(Redirected from Animations)

A clip of an animation project.

An animation project is a project that generally consists of a sequence of images of the motion of objects to create a video. On Scratch, users can make short movies, music videos, comical shorts, and more through a variety of techniques. Animation can involve programming sprites to talk, move, and interact. Sometimes, programmers may use animations as tutorials to show others how to do something. Sometimes animations use little to no programming and consist of a sequence of images played in consecutive order quickly. Scratch provides the project creator with the freedom to make an animation in any desired manner.

Common Features

Lip Sync

Main article: Lip Sync
An animated sprite lip syncing to a song.

Lip syncing involves moving a mouth at the right timing of the sound. Many animations have this feature. Realistic and perfect lip sync is very complicated to reproduce as mouth shapes need to be recorded. A trick that a lot of animators use is making a sprite with different costumes, all different mouth shapes, and then using the wait () seconds block in between costume changes. A list can also be used, containing the amount of time to wait before switching to the next costume to reduce block clutter.

Outside of Scratch, lip syncing generally refers to when a musical artist's microphone is turned off yet they sing the song to their own prerecorded vocals. Likewise, if the singer's mouth replicates the vocals simultaneously being played out of the speakers, it is considered to be well-done lip syncing.

Syncing to the Viewer's Microphone

Scratch has the capabilities to animate the mouth based on the volume input of a project viewer's microphone. The loudness block takes a constant measurement of 0-100 representing the volume of the sound input. If the loudness value is higher, a costume with a more opened mouth can be switched to. A custom block to animate a mouth based on the volume input is as follows:

define animate mouth with number of costumes (costumes)
  if <not <(loudness) = [-1]>> then //make sure mic is actually recognized
    if <(loudness) = [0]> then //since no costume 0 exists
      switch costume to (costume 1 v)
      switch costume to ([ceiling v] of ((costumes) * ((loudness) / (100))))

Walk Cycle

Main article: Walk Cycles

A walk cycle is an animation of some character walking. Sometimes the background scrolls in a loop, too, to make it seem like the character is actually displacing. The most common method is to have a sequence of costumes in which the sprite rapidly and continually switches to the next. When it gets to the end, it switches back to the first costume. Because of this, the last costume needs to lead into the first costume to make the walk cycle continuous.

A studio containing many walk cycles can be found here.

Types of Animations

3D Animation

This is a special kind of Stop Motion Animation, made by importing many frames of a 3D object made with a 3D creation application like Blender or Google Sketchup, and running them in quick succession in Scratch to give a 3D rotation effect.

Animated Music Video

A music video's title screen.
Main article: Music Projects#AMV

AMV stands for "Animated Music Video." Usually these are projects that features a main sprite singing or interacting in a song uploaded from a local device. AMVs also can contain features as sprites moving their mouth with the song and animations.

Barrier Grid Animation

An example image from a barrier grid animation.

This type of animation is uncommon. They usually consist of two sprites, a frame and an image. The frame is a black rectangle with single-pixel strips every 5 pixels along its width. The image is actually a composition of many frames of a simple animation, made by extracting single-pixel strips and laying them in order. When the frame is dragged over the image, only the strips of one frame are visible (through the holes in the frame) at a time; thus the image appears to move.

Claymation Animation

These are created by repeatedly taking pictures of a clay sculpture, changing it minimally each time, so that when the pictures are played in quick succession, the sculpture appears to move. These are hard to make and thus not very popular. They also usually have very large file sizes.


Main article: Screamer

A Screamer is an animation which suddenly breaks off and shows a scary picture to frighten or surprise a viewer. Excessively violent/distressing pictures for the "scream" are discouraged and these projects should be reported.

Stop Motion

Stop motion animation is less common on Scratch than animation programming, but also widely used. In a stop motion animation, pictures are taken or scenes are drawn, and then put together using scripts like these. This style requires uploading photos from a picture-taking device and putting them into frames. These do not often get famous, though they require much more work to create (as each frame needs to be drawn individually in the case of a drawn stop motion).


Speedpaints involve an animation of a piece of art being drawn over time. To do this, the artist will draw the very small part of the art, duplicate the costume, continue but draw a little bit, and repeat until the art is done. Speedpaints are often time-consuming and usually require hundreds of costumes to be reproduced. The projects show drawings that are drawn speedily, part-by-part, and automatically. They are made by using different costumes. The costumes are the process of drawing the sprite.

Sprite Animation

These animations are similar to regular animations except that they use pixel art sprites, usually pre-existing ones from 8/16-bit video games. Popular sprites include characters from Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pokemon etc. Despite being popular in Scratch 1.4, they have declined since the release of Scratch 2.0. [citation needed]

Multi-Animator Project

Main article: MAP

Multi-animator projects, also commonly reffered to as MAPS, are collaborative projects made by a group of individuals instead of one person. Each member has a designated chunk of the animation to create, and eventually all the pieces are put together to form one whole. Breaking up parts of the animation and assigning them to different people can speed up the process of creating a large animation, while also including a variety of animation styles.

Animated Series

Main article: Series

An animated series is a group of connected animations. Some simultaneously have their own plotlines and follow one large plotline, whilst others can be episodic. Some animated series have many episodes and reach the Front Page. Some animated series hold voice actor auditions, but others only use voices from the creator of the series, simply use text and no sound at all, or use text to speech.

Story Animations

Main article: Making Story Animations

Story animations refer to projects which implement the conveying of a unique storyline in conjunction with onscreen sprite animations, similar to the visual retelling of a novel or text. Unlike an animated series which splits up a singular storyline into separate episodes, story animations present the story’s plot in its entirety.





Sprite Animations

MAPs (Multi-animator projects)


Animated Music Videos

Barrier Grid Animations

Stop Motion


See Also

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