Common Terms in Animation Software Stage Library Timeline Frame Keyframe Playhead Frames per Second Layers
Stage The part of the animation program window where the animations content is composed and manipulated.
Library Stores frequently used graphics, movie clips, and buttons.
Timeline The part of the animation program window that organizes and controls an animations content over time using layers and frames. In video-editing software, where source clips, transitions, and audio files are arranged to create the video.
Parts of the Timeline
Frames Frames hold the content that the movie displays or plays at that point in time. The number of frames determines the length of the animation. The higher the number of frames, the longer the animation.
Regular Frames Contain one image or frame. Regular Frame
Keyframes Shows where the key (most important) actions occur. Shows where tweening will occur. Keyframes Image used with permission from
Playhead Vertical red marker in the timeline that shows which frame is the current frame.
Scrubbing Dragging the playhead across the timeline in order to preview the animation.
Frames Per Second (FPS) The number of frames that appear in one second of the animation.
If the animation program creates movies at 12 fps (frames per second) by default, inserting a keyframe and change once every 12 frames results in a change in action for every second. A project with 60 frames results in a 5-second movie. Frames Per Second (continued)
Layers Timeline is divided into layers to help organize content and allow the different layers to be edited separately. Sound would be on a separate layer. Text would be on a separate layer. A motion path would be on a separate layer. Layers
Motion Guide Layer Layer on which a motion path is drawn. Objects on different layers can be linked to the motion layer so they will follow the motion path. Once linked, they become guided layers Multiple objects can be linked to one motion layer. Text layers can also be linked to a motion layer. Motion Guide Layer
Screenshots from Different Animation Software Packages
Flash This Image has been used with permission from: /http://glennward.co.uk/2009/09/1-1-introduction-to-adobe-flash-the-workspace-and-tools /
Synfig Image created by Ricardo Graça and used with permission from:
Autodesk 3ds Max This image used with permission from:
Guidelines For Designing Frame-by-Frame Computer Animations
Insert keyframes at each change in the action Content on keyframes can be changed by: Adding and deleting objects. Replacing one object with another. Moving objects, resizing, or rotating objects. All these actions simulate some kind of motion or action.
Add a keyframe at the point where the animation will stop. Allow sufficient time for the image to be viewed after the final content change. Guidelines For Creating Frame- by-Frame Animations (continued) For example, if a new graphic is inserted at frame 35, place the final keyframe at frame 50 to allow time for the display of the final graphic.
Purpose Fair use situations Public domain material
Review Parts of Computer Animation Software Stage Library Timeline Parts of the Timeline Frame Keyframe Playhead Frames per Second Layers
Review (Continued) Guidelines for Designing Animation Insert keyframes at each change in the action Change keyframes by: Adding and deleting objects. Replacing one object with another. Moving objects, resizing, or rotating objects. Add a keyframe at the point where the animation will stop. Allow sufficient time for the image to be viewed after the final content change.