Animation Software Terms

Animation Software Terms
When using animation software, there are several common terms with which you need familiarity. Although there are slight differences in the use of these terms between software, the basic definition does not change.

Document: As in most software, each individually contained project is called a document.

Keyframes: In keyframe-based animations, the duration of the animation is divided into equal sections called keyframes. Keyframes in animation are the equivalent to individual frames in a film reel.

Timeline: The timeline is a linear-based visualization of the duration of an animation. One could say that the keyframes of an animation are placed one after the other alone this timeline. An animation has one Main timeline but can also have several secondary timelines.

Elements: Elements are the individual objects on the screen within a scene.

Animation: Animation is created from the movement or the change of state of an element or group of elements on the screen between start and ending keyframes along the timeline. For example, an object or element can be animated by moving from point A to point B or changing from one color to another.

Properties: Each element has its own attributes such as width, height, color, opacity and more. Each of these properties can be changed to create animation.

Motion Paths: When an element on the screen moves from on point to a second point, the “path” the element takes over the screen is the motion path. Motion paths can be straight or curved.

Symbols: Symbols are a special type of element in a scene. You can think of a symbol as a box containing all the information about the element, such as location on the screen, color, size and more. This boxed version of an element can be reused within an animation. Each reuse of the symbol is called an instance of the symbol. As it takes less CPU to create an instance of an element than to create a new element each time the element is on the screen, using symbols will optimize the animation.

Scenes: Scenes are major sections of the overall animation project. An animation can have one or several scenes.

Behaviors: Behaviors are a preset group of actions used to create animation. For example, the fade out behavior changes the opacity of an element on the screen from its original opacity to zero.

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