Animation Terminology

Animation Terminology


1. Animation

-the techniques used in the production of animated cartoons

2. Lead (Key) Animator

This animator is responsible for creating and animating one particular character in the film.

3. Character Models

The first thing a Key Animator does is to create a model sheet of their character. This contains the character in a variety of facial expressions and poses which will be the model for every time they are drawn.

4. Marquette

A statue that is based off of the model sheet. This allows everyone to see the character in three dimensions.

5. Rough Animation Drawings

Original first sketches of a character in action. In computer animation this is done with wire-frames.

6. Key Drawings

These are done by the Lead Animator alone. A general rule is that one key drawing is done for every 5 frames of film.

7. Inbetweens

These are completed by an Animation Assistant and compromise the drawings done between the key drawings

8. Breakdowns

The drawing that is at the center mark from one key drawing to the next. (If the scene was a car driving right to left across the screen. The key drawings are the car entering and exiting the scene and the breakdown is the car at the center spot of the screen.)

9. Clean ups

“˜Tracings’ made of the rough drawings on which color and shading specifications are marked.

10. Background Drawing

The area over which the action takes places. There are usually far fewer backgrounds in a film compared to cels.

11. Cel

This is a clear piece of plastic (generally 12 ½ by 16 ½) onto which an image is drawn. This image is one that is made from the clean up. The picture’s outline is drawn on the front of the cel and then it is colored along the back.

12. Sequence

All of cel’s are then put together to form a sequence (or scene).

13. Timing Out

This is an animation key. It involves setting all of the on screen action to the proper beats

14. Rendering

This is the final step when animating by computer. During rendering, the computer takes each pixel that appears on screen and processes all of the components as well as adding some motion blur before it spits out a final image.

15. Motion Blur

Done through the computer, it helps bring the frames together, eliminating the jumpiness that can come from computer imaging.

16. Depth of Field

This is particularly important in computer animated efforts, it deals with the range of depths over which objects in a frame are in focus. This is easy to accomplish in live action photography but when dealing in animation it becomes somewhat tricky. The objects that are opposite of what you want the viewer to focus on will be rendered blurry so that the eye is forced to focus on the next focal place.

17. Rotoscoping

This is an interesting process used to amazing effects in the max Fleisher Superman cartoons of the 1930’s. A live action film is taken and frame by frame traced over. These tracings are then copied onto cels. This gives the animated film tremendous reality

18. Stop-­‐Motion

A precise animation technique in which a model is moved by hand one small bit at a time. Each movement is photographed so that when it is played back the model appears to be in continuous motion.

19. Claymation

A form of stop motion where the objects to be animated are made of clay. Wallace and Gromit and the California Raisins are examples of this art.

20. Puppetoons

A form of stop motion where the objects to be animated are made of clay. Wallace and Gromit and the California Raisins are examples of this art.

21. Flash

The most common animation program for the Internet. Many animations’ found on WebPages are done with Flash.

22. Shockwave

A computer animation program. This has become popular with many of the Internet sites that provide cartoons.

23. Anime

popular in Japan, this animation style is known for its dark feel and real world  look.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s