Animator’s Dictionary

Here bellow are some Jargons that all Animators has to know. I hope this will be usefull for all animators as some new knowledge for The Rookies and reminder for The Profesionals!…

  • Anticipation – The smaller preparatory action that precedes a major action, used to show that a character must physically prepare to perform an action or gesture.
  • Atitude Pose – A pose that expresses, through the entire body, what a character is thinking and feeling.
  • Atitude walk – a walk that expresses, both through poses and movement, how a characters feels.
  • Breakdown – The initial drawing or position mada between two keys, which defines how a character transitions from one idea to the next.
  • Cushion In and Out – The drawings that accelerate out of a pose, spaced progresively farther apart ( so the action does not start abruptly), and decelerate into the following pose, spacedprogresively closer together (to complete the action with a smooth settling-in). Also known “Slow-out and Slow-in.
  • Drag – The drawing of actions that indicates a portion of a character lagging behind, used to create more fluidity in the perceived movement.
  • Extreme – A key pose that is the most exagerated or dynamic point of particular action.
  • Follow-Through – The natural elaboration of an action that shows how one part leads organically to the next until the next action is resolved.
  • Keys – the important drawings or poses in a scene that establish the basic tentpoles of the movement and performance.
  • Layout – The Setting in which the animate action takes place, indicating sizes of characters in relation to their background, perspective, camera position and movement, major position of the characters within the scene, lighting and composition of the shot.
  • Line of Action – The first line indicated in the pose, showing the basic overall posture, prior to adding the rest of the details.
  • LipSync – The animation of lip and mouth shapes iin syncronization to the dialogue.
  • Overlap – The actions that indicate that not all parts of the character arrive at the same time, and can go past the point of arrival and settle back. Used to indicate weight, movement of clothing, hair, etc.
  • Pantomime – An animation scene that has no dialogue, in which a character’s thought and emotion are express entirely through his poses, expression, and movement.
  • Passing Position – In a walk, the intermediate pose in which one leg is passing in front of the other.
  • Pose to Pose – The method of animating by establishing key poses first, and then doing back to complete the breakdowns and inbetween.
  • Recoil – The after effect of an abrupt stop, wher a character (or parts of the character) go past the eventual final pose and settle back into it.
  • Secondary Action – Action animated in addition to a major action, used to show nuance within the main idea. For example, a major action could be a character settling into an impatient pose; the secondary action could be the character tapping his foot impatiently to a faster rhythm.
  • Silhouette – The overall shape of a pose, which should bread clearly even when the pose is blacked without its internal details.
  • Spacing – The process of determining how far apart the position should be from one another, based on the knoledge that the farther, the faster the action, the closer together, the slower the action.
  • Staging – The positioning of the characters in a scene for maximum emotional content and clear readibility of actions.
  • Thumbnails – A series of a quick sketches (usually small) used to figure out major poses and story telling drawings in a scene.
  • Timing – The process of determining how long it takes to to move from one key pose to the next.
  • Weight – Indication of a character’s poundage, shown through the timing, overlap, and style of movement.

PS. If you have anything to add to this dictionary please email me ( or messege me on Twitter ( and I will add the words into this Dictionary.