Initial doodle where I rough out the key poses- mostly just the anticipation and the end-position poses for each attack. The main thing for flowing combos is having the “end position” of each attack work as a good “anticipation position” to telegraph the next attack.
After putting the key poses on their own layers and making a frame for each layer, I playback, tweak timing and start doing inbetweens.
Most inbetweens I just grab the frame before or after it (depending on which pose it should be closer to) and tweak that instead of drawing a new one from scratch.
Some of them are “overshoots” of attack end-positions (pushing the previous attack end-pose to be more extreme to make a better windup for the next attack), but most are just “cushioning” into/out-of the anticipation frames for attacks- just copies of the anticipation frame tweaked slightly towards the previous/next frame.
Very few are ever real “inbetweens” (where you do a pose half way between the previous and next positions). This kind of exaggerated animation works nicely when you linger on the extremes (anticipate and end-pose) for each attack, and just rush through all the inbetween stuff, usually just hinting at it with a big swipe.
Hope someone finds this interesting 🙂