GLOSSARY or the most used terms in 3D animation

Hi everybody (Translation in progress),
People often asked me the meaning of this or that word…
The truth is that it's quite dificul to see clear with all that terminology and I've noticed that some animators get confused and mix some terms.
That's why I leave you here a lexicon of the most used words wich I have separated into those categories for an easy searching:


PIPELINE : Structure through which passes a shot through the studio and production.
Animatic : Animatic or Leica, audiovisual piece which mix storyboard with the audio track synchronously.
Animation : Process used by one or more animators to give the feeling of movement to images or drawings or other inanimate objects.
Atrezzo : Any object place in the stage that is not used by a character or animated.
Feedback : Constructive criticism in order to improve the work.
Fixing : Post-animation process in which are fixed collisions, penetrations or other problems.
Hook up : Or raccord, refers to the relationship between the different shots of a film, so the illusion of sequence is never broken. Each shot must be related to the previous and serve as a basis for the next one.
Layout : Stage in which the position of the characters is decided, the staging and timing as well as the angle and position of the camera is planned, where the light comes from and how shadows are cast.
Leica : Synonymous of Animatica.
Point Cache : Modifier that creates a 3D model for each frame based position of the vertices. That avoids rig failures in render and brings a lighter file format to the following departments.
Postproduction : A post production stage wich includes editing, color correction, special effects…
Preproduction : Previous stage of production in which the material is prepared : Design, color script, animatic, storyboard.
Production : Stage in which the project is develop : animation, lighting, render…
Prop : Any objects that can be animated (and therefore rigged), used or not by the character.
Proxy : Low resolution model of an object, character or stage to increase the performance of a scene.
Set : Scene staged to create animation.
Shot : is the smallest fragment of a film; the time between 2 camera cuts.
Simulation : Post-animation stage in which the movement of the hair or fabric is simulated.
Storyboard : Set of illustrations displayed in sequence in order to serve as a guide to understand a story, pre visualize an animation or follow the structure of a film before it is create or film.

WORKFLOW : Methodologies and tools to make work more ergonomic and effective.
Casting : Stage in which you seek for all the information necessary to do what the director and production asked you for.
Gathering : Stage in which you do a work of imagination and exploration t create an entertaining shot.
Planning : Stage in which you plan your work in order to be clear and original.
Technical Layout : Stage in which you investigate all the technical problems and set the scene to be effective.
Staging : Stage in which the staging is done and checked the narrative and choreography.
Blocking : Stage at which all the major poses are created for the director so he'll have all the information of timing and poses you want to transmit.
Blocking Advance : Stage which you for seek energy and check that the physical properties works thanks o your rythm and spacing.
Splinning : Stage which you go in spline mode, work on the body dynamics and check that everything is fluid and readable for the director.
Polishing : Stage in which the shot is refined, arcs are checked and where you add more texture.
Shipping : Stage in which you check that you scene is clean, with its proper nomenclature for the following departments and ensure that everyone knows about it.
Exposure sheet : Exposure Sheet (or X-sheet, for short), is a table which containing a breakdown of the action, dialogue and sound, for each frame of the animation and guides the animator.
Phrasing : is the process of separating the actions of a shot in short sentences.
Thumbnails : Small sketches to plan animation.

