Animation Terms – Vintage Animation

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Animation Terms – Vintage Animation

Animation Terms – Vintage Animation

This is the fifth post in a five part series of Animation Terms. This is a list of terms that are associated with Classical Animation, a medium that is used much less these days with the onset off Digital 2D and 3D Animation. These terms are still good to know as some still pertain to animation today. There is much to be said about Classical Animation as it will always be the foundation for what we do today.

Acetate – Clear plastic sheets, generally the same size as Animation paper. Drawings were transferred to acetate cells and paint applied. To be combined with a background in one pass these clear sheets with the characters were layed on top of the background paintings. This is where the concept of layers began, like we have in modern software today.

Acme – The peg registration system that has become the most popular standard, once a regional based rival to Oxberry.

Animation Disc – A circular shaped drawing surface that can be back lit. This disc is fitted with peg bars (top and bottom) that are used by an animator to create sequential drawings that are accurately registered to each other.

Animated Zoom – Also known as Animated Camera Move. Involves redrawing an object in order to created the illusion that the camera is moving; may involve a change in perspective.

Bar Chart – Also called a Cue Sheet. A horizontally oriented dope sheet used for frame accurate control over production, usually in connection with sound mix or the shooting of motion graphics. (See also Dope Sheet, Exposure Sheet).

Call-outs – The alphanumeric code associated with a series of drawings, which makes each one unique for doping purposes.

Cel – (see acetate)

Checking – That stage in which all artwork is viewed and compared to the other artwork as well as the dope sheet for accuracy. The task performed by a Checker.

Coverage – To have enough source footage that in editing, the problem does not arise whereby additional footage is needed and jump-cuts are accidentally made.

Dope Sheets – Also known as Exposure Sheets or X-Sheets. Frame accurate graphic representation of the frames in which artwork, images, sound elements, camera moves, etc. are to occur.

Double Exposure – Also known as DX. A percentage mix, usually adding up to 100% exposure in which two or more images appear simultaneously.

Exposure Sheet – (see Dope Sheet)

Flow Chart – Sometimes called Production Chart. A graphic representation of the critical path necessary to meet a production deadline.

Foot Candle – A unit of measure of the intensity of light.

Held Cell – Also known as a Hold. An element that is held still over a series of frames.

Ink and Paint – The task performed by an Inker and Cel-painter.

Multiplane – A camera stand in which the levels are not locked down so that different levels are free to move independently.

Overlay – A level composited over the cel levels of an animation set up. e.g. A cell with foreground element painted on it can be layed over a cell with a character, which is layed over the background layer.

Peg Bar – The flat piece of metal or plexiglass which slides across the bottom and top of the Animation Disk and holds the pegs. These pegs secure the animation paper together so that they don’t shift around. (Invented by Canadian Raoul Barré who is most famous for animating Felix the Cat cartoons).

Pencil Test – Sometimes called a Line Test. A lo-res version of the animation (line drawings) which is shot with a camera and rendered out for checking the timing of the animation. This process is strictly for the purpose of animators checking their work.

Registration – The lining up an pegging of drawings or artwork so they are lined up accurately.

Roughs – Also seen as Ruffs. Animation in which the broad action is conveyed but the details are left out. Blue line drawings that are loose. (see also Pencil Test).

Splicer – A device for cutting and joining (either by tape or glue) film, in order to edit it into a continuous length for viewing.

Track Breakdown – Also known as Sound Breakdown. The transposing to frame accurate dopesheets the points at which a piece of dialogue’s individual phonemes begin and end.

Underlay – A rendered BG style element that is leveled under one or more animation levels. (eg. so that a character can pass over, or in front of it). Similar to the overlay, except usually placed under the character layer.