This video was useful for understanding how timing can be broken down and thought of as different sub areas. The analogy of timing, spacing and phrasing as a sentence was particularly helpful.
These are my notes from the video:
Keith Lango VTS05 (July 2005) Timing Part I
Timing and posing greatly rely on each other to create weight and believability.
Lango splits timing into 3 main area:
Timing is how long it takes to get from pose a to pose b. Timing has to be acted out. This cannot be figured out from your chair. Get the poses right and then figure out their timing.
Spacing is the speed within timing, the lingering and rushing. Spacing creates the character.
Phrasing – is timing and spacing within context. Phrasing is how the timing and spacing of each sub action is arranged together to emphasise the most important action of the scene. Timing is like the words in a sentence, spacing is how fast or slow each word is said to give the sentence character/flavour and phrasing is how each sentence is put together in a paragraph to lead to a point of emphasis.
Be aware that timing problems need to be fixed by changing the timing and pose problems need to be fixed by changing the pose (even though both inform eachother).