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There are two types of animations handled by the engine: One for people and one for objects.
While both are called animations, their configured and usage are totally different:

People animations

Animations used with units or animals, to make them to perform specific movements.
They are applied with either the switchMove or playMove command.

The general naming convention for animation names are explained on the AnimationTitles page.

A mission for previewing animations is available here.

The available animation class names are listed on the Category VBS Classes page.

Some civilian animations are also described in detail in the user manual.

Object animations

Animations of vehicle or object components (e.g. trunks and doors) are applied via the animate command.

Background information on how to configure them can be found in the developer manual.