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Three-dimensional animating meshes have been widely used in the computer graphics and video game industries. Reducing the animating mesh complexity is a common way of overcoming the rendering limitation or network bandwidth. Thus, we present a compact representation for animating meshes based on novel key-frames extraction and animating mesh simplification approaches. In contrast to the general simplification and key-frames extraction approaches which are driven by geometry metrics, the proposed methods are based on a deformation analysis of animating mesh to preserve both the geometric features and motion characteristics. These two approaches can produce a very compact animation representation in spatial and temporal domains, and therefore they can be beneficial in many applications such as progressive animation transmission and animation segmentation and transferring.