Defining Terms

These definitions are for the purposes of this discussion. They may change based on your textbook or based on the software that you are using.

2 1/2-D Video GamesGames that depend on multiple backgrounds or several maps to suggest that characters can go into and out of the screen.under construction

2-D Video GamesGames that are played only in the X-Y plane.Hockey, Tennis

3-D LayoutThe creation of scenes or scene files that contain all elements that are associated with a scene. Also called setup, it includes characters, backgrounds, and audio.Scene ready for animation

3-D Video GamesGames that simulate a three-dimensional space from the viewpoint of the player.Halo, Minecraft

ActorThe combination of the programmatic sprite and the animation imagesunder construction

Animation (1)The art of creating sequential imagery in order to create the illusion of motion or the illusion of life.Principles of Animation

Animation (2)A collection of fewer than 50 images that describe how a sprite or actor can move on the screen.LRRH images

Animation PipelineA series of work tasks whose result is the components of the film or videogame.Animation Pipeline Flow Chart

Browser CapabilitiesA list that displays which features are supported by which browser(s). Not all browsers behave the same way.Audio or Video Players

DemowareA demonstration edition of a computer program that allows the user to try it previous to purchasing it.under construction

DioramaA 3-D miniature model or replica. Large dioramas may include panoramic theater paintings, while smaller ones may be enclosed in glass showcases.under construction

Director or ProducerPerson who defines tasks and assigns roles to the game development team.Manager, Project Lead, Senior Developer

FilmA series of still images which, when shown on a screen, creates the illusion of moving imagesPhi phenomenon

Frames per Second (fps)The number of still shots that can be viewed in one secondFlip book

FreewareSoftware that is available for use at no monetary cost, but may have restrictions on its use or use of the products created with it. Freeware may also encourage sales of a more capable edition.Adobe Reader

Game Engine (1)The core library functions used in a game, usually related to graphics, input, sound, networking and other computer hardware.Game Engines

Game Engine (2)A software framework designed for the creation and development of video gamesGame IDE

Hardware requirementsCertain hardware components or other resources that must be present on a computer in order for a specific piece of software to run.Minimum and Recommended

Highlights and Shadows A light source interacts with an object to create bright and dark areas. This creates contrast, which increases interest but may also reduce other viewing factors.Rose, Rose, Rose

Inventory of Assets An itemized list of videogame components: sprites, animations, maps, audio files, and other items required to produce the completed game.under construction

Landscape A map that is a combination of altitude (topography) and texture. Objects may be drawn as part of a landscape, or superimposed on it on the screen.Diorama

Layered MapsSeveral maps used simultaneously in a game level to give the impression of a three-dimensional space.under construction

LevelSeveral maps used progressively in a game that increase the degree of difficulty. Some game engines use the word "room".Dungeon, Passage, Throne Room

Map2-D or 3-D area that can contain a piece of the story or action2-D scene

MaquetteA miniature rough draft or scale model of a sculpture. A 3-D "sketch".under construction

MeshA geometric 3-D object model in which the basic shape is made up of points, or vertices, connected by edges. Its renderable surface is made up of polygons that connect the vertices and edges.3ds Max Sphere and Teapot

MMORPGMassively Multiplayer Online Role Playing GamePortal 2

Mobile ComputingHuman-computer interaction by which a computer is expected to be transported during normal usageAnything smaller than a laptop

PanoramaA scene, usually a landscape, that is larger than the size of the screen.under construction

Parallax ViewAn object appears as though it is positioned differently when it is looked at from different angles or different positions.Spring and Winter Constellations

Particle RenderingThe process that renders a large number of small, similar sprites that move in "fuzzy" patterns. The system of particles is often a chemical or chaotic system.Comet or meteor tails, Fire, Fur, Snowfall, Stars

PerspectiveThe view that most closely resembles human vision. Objects appear to recede into the distance, creating a sense of depth and space. Also see Field of ViewIce Cream Shop

PipelineA series of workstations that are used to make animated products.under construction

PropAn object that a character can hold or carry, like a briefcase or a trophy.Tennis racket

