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Timeline glossary

This section provides an alphabetical list of the terminology used throughout the Timeline documentation.

animatable propertyA property belonging to a GameObject, or belonging to a component added to a GameObject, that can have different values over time. More info
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: A property belonging to a GameObjectThe fundamental object in Unity scenes, which can represent characters, props, scenery, cameras, waypoints, and more. A GameObject’s functionality is defined by the Components attached to it. More info
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, or belonging to a component added to a GameObject, that can have different values over time.

animationA collection of images that create a moving image when played sequentially. In Unity, an animation is the result of adding two different animation keys, at two different times, for the same animatable property. More info
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: The result of adding two different keys, at two different times, for the same animatable property.

animation curveThe curve drawn between keys set for the same animatable property, at different frames or seconds. The position of the tangents and the selected interpolation mode for each key determines the shape of the animation curve. More info
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: The curve drawn between keys set for the same animatable property, at different frames or seconds. The position of the tangents and the selected interpolation mode for each key determines the shape of the animation curve.

binding or Track binding: Refers to the link between Timeline AssetAny media or data that can be used in your game or Project. An asset may come from a file created outside of Unity, such as a 3D model, an audio file or an image. You can also create some asset types in Unity, such as an Animator Controller, an Audio Mixer or a Render Texture. More info
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tracks and the GameObjects in the sceneA Scene contains the environments and menus of your game. Think of each unique Scene file as a unique level. In each Scene, you place your environments, obstacles, and decorations, essentially designing and building your game in pieces. More info
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. When you link a GameObject to a track, the track animates the GameObject. Bindings are stored as part of the Timeline instance.

blendTransition from one animation to another animation smoothly and seamlessly, such as blending a character’s walking and running animations according to the character’s speed.
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and blend areaThe area where two Animation clips, Audio clips, or Control clips overlap. The overlap creates a transition that is referred to as a blend. The duration of the overlap is referred to as the blend area. The blend area sets the duration of the transition. More info
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: The area where two Animation clipsAnimation data that can be used for animated characters or simple animations. It is a simple “unit” piece of motion, such as (one specific instance of) “Idle”, “Walk” or “Run”. More info
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, Audio clipsA container for audio data in Unity. Unity supports mono, stereo and multichannel audio assets (up to eight channels). Unity can import .aif, .wav, .mp3, and .ogg audio file format, and .xm, .mod, .it, and .s3m tracker module formats. More info
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, or Control clips overlap. The overlap creates a transition that is referred to as a blend. The duration of the overlap is referred to as the blend area. The blend area sets the duration of the transition.

Blend In curveIn a blend between two Animation clips, Audio clips, or Control clips, there are two blend curves. The blend curve for the incoming clip is referred to as the Blend In curve. More info
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: In a blend between two Animation clips, Audio clips, or Control clips, there are two blend curves. The blend curve for the incoming clip is referred to as the Blend In curve.

Blend Out curve: In a blend between two Animation clips, Audio clips, or Control clips, there are two blend curves. The blend curve for the out-going clip is referred to as the Blend Out curve.

clipA generic term that refers to any clip within the Clips view of the Timeline Editor window. More info
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: A generic term that refers to any clip within the Clips view of the Timeline Editor window.

Clips viewThe area in the Timeline Editor window where you add, position, and manipulate clips. More info
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: The area in the Timeline Editor window where you add, position, and manipulate clips.

Control/Command: This term is used when instructing the user to press or hold down the Control key on Windows, or the Command key on Mac.

Curves viewThe area in the Timeline Editor window that shows the animation curves for Infinite clips or for Animation clips that have been converted from Infinite clips. The Curves view is similar to Curves mode in the Animation window. More info
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: The area in the Timeline Editor window that shows the animation curves for Infinite clips or for Animation clips that have been converted from Infinite clips. The Curves view is similar to Curves mode in the Animation window.

Gap extrapolationHow an Animation track approximates animation data in the gaps before and after an Animation clip. More info
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: How an Animation track approximates animation data in the gaps before and after an Animation clip.

fieldA generic term that describes an editable box that the user clicks to enter a value. Editable fields in the inspector are also commonly referred to as fields. More info
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: A generic term that describes an editable box that the user clicks and types-in a value. A field is also referred to as a propertyA generic term for the editable fields, buttons, checkboxes, or menus that comprise a component. An editable property is also referred to as a field. More info
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.

incoming clip: The second clip in a blend between two clips. The first clip, the out-going clip, transitions to the second clip, the incoming clipThe second clip in a blend between two clips. The first clip, the out-going clip, transitions to the second clip, the incoming clip. More info
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.

infinite clipA special animation clip that contains basic key animation recorded directly to an Animation track within the Timeline Editor window. An Infinite clip cannot be positioned, trimmed, or split because it does not have a defined duration: it spans the entirety of an Animation track. More info
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: A special animation clip that contains basic key animation recorded directly to an Animation track within the Timeline Editor window. An Infinite clip cannot be positioned, trimmed, or split because it does not have a defined duration: it spans the entirety of an Animation track.

