A to Z of animation (2D and 3D)


In this section, we have jotted down the terms you might encounter in 2D and 3D Animation training in your career. Time to brush up upon a few of them for a better grasp. These are in alphabetical order to the better assortment.


Avatar- Avatar is an animation term use to retarget one skeleton to another.


Boolean operations- There are four major Boolean operations in 3D modeling. The first one is union, which also means addition. The rest is an intersection, subtraction (A-B), and Difference B-A which is also subtraction. Boolean operations are reliable with only solid models. They should not have any holes in the nearby structure. The result of a Boolean operation is possible to be animated in Blender software but you must remember to make the target mesh invisible. You can apply an Edge Split modifier to the image to polish the reflection of the edges.


Color Depth- This defines the color composition and resolution of each color in the pixels. That is an immense part of the entire pictorial caricature. All the best animation courses teach this feature to the students.


Dithering- Dithering is an animation principle which involves fusing differently colored pixels from a small selection of possible colors to make color, not in the near possible range? This is usually done to increase the limited range of colors in many formats such as GIF.


Edgeloop- it is a series of edges that go completely or sometimes partly around an animated polygonal model. The inculcation and sequence of edge loops are particularly important for 3D models that will be animated and is called the model’s topology.


Frame- Frame is a single image or stops shot in any video. This can be an animated or real life video too.


GIF- GIFs are continuous two or three-second repetitive videos which are used in numerous pop culture things. GIFs are very popular among animators these days.


Human template- A Human template is not only used in animation but also in VFX. It can be described as the process of pre-defined bone-mapping. It is also used for matching bones from FBX files to the Avatar.


Inverse kinematics- IK is the ability to control any character’s body parts and movements based on various objects in the frame.


JPEG (Joint Photographic Electronic Group) – A common format of compressing and processing digital images.


Keyframe- It is similar to a frame but in the keyframe, a particular feature or element is precisely defined. The highlighting factor is strengthened.


Local View- the local view of an image manipulates everything else in the scene, even when rendering it. Local view is added with the slash key on the keypad.


Mask- Mask or masking is the technique of using light and dark shades to emphasize the translucent nature of an animated scene. This same feature’s also used in graphics designing.


NPR- The full form is Non-photorealistic rendering. It is utilized in several media projects. Mostly seen implemented in cartoon style rendering in 3-D projects.


Origin- Origin is any point in 3-D model space where the XYZ coordinates are (0, 0, and 0). Origin is also used to describe the pivot point of a mesh. An object’s local origin may be at its geometric center for a simple form like a cube or sphere, or at any other point inside or outside the mesh’s boundary.


PNG- Portable Network Graphic is used to denote images in a certain format. These images are replacing the JPEG formats. They save a lot of time in post-processing and editing. These are also utilized in graphic and web designing.


Quad- It is an abbreviation for quadrilateral. It provides with good assistance for animation and UV mapping.


Rigging- Rigging is the process of giving the characters a bone structure. It gives an armored shape to the characters making them capable of forming bodily functions.


Shape Key- An animated change in a 3-D mesh defined by moving vertices relative to a start arrangement called the basis. Shapekeys allow subtle changes of expression for character emotion and speech.


Translate DoF- These are the three degrees-of-freedom associated with translation (movement in X, Y & Z) as opposed to rotation.


Unwrapping- Unwrapping is the movement of slicing and adjusting the shape of a 3D surface to best display a 2D image that will be shown on it. All films in 3D have to go through a process as a must.


Vertex- Vertex is a point in 3D space defined by XYZ coordinates.


World coordinates- These are the constant XYZ axes in a 3D animated view.


X-sheet- It is known as the Dope Sheet in Blender. In Blender, the Dope Sheet is sometimes referred to as “the Timeline on steroids” and is the most convenient way to adjust timing in an animated scene. With the use of this more than one frame can be duplicated.


Y coordinate- In animation plane, this is one of the coordinates.


Z-fighting- It is the definitive characteristic pattern in a render. This will occur when two surfaces occupy the same location and the rendering engine cannot decide which to place on top of the

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