Q&A: Inbetweening with Joshua Taback

Joshua Taback, 18 year veteran Director, Animator and Character Layout artist answers some questions about 2D traditional inbetweening in a step-by-step tutorial. Find out how you can perfectly maintain volumes and shapes between your key poses using the possibilities of digital animation.

Josh is answering questions from an Animator Island Q&A article. Check out the other answers as well – they contain very helpful tips and tricks about how to get your career started and an example instruction for improving a fashion drawing.

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Sabina K

I’m super excited! 😀

Sabina K

This is SOOO helpful! I was concentrating on drawings and ‘filling in the blanks’ so much that I was loosing the movement! I’m trying out those techniques for maintaining the character size. Thank you so much for helping me! This is extremely useful and IT WORKS!

Charles D.

OMG this was frickin amazing! I always just use onion skin in Flash and it never really works the way I want it to. I’m going to try this flipping thing right now!

michael l.

Well done! This was very helpful and very informative. I loved the part where you drew Lisa from the simpsons to show off her hair animation. What is the keys you push to flip the drawings like that or do you have a shortcut you can make or something?


Thanks Michael. I set my own keyboard shortcuts in storyboard pro. It’s in the preferences. The default is a & f. I use . but you should use whatever causes the least amount of stress on your wrist and hand.


Not sure why it didn’t show up right, but what the last comment should have said was that I use the GREATER THAN and LESS THAN keys for my next panel and previous panel keys.

CGI Calvin

Been coming here for over a year and this is the best thing you guys posted yet. Will there be more? Crazy helpful.

Mike H.

Joshua Taback is the man. Thanks for posting thjese!


These vids are sweet dude keep making them pls!


Thanks everyone. I’m hoping to find the time soon to do more videos. I’m thrilled they are so helpful to you. I get very excited to share what I have learned over the years. I’ll start going through the submitted questions to see what would make a good video. Please keep the requests coming!



I watch a lot of animation tutorial videos online and this is one of the best I’ve seen. Thank you! It is so nice to find ones that are made when people clearly are animators who are professional. So many are hard to hear and badly made and clearly the kids making them dont know what the H they’re doing.

Michael H.

What is the best program to use for doing 2D animation digitally? I want to buy one but I don’t know what. Obviously not flash because I hear no one really likes to use that for real drawing. Thanks in advance.

yabba Bob

Thank you for this!! It was so helpful!


This was fantastic, thanks!

Garth D.

Hello what is the best program to animate with? Thank you. Garth


Hey Josh!
I noticed you’re very young and wanted to know if you were a working studio animator. If so, how did you get started in the industry? I ask because I’m coming around to my senior year in high school and have no idea how I can find my place as an animator.
Pending your reply,
Keep up the good work
-other Josh 😉


Dear Mr. Taback,

I wanted to say how helpful this video was to me. I was wondering if you will be doing more? I would like to see you animate a scene like how you start and what you are thinking while you are animating it. Thank you again.

From Megan


My question is is there a way you can tell what are the keyframes when you are watching like a profressional animation? I wanted to try to get the keyframes to a movie and then see how I would animate the part in between them and time them and stuff like that but I can’t tell what are keys because they all look like they are moving at the same time and there isn’t any “pose to pose” but I thought everyone worked pose to pose on movies and not straight ahead. I was trying to do some from Aladdin and also Tigger from Winnie the Pooh – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-AUJu9YF3w

Also sorry for more than one question but how do you plan out if there is going to be something that overshoots a pose like if you look at that Tigger scene when he says at the end “I’m” and really draws it out there it stretches and is like a moving hold right? How do you plan a moving hold do you make the top drawing the key or do you make the key before that and then go past it? I don’t know what would be the key there or how to plan that with a timing chart. THANK YOU! 😀 xoxox


Hi Josh, Great tips on creating easier shapes to inbetween mate, very long 3 part video but was good.


Thanks for sharing nice information