Typically in animation we see credits for key frame animation and inbetween animation.

A key animator is the artist responsible for producing the principal key frames of an animation. Basically key animators draw the essential frames that mark a distinct position or expression of a character in a particular scene. In other words, they draw the structure of a animated scene.

In order to complete the animation and make sure it moves fluidly, additional frames are required to go between key frames, this is called in-between animation.

In the credits of a lot of anime nowadays you see something called "second key" animation. What purpose do they serve in an anime production?

1 Answer 1


According to Anipages, a blog by Ben Ettinger about the world of anime and animation.

第二原画 Daini Genga = Second Key Animation

Traditionally in anime, after key animation, the next step would be for the animation director to check the key animation and apply the necessary corrections to bring the characters to model. A new role was recently invented as a buffer between the key animator and the animation director: second key animation.

Nigen 二原 for short, second key animation is a relatively new concept in anime. This person does what in the west is known as "cleanup" - cleaning up the rough genga before they're passed on to the animation director to be checked. This step permits key animators to pump out more animation than if they had to produce a more polished shot. For example, an animator who might be good at action can draw several complicated shots in rough form in the time it might take them to draw one polished shot. A nigen would then clean it up. Infrequently you will also see a daiichi genga 第一原画 or first key animation credit, which is presumably a way of distinguishing between the people who drew the rough key animation intended to be cleaned up by the daini genga crew and the people who drew regular key animation.

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