Essential animation vocabulary

Below are some of the most common terms you will encounter when creating animations in ArcMap, ArcGlobe, or ArcScene.




An animation in ArcMap, ArcGlobe, or ArcScene is a collection of tracks that defines the dynamic property changes to associated objects. An animation allows navigation through the display, visualization of temporal changes, or alteration of layer and scene properties, such as layer transparency or the scene background.

Animation track

An animation track is an ordered collection of similar keyframes that, when played as an animation, shows a dynamic transition between them. To animate the properties of an object (a layer, table, camera, view, or scene) or multiple objects, an animation track must be created that is bound to the object. Different tracks, when played together, allow you to create dynamic visual effects such as creating a flyby while the underlying layers are changing in transparency.


A keyframe is a snapshot of an object's properties at a certain time during the animation. When you create an animation track by capturing perspective views, moving a layer along a path, and so on, you are creating a series of keyframes for a particular track type.


In ArcMap, ArcScene, or ArcGlobe, this is the camera, view, table, or layer to which an animation track is attached. The track changes the characteristics of these objects, stored as keyframes, during the animation.

Essential animation terms

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Published 6/7/2010