Animation is making an object move or change shape over time. Objects can be animated in many ways:

Moving as a whole object
Changing their position, orientation or size in time;
Deforming them
Animating their vertices or control points;
Inherited animation
Causing the object to move based on the movement of another object (e.g. its parent, hook, armature, etc...).

In this chapter, we will cover the first two, but the basics given here are actually vital for understanding the following chapters as well.

Animation is typically achieved with the use of keyframes.


Animation Fundamentals

Actions are used to record the animation of objects and properties.
Drivers are scripts used to control and animate properties.
Keying Sets
Keying Sets are used to record a set of properties at the same time.
Markers are used to mark key points/events within an animation.
Motion Paths
Motion Paths are used to visualize an animation.
Shape Keys
Shape Keys are used to deform objects into new shapes.

Animation Editors

The Timeline Editor is a quick editor to set and control the time frame. This also has some tools for animation.
Graph Editor
The Graph Editor is mostly used to edit the F-Curves and Keyframes for Channels and Drivers.
Dope Sheet
The Dope Sheet contains a collection of animation editors.
NLA Editor
The NLA Editor is used to edit and blend Actions together.

State Colors


State colors of properties.

Properties have different colors and menu items for different states.

Gray Default
Yellow Keyframes
Green Animated
Purple Driver