ProxyA combination of maquettes and props. When digitized, it is a simplified version of a complex combination of objects or files. It substitutes for the original file to reduce production overhead.Proxy Reference

Rendering Generating an image from a 2D or 3D modelRendering Types

Rigging (1)In the theatre, rigging is the system of ropes, pulleys, counterweights and other devices that allow the stage crew to move components around the stage. Components can be people, lights, cameras, scenery, curtains, and other stage effects.MacBeth, Peter Pan

Rigging (2)In videogame animation, a character rig is essentially a digital skeleton bound to the 3D mesh that defines the character. The rigging, not the mesh, is what makes the character move.What is Rigging

Room2-D or 3-D area that contains a piece of the videogame story3-D scene

RotateMove around the y - z axisFootball punt out of the screen

Screenplay (1)A film contains dialog, storyline, characters, theme, and images. The dialog and instructions for a film. A written document that expands on the storyboard or overall plan.under construction

Screenplay (2)Contains the story, characters, dialogue, theme or high concept, and images for a film or video game.How to play: The character walked to the door and opened it(WASD controls). They entered the room, and crossed the room to the desk. A book on the desk opened by itself.

Screenwriting: Ideas, Treatments & OutlinesA screenplay can be divided into 5 major components: 1. Storyline 2. Characters 3. Theme 4. Images 5. Dialogueunder construction

Script (1)The dialog and instructions for a film. A written document that expands on the storyboard or overall plan.

Script (2)Usually synonymous with screenplay. When not synonymous, then it is a component of the screenplay, like the story (describes the action in 3rd person) or the dialogue.under construction

ScriptwritingThe art and craft of writing scripts for film, television, or video games.under construction

SetsThe landscape on which the characters can move. This is usually divided into manageable chunks - rooms or maps. Many videogame sets are combinations of 2-D and 3-D objects. Combine the world and an obstacle with a character in the same room

SpecializeInvest time and skill in 3 or fewer aspects of videogame creationArt, Design, Math, Programming

SpinMove around the x - z axisFrisbee

SpriteProgramming objects that represent characters, props, projectiles and other gameplay elements.under construction

StoryThe objective of the game, or the rationale for the character's existence.High Concept

StoryboardComic-book like "story sketches" that illustrate plots and concepts for games, movies, and television.Boy gets girl, boy plays hockey, boy loses--girl wins

Suspension of DisbeliefThe videogame player suspends judgement concerning implausibility of a story, especially when the game or story is well-crafted and maintains interest.under construction

Texture or Surfaces (1)Appearance of a characterFabric, Fiberglass, Paint, Velvet

Texture or Surfaces (2)Constituency of a landscapeGravel, Quicksand, Snow, Water

TopographyAltitude of a landscapeDesert, Mountain, Rivers

TumbleMove around the x - y axisTumbleweed

TweenInbetweening is the creation of intermediate frames between two key points, often added by an assistant animator or by a computer. Also, the frames between the keyframesKeyframes and Tweens

Verbal ElementThings characters say during the course of the videogame. Many people consider this to be the entire script; for this discussion, this is only the dialogue.Call me Ishmael.

VideoGame DimensionsHeight width depth timeWhy length is not used

Visual ElementWhat things look like within a screenplay or script. Technically, the visual element is images only; it contains no action.under construction

WASDThe "W", "A", "S", and "D" keys on a keyboard. As game controls, they are interpreted as forward, left, backward, and right, respectively.under construction

Wrapping MapA background map that can scroll forever in a loopWrapping Map


Animation Pipeline Flow Chart


Principles for Effective Character and Effects Animation

These principles were first named and documented by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two Walt Disney Studio pioneers in animation.
  1. Squash and Stretch
  2. Anticipation
  3. Staging
  4. Straight-Ahead and Pose-to-Pose
  5. Follow=Through and Overlapping Action
  6. Slow In & Slow Out
  7. Arcs
  8. Secondary Action
  9. Timing
  10. Exaggeration
  11. Solid Drawing
  12. Appeal


Ice Cream Shop

Rendering Types

A variety of rendering techniques applied to a single 3D scene

Wrapping Map

The right end of the map connects to the left end.