The amount of delay in an overlapping action has to directly correspond with the weight, speed, and emotion of the main move that it's working with. If the main body move is fast and snappy, then I will give other parts of the body that are overlapping less frames of delay before they execute. If the move is slow and heavy, there will be more of a delay. The amount of frames to delay is always directly relative to the size and speed of the move it is following. This definitely is a skill that comes with observation and lots of practice. You have to learn how to 'feel' the weight of the things you're animating.
Guest blogger Dana Boadway