interpolationThe estimation of values that determine the shape of an animation curve between two keys. More info
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: The estimation of values that determine the shape of an animation curve between two keys.

interpolation modeThe interpolation algorithm that draws the animation curve between two keys. The interpolation mode also joins or breaks left and right tangents. More info
See in Glossary
: The interpolation algorithm that draws the animation curve between two keys. The interpolation mode also joins or breaks left and right tangents.

keyCan refer to an Input Key or an Animation Key
See in Glossary
: The value of an animatable property, set at a specific point in time. Setting at least two keys for the same property creates an animation.

out-going clipThe first clip in a blend between two clips. The first clip, the out-going clip, transitions to the second clip, the incoming clip. More info
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: The first clip in a blend between two clips. The first clip, the out-going clip, transitions to the second clip, the incoming clip.

Playhead Location fieldThe field that expresses the location of the Timeline Playhead in either frames or seconds, depending on the Timeline Settings. More info
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: The field that expresses the location of the Timeline Playhead in either frames or seconds, depending on the Timeline Settings.

property: A generic term for the editable fields, buttons, checkboxes, or menus that comprise a component. An editable field is also referred to as a field.

tangentOne of two handles that controls the shape of the animation curve before and after a key. Tangents appear when a key is selected in the Curves view, or when a key is selected in the Curve Editor.
See in Glossary
: One of two handles that controls the shape of the animation curve before and after a key. Tangents appear when a key is selected in the Curves view, or when a key is selected in the Curve Editor.

tangent modeThe selected interpolation mode used by the left tangent, right tangent, or both tangents.
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: The selected interpolation mode used by the left tangent, right tangent, or both tangents.

TimelineGeneric term within Unity that refers to all features, windows, editors, and components related to creating, modifying, or reusing cut-scenes, cinematics, and game-play sequences. More info
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or Unity’s Timeline: Generic terms that refer to all features, windows, editors, and components related to creating, modifying, or reusing cut-scenes, cinematics, and game-play sequences.

Timeline AssetRefers to the tracks, clips, and recorded animation that comprise a cinematic, cut-scene, game-play sequence, or other effect created with the Timeline Editor window. A Timeline Asset does not include bindings to the GameObjects animated by the Timeline Asset. The bindings to scene GameObjects are stored in the Timeline instance. The Timeline Asset is Project-based. More info
See in Glossary
: Refers to the tracks, clips, and recorded animation that comprise a cinematic, cut-scene, game-play sequence, or other effect created with the Timeline Editor window. A Timeline Asset does not include bindings to the GameObjects animated by the Timeline Asset. The bindings to scene GameObjects are stored in the Timeline instance. The Timeline Asset is project-based.

Timeline Editor windowThe name of the window where you create, modify, and preview a Timeline instance. Modifications to a Timeline instance also affects the Timeline Asset. More info
See in Glossary
: The official name of the window where you create, modify, and preview a Timeline instance. Modifications to a Timeline instance also affects the Timeline Asset.

Timeline instanceRefers to the link between a Timeline Asset and the GameObjects that the Timeline Asset animates in the scene. You create a Timeline instance by associating a Timeline Asset to a GameObject through a Playable Director component. The Timeline instance is scene-based. More info
See in Glossary
: Refers to the link between a Timeline Asset and the GameObjects that the Timeline Asset animates in the scene. You create a Timeline instance by associating a Timeline Asset to a GameObject through a Playable Director component. The Timeline instance is scene-based.

Timeline Playback ControlsThe row of buttons and fields in the Timeline Editor window that controls playback of the Timeline instance. The Timeline Playback Controls affect the location of the Timeline Playhead. More info
See in Glossary
: The row of buttons and fields in the Timeline Editor window that controls playback of the Timeline instance. The Timeline Playback Controls affect the location of the Timeline Playhead.

Timeline Playback modeThe mode that previews the Timeline instance in the Timeline Editor window. Timeline Playback mode is a simulation of Play mode. Timeline Playback mode does not support audio playback. More info
See in Glossary
: The mode that previews the Timeline instance in the Timeline Editor window. Timeline Playback mode is a simulation of Play mode. Timeline Playback mode does not support audio playback.

Timeline PlayheadThe white marker and line that indicates the exact point in time being previewed in the Timeline Editor window. More info
See in Glossary
: The white marker and line that indicates the exact point in time being previewed in the Timeline Editor window.

Timeline SelectorThe name of the menu in the Timeline Editor window that selects the Timeline instance to be previewed or modified. More info
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: The name of the menu in the Timeline Editor window that selects the Timeline instance to be previewed or modified.

trackA generic term that refers to any track within the Track list of the Timeline Editor window. More info
See in Glossary
: A generic term that refers to any track within the Track list of the Timeline Editor window.

Track groupsThe term for a series of tracks organized in an expandable and collapse collection of tracks. More info
See in Glossary
: The term for a series of tracks organized in an expandable and collapse collection of tracks.

Track listThe area in the Timeline Editor window where you add, group, and modify tracks. More info
See in Glossary
: The area in the Timeline Editor window where you add, group, and modify tracks.


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Playable Director component
UI