Glossary of Animation Terms
Backgrounds â€“ Backgrounds are basically the scenery for an animation. They may appear behind and/or in front of the action.
Bar Sheets, Dope Sheets â€“ Bar sheets contain all of the soundtrack information. Bar sheet information is transferred to the Dope Sheet. The Dope sheet contains all of the instructions for the animation and filming.
Character Designs â€“ Each character for an animated film is drawn from multiple angles in poster style format called a model sheet which serves as reference for the animators.
Cleanup â€“ The process whereby the rough animations are refined to produce a consistent style and line.
Dope Sheets, Bar Sheets â€“ Bar sheets contain all of the soundtrack information. Bar sheet information is transferred to the Dope Sheet. The Dope sheet contains all of the instructions for the camera.
Double Bounce Walk â€“ In the key frames and passing positions in a double bounce walk, the body is lower than a reference line drawn in the upright position. During the inbetweens, body is above this line giving the appearance of a bounce.
Graticule â€“ This is graduated reference used by the animator to delineate the area of his drawing that will be in the camera frame.
Inbetween â€“ Inbetweens are the frame by frame drawings between Key Frames.
Key Frames â€“ Key frames are the Key poses in an animated sequence.
Lightbox â€“ In order to effectively draw frame by frame the slight changes in movement necessary to produce animation, the artist must be able to trace parts of the drawing from one frame to the next. This is facilitated by backlighting the paper held by the peg bar on the animation disk. This type of animation station is commonly called a lightbox.
Passing Position â€“ In drawing a walk sequence for a character, the point where one leg passes the other is the passing position.
Peg Bar â€“ The peg bar is a bar on the animation station or lightbox with 2 to 3 pegs that fit precisely into holes in the animation paper thereby holding the paper in position for the animator.
Slowing In and Slowing Out â€“ This is precisely what it says. In an animation sequence certain actions are either slowed or speeded up to accentuate the entertainment value of the scene. The fewer the drawings in a sequence the faster the animation will appear and, conversely, the more drawings, the slower the action will appear.
Storyboard â€“ A story is a series of drawings depicting the action of the story to be animated.
Trace and Paint â€“ After the rough animations have gone through cleanup and a final line or pencil test, each drawing is traced and painted for the final animation. In todayâ€™s digital world, this may be done in a variety ways other than the traditional celluloid or acetate.
Track Breakdown â€“ The soundtrack for animated film is broken down into individual sounds documenting the precise frame by frame position of each sound.
Walk Cycles â€“ In order to avoid making innumerable drawings, animators routinely make a walk cycle for their character. This comprises a series of drawings â€œon the spotâ€ that describe the walk for that character. The illusion of movement is created with background pans.
Want learn more about animation and animation terms, get a copy of “The Animator’s Workbook” by Tony White.