SOFTWARE : set of programs, instructions and rules that allow you to run various tasks on a computer system.
Auto Tangent : Mode animation curves where the curves are smoothed and eliminates overshoots.
Constraint : Lock position and rotation of an object on another to vehicularlo. For example, a hand on a door.
Contact : Contact with an object or body part to another. Particular attention is the "lands" or when the contact is created and "takes off" moments in which leaves the contact.
FK : O Forward Kinematic, Technique used by the computer to calculate the position of parts of a structure according to their joints.
Frame : Image in a succession of images.
Ghosting : Also known as "onion-skinning", is a display mode which displays a series of images in a transparent animated objects in the current frame. This lets you easily visualize the movement of an object which can help you improve your timing and fluidity.
Gimbal Lock : Lock to dimensional rotation to overlap two rotation axes.
GUI : The GUI, also known as GUI (del inglés graphical user interface) is a computer program that interfaces user, using a set of images and graphic objects to represent the information and actions available on the interface. Its main use, to provide a simple visual environment to allow communication with the operating system of a machine or computer.
IK : Or Inverse Kinematic is the technique to determine the movement of a chain of joints to make a final actuator to be located in a specific position.
Interpolation : The way in which a computer calculates the path between 2 points. There may be different types of interpolations, tales como linear, spline, stepped.
Layer : Layer animation or display.
Linear Mode : Mode animation curves which the key is linear interpolation between.
Motion Path : ver Path of action.
Offset : Offset movement.
Picker : See Sinoptic.
Pole vector : Driver shift knees or elbows.
Pose to pose : Animation method in which the movements are broken down into key poses structured series.
Preset : User preferences about a program.
Rig : Skeleton of a character or object accompanied by their drivers.
Rotoscopy : Technique that involves replacing the frames of an actual filming of drawings "modeled" on each frame.
Sinoptic : Or Picker is the graphical interface control and selection of a character.
Spline Mode : Mode animation curves defined by the type of tangents creating a smooth interpolation.
Step Mode : Mode animation curves in which you jump from one key to another without interpolation.
Straight ahead : Animation method which creates a continuous action, step by step.
Tangent : Control points to adjust the interpolation between two keys.
Timeline : Bar time frame in which the keys are represented.
Trajectory : Path successive positions through which passes a moving body.

BASIC FOUNDATIONS : The knowledge of the laws of physics and biomechanics.
8 Figure : Particular type of arc-shaped 8.
Arcs : Usual path of a structure with joints.
Balance : Balance is when the sum of forces and momentums on all parts of the body are canceled.
Biomecanics : Interdisciplinary area of ​​knowledge that studies the kinematic and mechanical phenomena that have considered living beings as complex systems composed of tissues, solid and mechanical bodies. So biomechanics is interested in movement, balance, physics, the resistance, injury mechanisms that may occur in the human body as a result of various physical actions.
Body Angles : Angles formed by the line of the pelvis with shoulders.
Body Dynamics : Part of physiology that studies the activity of biological phenomena.
Breaking joints : Bending a joint in the opposite direction to its normal rotation, which makes this position seems broken. It is used to create the illusion of flexibility and it appears that this waving a piece of flexible rubber.
Cycle : Repeat any periodic phenomenon, in which, after a certain time, the system state or some of their magnitudes return to a previous configuration. Animation, en general, that term refers to walking or running cycle.
Drag : O Beginning of the wave, It occurs as a result of friction or resistance, such as air or water, or because different parts of a character receive different amounts of inertia.
Follow through : When a character changes direction and body parts continue in the direction in which it was previously.
Force : Any agent capable of modifying the amount of movement or shape of the materials.
Fulcrum : Support point.
Mass : Measurement of the amount of matter that has a body.
Overlap : When body parts continue the movement after the character has stopped.
Overlapping action : The action of a move to offset that not all arrive at the same time. This flexibility allows us to simulate the movement does not seem rigid or move to block.
Path of action : Path through which passes the center of a moving object.
Physic Laws : Theoretical principle deducted from facts, applicable to a set of phenomena that can be stated as a group to a particular phenomenon that always occurs if certain conditions occur.
Power center : Imaginary point that seems to be the energy source of a character that influences your posture, gestures and actions.
Slow in : Deceleration. Slowing in to the pose.
Slow out : Acceleration. Slowing out of the pose.
Squash and stretch : That means compression (Squash) and stretching (Strech) of an animated object without changing its apparent volume.
Successive Breaking Joints : Overlap principle applied to a chain of bones (for instance, as the arm) to give flexibility to a movement.
Weight : A measure of the gravitational force acting on an object. The weight equals the force exerted by one body on a support, caused by the action of the local gravitational field on body mass.
Weight shift : Weight change of a fulcrum to another.

