Tweening in Animation - A Comprehensive Overview

Tweening in Animation – A Comprehensive Overview

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You heard the word “Tweening,” and suddenly your mind went like what is it, no? It is a common practice in traditional animation. In the field of animation, this approach is required to smooth out the movements of still images. Recent advancements in technology and animation tools like Adobe Animate have made it possible for animators to automate the tweening process, making it simpler.

In this article, we have highlighted what is tweening in animation, its origin, and how it works. So, let’s start!

What Is Animation Tweening?

Tweening is short for inbetweening. It is a technique of drawing an image between a sequence of keyframes. The tweening in animation is required to smooth out the movements of still images.

The word “tweening,” which describes a minor modification or adjustment, is derived from the word “tweak.” Tweening has existed since the beginning of animation, but it wasn’t popular enough until, in 2023, Apple released its first version of iOS and OS X.

Tweening Characteristics

The three primary characteristics are:

1. The Drawings Between Keyframes

Keyframes are the images that show up at the beginning and end of a smooth transition. For instance, an animated character may seem to bounce from one place to another. The character would be perfectly defined in each keyframe, but the figure in between those two frames might look stretched or warped to meet the motion and direction.

2. Convey Smooth Motion

You will observe a character making the jump and landing upright when they leap from one side of a cliff to the other. Tweening animations are used to simulate the natural movement that occurs between the jump and the landing. These transitions are smooth due to the animations, which are also great for helping animators identify different locations for action inside a movement sequence. Tweening is mainly used in stop-motion animation.

3. Created by Junior Artists or Assistants

Tweening is crucial, but in-betweens are generally given less importance than keyframes, which is why it’s frequently assigned to assistants or new animators. For many animators, tweening is usually an entry-level job.

The Origins of Tweening

Every frame is drawn by hand in traditional in-between animation. The finished product might be rendered at a speed of 24 frames per second or “animating on ones.” Alternatively, the 12 frames per second are called animating on twos.

Additionally, it is normal for one project to animate on both ones and two for multiple scenes, depending on the motion that is occurring.

It is uncommon for a head animator to draw every frame by hand, whether the drawing speed is 12 or 24. Instead, keyframes and in-betweens are used to divide the process. Lead animators display the keyframes, which specify the appearance, positions, and other aesthetic and pragmatic factors.

The keyframes determine the primary postures and moments of a shot. Therefore, the in-betweens primarily function as transitions and give the artist less creative freedom and flexibility.

Tweening Functions

There are three crucial functions of tweening animation: one is Motion tweening, two Shape tweening and the other is Classic tweening.

1# Classic Tweens

Classic Tweens
Source: zadokveatch

Classic tweens cause the frames to turn purple. You can use single frames from the frame picker by adding individual keyframes along a Classic tween. You must extend the range of the onion peel in order to view the “path” of the motion. Options for easing can be found in the properties panel on the frame tab.

2# Motion Tweens

Motion Tweens
Source: giphy

The frame turns yellow while using Motion tweens. Although you can add new points of motion to your motion tween, the frame picker does not allow you to choose between individual frames. Symbols may contain looping animations.

On the stage, motion tweens produce a dotted orange line to illustrate the motion’s route. The selection tool can be used to bend the line or move the individual points.

By double-clicking the Motion tweened frame, you may access the ease feature. By doing so, a graph menu displaying the symbol’s X and Y movement over time will be opened.

3# Shape Tweens

Shape Tweens
Source: lhongtortai

Shape tweening is when you draw one shape at one point in time and then change it to a different shape at another point in time. Animate makes it move smoothly from one shape to the other.

How To Make Tweens in Adobe Animate?

Tweens let animations look more realistic; they enable artists to add smooth transitions between keyframes. Here, you can see how the professional’s tween different animation styles on Adobe Animate.

  • Create a new file and save it as an HTML5 file.
  • Click the File menu and select Import > Media.
  • From the drop-down menu, select the HTML5 file you just saved. The file will be opened in its default browser window, where you’ll see another screen.
  • Then click the Webkit (Safari) available on the right side of the screen to switch back to Safari.
  • Then click File > Import and choose your media file that comprises your tween files or folders containing those files. The imported files will be shown in your timeline with their own unique “hash” values (e.g., hash value #0).
  • You can change these hash values by clicking on them in Animate’s Library panel and choosing Change Hash Value (or pressing Command+Shift+H).
  • To make a new tween, click New Tweener on the bottom left side of the Adobe Animate toolbar and choose an animation style from it.

The in-between animation can now be executed automatically by animation using different tools other than Adobe Animate, such as After Effects or Premiere. Additionally, these enable animators to vary how an object travels and transforms within an image to produce fluid transitions.


Animation production companies continue to use the helpful animation method of tweening to produce smoother motion and to convey a more convincing and realistic message to the viewer. As technology develops further, the animation industry adds animation tools to streamline and speed up the animation process.

If you need assistance from a top-notch company to create amazing in-betweening animation, talk to our experts! Anideos is a well-known animation studio that provides solutions to diverse industries and companies and helps them enhance their digital presence. Contact us now!

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Aleena Gill

Aleena Gill

Aleena Gill is a copywriter and content specialist with years of experience in the digital industry. She has a knack for blending creativity with strategic insight that leads businesses of all sizes and niches, particularly animation and tech, to success. Her persuasive and impactful content not just informs, but engages, resonates, and drives results.