Multi Animator Project

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Synonyms: Multi-Animator Project, Multiple Animator Project, MAP
See also: Animated Music Video, Collab, Animatic, Picture Music Video, Fanvid, Multi editor projects
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A multi-animator project or multiple animator project (abbreviated as MAP) is a term for animation created by the collaboration of multiple animators.

Unlike vidding or anime music videos (AMVs), which typically arrange clips of existing media into collages, MAPs are typically composed from frames originally created by fan animators themselves. MAPs may or may not include original music and voice acting.

Most MAPs are uploaded to YouTube. MAPs are popular in feral fandoms, particularly Warrior Cats fandom, although they are created for a myriad of fandoms and even original characters.

The term likely originated from Warrior Cats fandom, and indeed the first instance of "MAP" comes from a Warrior Cats multi-animator project that was posted on YouTube on Jul 22, 2012. This MAP, hosted by LadyTeelia, included nineteen artists animating to the song "Lights Out" by Mindless Self Indulgence ("MSI"). Its description acknowledged that it was the first to coin the phrase "multi-animator project," or "MAP."[1] This video was referenced in a 2019 blog post about MAPs by blogger Sara Catterall.[2]

MAPs have a reputation for taking months or years to complete, or going unfinished and becoming cancelled. Likely in response to this, there are challenges to create MAP parts in a certain amount of time, such as 24-hour or 72-hour MAPs. Many reanimated projects—animations remaking the entirety of a TV show, film, or other piece of media—are MAPs involving up to hundreds of fan collaborators.


MAP types refer to a handful of different aspects, including visual style (such as line art MAPs and palette MAPs), creation timeframe (such as 24-hour MAPs), and subject matter (such as vent MAPs and fandom MAPs). MAP types are also frequently combined, such as a multi-fandom MAP also being a palette and vent MAP all at once.

  • Palette MAP - a MAP that is based around a color palette, usually determined by the MAP host.
  • Line MAP/Lineart MAP - A MAP in which the animation is mostly line-based, having minimal color.
  • OC MAP - A MAP that only features original characters.
  • Fandom MAP/Multi Fandom MAP - a MAP that features fan animation of multiple fandoms.
  • Vent MAP - An emotional MAP that may express the feelings of the participants.
  • PMV MAP - More often than not just a Picture Music Video with multiple artists. However, it may include small amounts of motion, or deliberately choppy motion.
  • Improvement MAP - A MAP that showcases an animator's old animation and then a newly redrawn version of the same animation.
  • Meme MAP - A MAP based on an animation meme.
  • Anything MAP - A MAP that has no major restrictions; an animator's part can be fandom, non-fandom, just lineart, barely animated, etc.
  • Reanimated MAP - A MAP that is a shot-for-shot remake of existing footage.
  • Scripted MAP - A MAP which follows a script provided by the host, specifying what should occur in each part.
  • Storyboard MAP - A MAP which follows a storyboard provided by the host, specifying what should happen in each part and where characters and objects should be placed on the screen.
  • 24 Hour MAP - A MAP in which each individual segment is created within 24 hours. Variants with other strict time frames, such as 6 hours or 72 hours, are also common.
  • Animalfied/Animalized MAP - A MAP in which any humanoid characters present are redesigned to resemble animals. Primarily done with fandom characters.
  • Spoof MAP - A MAP created as a joke, typically with an unusual premise and deliberately crude and surreal imagery.


First, the MAP host must have the means to edit together dozens of video clips. This can be achieved by owning video editing software such as Blender or Sony Vegas. Once the host is certain they can create a MAP they will choose whatever audio they would like to use for the project, and divide that audio into several short numbered segments (possibly with non-numbered segments at the beginning and end designated as the intro and outro). Once the audio is prepared, the host posts an announcement video - known as a "MAP call" - which is usually on YouTube. The video will have a static image or small looping animation which is displayed while the project's audio plays in the background; text stating the audio segment currently playing is superimposed on top. These numbered segments ("MAP parts") will be listed in the video description as well, alongside information on whether they are currently claimed and who took them, and a list of rules. Most MAP parts are only a few seconds long, and there can even be twenty or more parts depending on how long the song is. Most MAPs have very short parts to allow for a lot of animators and minimize the amount of work each participant must do. Some MAPs may allow for animators to claim more than one part, but usually they can't claim more than three or four.

When present, the intro and outro typically are either made by the host and serve as a credit sequence, or are made by participants and include a fade in/fade out. Outros may also thank the viewer for watching, or thank the participants for joining. When intros and outros are not present in the part list, there may be a separate credit sequence which is played before or after the main audio.

Most MAP hosts will have the animators claim parts by commenting on the video with the part they want. It is expected for the animator claiming a part to have some animations they have previously created uploaded to their channel, though beginner-friendly MAPs may be more lenient. While many MAPs are okay with auto-accepting anyone who claims a part, others are more picky and will only accept claims from animators they believe are up to a certain skill level.

Some MAPs allow animators to sign up as "backups" instead of, or in addition to, immediately claiming a part. If people who had previously claimed parts drop out of the project, backups may be asked if they wish to claim the dropped parts.

The rules regarding the use of watermarks vary between MAP hosts. Watermarks include artist signatures and logos, or software watermarks, such as the watermark automatically applied to users of free copies of the animation software Flipaclip. In some cases, watermarks are not allowed because the MAP host intends to apply a unified watermark in post-editing. Some hosts forgo any type of watermark altogether and rely solely on the beginning or ending credits to credit their artists.

Many MAP hosts will set a deadline, usually from the day that the animator has been accepted. This way every animator has the same amount of time to work on their part, no matter the date they join. This can be three weeks or longer, unless the MAP is a 24 hour or 72 hour MAP. However, some projects may instead have one calendar date by which all parts must be finished, either for ease of enforcement or to ensure that holiday-themed projects are completed by that holiday. Animators are usually expected to upload their parts to YouTube. From there, the host can download them and stitch them together in a video editing program.

Some hosts request participants to post their completed segments on YouTube, and use a video downloader tool to save the parts. Others require that the parts get posted on a filesharing site such as MediaFire or Sendspace, or sent directly via the chat program Discord.

Not every call for animators video has specific guidelines on the video size, frame rate (FPS), or quality. The ones that do may use standard animation guidelines, such as keeping the video size at 1920x1080 and the frame rate at 24 FPS. By using YouTube as a buffer, animators can work in different video formats (such as MOV files vs AVI files). When the MAP host re-downloads the video from YouTube the video formatting will be unified.

Some MAPs include a password somewhere in the description, which animators must mention when signing up in order to prove that they read the rules. Passwords range from specific phrases ("makin' bacon pancakes") to answers to questions ("what is your favorite color?").

Some hosts provide standalone audio segments to participants, whilst others require the participants to use a video downloader tool to save the MAP call and another tool to separate their segment's audio from the rest.

In addition to the part list, stance on watermarks, method of sending in completed parts, intended video size, password, and deadline, other information such as color schemes and what types of content are allowed (such as the degree of violence permitted) may be included. MAPs which are intended to follow a script or use specific character designs will have that information listed. Sometimes the description simply contains a link to the rules, part list, and other information which is kept on another website.

In recent years, MAP hosts have become increasingly reliant on Discord as a way of keeping in contact with participants and receiving completed parts, due to YouTube developing an increasing tendency to automatically delete comments including links (such as links to finished parts). Discord has itself given rise to the practice of creating additional skits which are related in some way to the MAP but use other audio, which may be included at the end of the finished video; screenshots of Discord conversations may also be included. Skits are more or less exclusive to single-fandom projects, and feature characters from the fandom in question.

In addition to creating the segments themselves, the participants may also create potential video thumbnails for the project.

When all parts have been completed and sent to the host, the host assembles them into a completed video using video editing software, and posts the finished project online.


Multi Animator Projects are overwhelmingly referred to as MAPs, but there is some concern about that fact the the acronym is also used to refer to "Minor-Attracted Persons," which is a euphemism for pedophile. A piece of meta discussing the history of multi-animator projects says that minor-attracted person/MAP has been used as far back as 2009, based on a Newgon Wiki entry.[3] However, the term Minor-Attracted Person likely only became popularized online circa 2017. This is based on a Sept 2017 article written including the phrase,[4] with a public service announcement on Twitter being made about pedophiles rebranding to MAPs being made in Jun 2018.[5] The popularization of 'Minor-Attracted Person' on Twitter after 2017 is what caused the ambiguation of the acronym and so many fans to begin automatically seeing MAP as relating to pedophiles. However, the term Multi-Animator Project was arguably much more widespread and popular online before this 2017 change in meaning, with Multi-Animator Project having being used since 2012.

The Fannish Drift Survey, which collected 2,013 responses, showed that collectively 19% of respondents identified the word "MAP" with a pedophile (376 people of 2,013), and collectively only 10% related it to animation (209 people of 2,013). Or, 23% of the youngers' survey identified it with pedophilia (344 people of 1,475) and the olders' survey identified it with pedophilia 6% of the time (32 people of 538). Still, more people associated pedophilia with MAPs than they did animation across both versions of the survey.

Any chance we can change the acronym for animation collaborations? Feels so uncomfortable to have MAP simultaneously mean something so pure while also being literal fucking child rapists[6]

It was supposed to be for Multi Animator Project, but a bunch of very sick people stole it and made it "Minor Attracted Person". Should this form be seen by them: Get therapy. They will not report you for having those feelings. Pedophilia isn't okay, no matter what you call it.

Fannish Drift Survey

MAP = Multi-Animator Project. =/= Pedophiles. A "Minor Attracted Person" is called a PEDOPHILE, not a MAP. Stop using a term once held by the animation community that has nothing to do with this harmful piece of society <3

tiiramisuempty, Jul 31, 2020[7]

Example Works


Links & Resources


  1. ^ MSI - Lights Out OC MAP, YouTube. Jul 22, 2012 (Accessed 1/17/2021)
  2. ^ M.A.P.s (Multi-Animator Projects), May 23, 2019 (Accessed 12/20/2020)
  3. ^ The war on words – multi animator what?, 9/29/2019 (Accessed 1/24/2021)
  4. ^ The young paedophiles who say they don’t abuse children, Sept 11, 2017. (Accessed 1/24/2021)
  5. ^ A flag for pedophiles? It exists, but it is not a push for inclusion in the LGBT community, Jul 11, 2019 (Accessed 1/24/2021)
  6. ^ 2018-12-23 by cagig
  7. ^ A "Minor Attracted Person" is called a PEDOPHILE, Twitter. Jul 31, 2020 (Accessed 1/24/2021)
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