TIMING : The time taken for a moving object to go from one position to another.
Accent : Relief that is given to a syllable in a word by a rise in the tone of voice or in the case of an acting, an action to highlight a movement.
Breakdown : Pose describing how the character or object moves from one key pose (extreme) to the other.
Ease : Inbetweens that define accelerations or decelerations (slow in/out) at the beginning and end of a movement.
Extreme : The start or end point of an action.
Favor / Favoring : Is the fact give more influence a pose or other breakdown in defining the spacing.
Hold : Pose fixed without any kind of movement.
Inbetween : Pose IN BETWEEN between breakdowns and poses (Key Poses, Anticipation and Reaction).
Key Pose : Important positions for action that defines the beginning and end of a movement. Keys or key poses are the main drawings in an animation describing the motion.
Moving hold : A minimal amount of movement used to keep a character alive while still communicating a strong stance or attitude.
Overshoot : Pose that briefly crosses the boundaries of a key pose and then return to it.
Rough Timing : Stage where roughly the timing works.
Rythm : Strong movement marked by the regular succession of weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions.
Spacing : The manner in which a moving object covers a distance from one position to the next.
Texture : Timing differences, spacing and emotional range within a scene animation, to keep it interesting and believable scene to an audience.

POSE : Pose or position of a character that describes or expresses something.
Anticipation : Pose that precedes and prepares an action.
Attitude pose : A pose that represents through the whole body what a character is thinking or feeling.
Down position : In a cycle, pose the lowest due to the receipt of weight.
Eccentric Action : Fast and small movement within an action that can not be interspersed routinely. For example, a tremor, one finger gestito, un eye dart…
Golden Pose : Poses which define the narrative of a shot.
Inner Silhouette : Internal silhouette of a character.
Line of action : An imaginary line that can be drawn along the pose of a character.
Passing Position : On the walk, It is the intermediate pose in which one leg passes in front of the other.
Reaction : Pose resulting from an action or movement.
Silhouette : View of some object that is inside the outline and a featureless. Shape having in view the mass of an object darker than the background on which projects.
Twinning : Term used when half of a character is reflected in the other half, as if it were a mirror, and creates an unnatural symmetrical appearance.
Volume : The amount of space a character takes; even if a character is crushed, stretched or distorted, its volume remains constant.

ACTING : The art of transmiting through body language, a good sense of timing and strong poses.
Appeal : The quality of a character to attract the eye and please the audience thanks to its design and personality, and overall quality of animation.
Blink : Blink.
Body Languaje : Kinesics, cinésica, or body language is the broad term for forms of communication in which body movements and gestures involved, instead of (or in addition to) the sounds, verbal language or other forms of communication.
Character : Each of the persons or things, whether human, animals or of any other nature, real or imagined, appearing in an artistic work.
Cliché : It refers to a phrase, expression, action or idea that has been overused, to the point where it loses strength or purported novelty, especially if at first it was considered remarkably powerful and innovative.
Choreography : The art of creating harmonious structures where movements happen.
Exaggeration : It is to increase or decrease qualities or actions, so that you receive the message you give more importance to the quality of the action.
Eye Dart : Rapidly changing focus of the look of a point to another.
Lipsync : Or lipsync, It is the process of synchronizing the lips and tongue with audio.
Monolgue/Inner Monolgue : Speech issuing a single person to both a single receiver entity; (you can be yourself) as to other receptors (characters, audience, auditorium, for one thing, a character or a narrator).
Mood : The state of mind, it is an attitude or emotional disposition at a particular time. It is not a temporary emotional state. It is a state, a way to stay, to be, which it lasts longer and fade over the rest of the psychic world.
Pantomime : Drama that focuses on representing a story using mime, involved no dialogue or spoken words, instead involved expressions, gestures and body movements that allow the viewer understand the story.
Secondary action : Small auxiliary movements destined to enrich the main action without distracting.
Thought Process : Step through which passes a character to reach a thought, a deduction or emotion.

I hope It was clear. If you have any questions or if I forgot a word, do not hesitate to let me know in the comments of this blog or facebook page.

Note: A tip, use the shortcut Ctrl + F to search a particular word.

I hope it helped you...
Keep animating!!!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *