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Squash and stretch

Animation is the change of a value over a period of time. For example by changing the y position of a ball it can be made to bounce up and down. Then by changing the x and z scale it can squash as it hit the ground. The change in position can be visualized with a curve by putting the time on the x axis of the graph and the position of the ball on the y axis. To animate the ball we select where the ball should be at the key points of the animation and the code can then interpolate the position between these key points.

With vertex animation one moves individual vertices directly in a mesh in some way. The two ways i sorted it into is Per-Vertex Animation and Morph target.

The common way to animate things is with skeletal animations Skeletal Animation. With a moving skeleton one can then bind a mesh and draw it with Skinning.
Animation Controller
Animation Controller