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The Animator Window
State Machine Basics
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Animation State Machines

It is common for a character or other animated Game Object to have several different animations that correspond to different actions it can perform in the game. For example, a character may breathe or sway slightly while idle, walk when commanded to and raise its arms in panic as it falls from a platform. A door may have animations for opening, closing, getting jammed, and being broken open. Mecanim uses a visual layout system similar to a flow-chart, to represent a state machineThe set of states in an Animator Controller that a character or animated GameObject can be in, along with a set of transitions between those states and a variable to remember the current state. The states available will depend on the type of gameplay, but typical states include things like idling, walking, running and jumping. More info
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to enable you to control and sequence the 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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that you want to use on your character or object. This section gives further details about Mecanim’s state machines and explains how to use them.

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The Animator Window
State Machine Basics