by lead artists, whereas inbetweens are commonly handled by lesser artists or assistants.

Are 12 frames per second sufficient for animation?

FPS 24 is the industry standard for animation production, but FPS 12 can be a good starting point for hand-drawn animation.

What are the specifications for in-between animation?

In animation, inbetweening is a technique. Two photos are utilized as keyframes, one at the beginning and one at the end of the animation sequence. Taking those two crucial frames and filling the animation or frames in between is the method. These in-betweens are what give the animation a fluid appearance.


Tweening animations may appear to be an archaic animation method, but mastering it is essential if you want to produce high-quality, lifelike animations.

Learning animation tweening can assist even animators who typically utilize animation tools. Once you’ve acquired the skill, you may begin manually changing automated tweens that you’re unhappy with, which will improve your work and attract more animation clients.

Because many firms look for entry-level animators to execute this activity in the animation pipeline, being effective at tweening animations can also assist new freelance animators to land their first employment.

Because independent animators typically execute all duties in the animation production pipeline, mastering this ability is critical. If you’re good at tweening, you won’t need to employ someone else to do it for you, which will save you money.

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