Timing refers to the amount of time imparted into an animation to convey an idea, motion, effect, and so on. Familiar to dancers, musicians and actors, timing is the essential building block of the choreography or arrangement. A proper study of timing will yield a successful animation, whereas, should timing be ignored, the result will not be believable. There are many resources available with which to learn proper Timing for Animation (even a book!)
Think about this: as you go about your day, think about the amount of time it takes to get something done. Not so much like making breakfast, but rather the individual actions involved in making breakfast:
- walking to the refrigerator
- getting out the eggs
- cracking the eggs into the pan
- cooking the eggs
- serving the eggs
Each of these steps involves a certain rythmn, and takes a certain amount of time to achieve. Too fast, and it might appear silly and slapstick. Too slow, and it might belabor your intent to the point of boredom. You’re looking for “just right” here. Getting the “timing right” is literally a symphony of motion, with the animator as conductor.