Version: 2018.2 (switch to 2018.1 or 2017.4)
Animation System Overview
Animation from external sources
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Animation Clips

Animation Clips are one of the core elements to Unity’s animation system. Unity supports importing animation from external sources, and offers the ability to create 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
See in Glossary
from scratch within the editor using the Animation window.

Animation from External Sources

Animation clips imported from external sources could include:

  • Humanoid animationsAn animation using humanoid skeletons. Humanoid models generally have the same basic structure, representing the major articulate parts of the body, head and limbs. This makes it easy to map animations from one humanoid skeleton to another, allowing retargeting and inverse kinematics. More info
    See in Glossary
    captured at a motion capture studio
  • Animations created from scratch by an artist in an external 3D application (such as 3DS Max or Maya)
  • Animation sets from 3rd-party libraries (eg, from Unity’s asset store)
  • Multiple clips cut and sliced from a single imported 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
    See in Glossary
    .
An example of an imported animation clip, viewed in Unitys Inspector window
An example of an imported animation clip, viewed in Unity’s Inspector window

Animation Created and Edited Within Unity

Unity’s Animation Window also allows you to create and edit animation clips. These clips can animate:

  • The position, rotation and scale of GameObjects
  • ComponentA functional part of a GameObject. A GameObject can contain any number of components. Unity has many built-in components, and you can create your own by writing scripts that inherit from MonoBehaviour. More info
    See in Glossary
    properties such as material colour, the intensity of a light, the volume of a sound
  • Properties within your own scriptsA piece of code that allows you to create your own Components, trigger game events, modify Component properties over time and respond to user input in any way you like. More info
    See in Glossary
    including float, integer, enum, vector and Boolean variables
  • The timing of calling functions within your own scripts
An example of Unitys Animation window being used to animate parameters of a component - in this case, the intensity and range of a point light
An example of Unity’s Animation window being used to animate parameters of a component - in this case, the intensity and range of a point light

  • 2017–10–02 Page amended with limited editorial review

  • Integer properties within scripts can be animated in 2017.31 NewIn20173

  • 2D Button added to animation previewer 2017.3

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Animation System Overview
Animation from external sources