General Terms

Term Description
Unity Editor The application in which games that use the Unity Engine are developed. This term is often used in the context of performing a task such as editing a value in the Inspector or dragging and dropping an asset reference as opposed to writing code to do those things.
Inspector One of the main windows in the Unity Editor which is used to view and edit the details of the selected object.
Edit Mode The default mode of the Unity Editor where it allows you to edit things such as scenes and scripts without actually running the game.
Play Mode When you click the play button in the Unity Editor it runs your game so you can test it out.
Runtime Build You can use the File/Build & Run function in the Unity Editor to compile your game as a standalone application for regular players, which is often referred to as a Runtime Build.

Animancer Lite allows you to try out all of its features in the Unity Editor, but some of them will not be available in Runtime Builds unless you purchase Animancer Pro. See the Feature Comparison for details.

Animation Terms

Term Description
Mecanim Unity's Animator Controller based animation system which Animancer replaces.
Playables An API in Unity which provides low-level control over things that can be played over time such as animations, audio, and even scripts. It is very flexible, but is so low-level (and poorly documented) that it is not so simple to use. This is where Animancer comes in; it handles the playables internally so that you only need to deal with a simple high-level API. For example, smoothly transitioning between animations involves setting up an AnimationMixerPlayable in the PlayableGraph, setting the target weights of all animations, updating their weights every frame until they reach their target, and stopping any animations that end at zero weight. Animancer handles all that for you with a single call to AnimancerComponent.Play.
AnimationClip An asset file containing the data of an animation that can be played by Unity.
Animator Controller An asset containing a Finite State Machine which defines various animation states and the transitions between them.
AnimancerComponent The main Animancer component which replaces the AnimatorController you would normally use, generally attached to the same GameObject as the target Animator. Instead of having the user define a State Machine structure in the Unity Editor, this component exposes an API which allows scripts to pass in AnimationClips as they are needed.
State / AnimancerState A node in an AnimatorController / AnimancerPlayable graph which manages the current playback details of an AnimationClip such as its current time and blend weight.
Animation Layer A group of states which share a purpose. Each layer can be in one state at a time and can either add to or override the effects of lower numbered states.
Blend Tree / Mixer A special type of state which manages the blending of multiple child states instead of a single AnimationClip.
Weight A value between 0 and 1 which determines how much a particular state affects the final result of Blending between animations.

The Unity Manual has its own Glossary of animation terms.

Example Difficulty

Each of the Examples that come with Animancer has a difficulty rating to give a general idea of how hard it will be to understand:

Difficulty Description
Beginner Only requires basic knowledge of how to use Unity. Even non-programmers should find the code fairly easy to understand along with the explanations in the C# in Unity section.
Intermediate Slightly more complex. Non-programmers may struggle to fully understand these examples. Feel free to ask for Help if you need it.