Pencil Test is a traditional technique used to test the timing and spacing of an animated sequence among other things. Traditionally animators would create rough sketches or drawings with a pencil on paper. Then they would shoot those drawings on film and develop them before they could be seen.
Value of Pencil Test
You need to review and correct your drawings before you spend the time to ink and paint them. That way you can find and correct problems like timing errors, awkward movements, or inconsistencies in character shape, size and animation. Pencil Tests also help you fine-tune the performance of the characters. This helps you make sure the movements and expressions tell the story and convey the desired emotions effectively.
Digital Pencil Test
Now days we can shoot the drawings with a webcam or draw them right into the computer with a graphics tablet or on the computers display. Then we can play them back instantly.
Many studios use DigiCel FlipBook for their pencil tests because it most closely simulates the traditional method. This allows animators to work in a way that is still familiar and comfortable.
Timing and spacing are a very important part making animation look smooth and natural. Changing the spacing requires new drawings. But FlipBook lets you fix the timing while the scene. This lets you see the results immediately. No other app can do that. This helps you experiment and learn timing better than any other app.