Lecture 2:Keyframing, Graph Editor, Hierarchy

Manipulating the keys in the timeline:

Moving a keyframe

Click the keyframe you want to select
Drag it to the new location

Cutting a keyframe

Click the keyframe you want to select
Right Mouse Button (RMB) and select Cut

Copying a keyframe

Click the keyframe you want to select
Right Mouse Button (RMB) and select Copy

Pasting a keyframe

You need to already have a keyframe in memory from Cutting or Copying it previously
Go to a new frame and Right Mouse Button (RMB) select Paste

Selecting a range of keys in the timeline:
Range in Timeline

Click before the first key frame you want to select
Hold Shift down and drag

Moving a range of keyframes
Click the middle arrows after selecting a range
Drag to new location

Cutting a range of keyframes
Select a range of keyframes using the shift drag
Right Mouse Button (RMB) and select Cut

Copying a range of keyframes
Select a range of keyframes using the shift drag
Right Mouse Button (RMB) and select Copy

Paste a keyframe or frames
You need to already have a range of keyframes in memory from Cutting or Copying them previously
Go to a new frame and Right Mouse Button (RMB) select Paste
This will paste the keys on top of other keys if they exist

You can also select a range for the keys to get pasted into - this will scale them to fit the range

Scaling keyframes (stretching or contracting keys to slow or speed up the animation)

Select a range of keyframes by using shift drag
Drag the right or left arrow of the range to increase or decrease the time it takes for the animation to occur

Using the Edit Menu to Cut, Copy or Paste Keyframes

To cut or copy keyframe:
Select the Keyframe you want
Go to Edit - Keys and select Cut or Copy

To paste keyframes:
Copy or Cut a keyframe
Go to the new frame where you want to paste the frames
Select Edit - Keys and select Paste OPTIONS

Time range: Start allows you to specify where the pasting should start
Time range: Start/end allows you to specify a range that the keyframes will scale to fit
Paste Method: Insert will push over the existing keyframes to make room for the new ones
Paste Method: Merge will combine the new keyframes with the existing keyframes

Graph Editor

Window-->Animation Editors-->Graph Editor

Contains keys, points, curve segments, and tangents

View-->Frame All will frame entire animation
View-->Frame Selected will frame selected attribute (drag a box around a few keypoints)

If no objects are selected, select something in the main modeling window and click on its listing in the Graph Editor
Click the Circle+/- sign to open or close the attributes - the Square+ opens the shape node (not used for this assignment)

Vertical numbers on left side are values of the keys. This is the same value that is in the channel box of a keyframe.
Horizontal numbers are Frames (Time)

You will see one dot per set keyframe in each attribute

The angle of the line means:

  • Line is going up - the value is increasing as the animation plays
  • Line going down - the value is decreasing as the animation plays
  • Line horizontal - there is no increase or decrease in the value over time

A flat line is called Static Action
This means that there is no movement at all and a key is not needed.

To delete a line with no action, click the line and hit Delete

Always remove all static actions!

On the left side of the Graph Editor you can select the specific attribute you want to see (Ex: translate x)
You can select more than one attribute to see at a time
To see all the attributes at once, click the name of the object at the top of the list

You can have more than one object selected in the modeling window. They all show up in the graph editor.


To see the tangent, select a key point by clicking on it or dragging a box around it
The brown line on either side of the point are the tangents

To move a tangent you need to have the Move Tool selected in the left menu
select the tangent point and use your middle mouse button and drag up or down

Two tangents are attached to all key points (In Tangent and Out Tangent)
Tangents have a weight and angle (weight effects the pull on the curve)
Each controls the velocity or speed of change at which an object changes over time
The In Tangent controls the speed of change coming into the keypoint
The Out Tangent controls the speed coming out of the keypoint
Tangents keep continuity unless you break them.

Setup Prefs to see what the icons mean:
Window menu - Settings/Preferences - Preferences - Help: Tooltips Enabled

In order to change a tangent, it must be selected

Break Tangent Break Tangent
makes the in tangent and out tangents move independently
Key menu - Break Tangent

Unify Tangent Unify Tangent
makes each side of the tangent act together, dependently
Key menu - Unify Tangent

Lock Tangent Weight Lock Tangent Weight
cannot change the length, can change angle

Free Tangent Weight Free Tangent Weight
both weight and angle can be changed

Tangent Types:

Spline Spline:
A curved line is called a Spline Tangent - this allows some flexibility in speed
as the object travels from keyframe to keyframe (Ease in and Ease Out)

Linear Linear:
a straight line is called linear interpolation-there is a constant speed as it goes
from one keyframe to the next. This movement can appear mechanical.

Clamped Clamped:
when two key frames are at the same value but a different time, it will make it
linear, whereas the rest will be curved. (used when two keyframes are very close.

Stepped Stepped:
the value changes at the key abruptly - used for cuts

Flat Flat:
causes the tangent to be horizontal - no change in value

Plateau Plateau:
curved coming into a flat line and curved going out of it

Window-->Playblast, or RMB on Timeline, choose Playblast

Will screen capture each frame and save it or show it temporarily

Will play back sequentially, and save as a Quicktime file or AVI.

Will animate entire timeline, or specified part of timeline.

Playblast Options:
View: to see it or not

Show Ornaments:
removes some interface elements from view
You need to turn off Show Grid in the main window

Viewer - MoviePlayer (Quicktime on Mac or FCheck on PCs)
Compression - reduces file size
Display Size (Render Globals, Window, custom), Scale 50%

Save to File - if you want to save it.
BE CAREFUL these are large files and you want to remove them after you look at them
Save them to TempRender on D:

F-Check will play your animation on the PCs or Macs after a Playblast.

Lets you adjust the speed, and visual aspects such as luminance and saturation.

Close the window after you are done viewing it.

Window Playback:

Update View:
Active-plays only active window
All--animates all windows

Playback Looping:
RM on Timeline, choose Playback Looping
Looping - Once, Oscillate (forward and back), Continuous

Always remove all test renders and playblast sequences that are not needed!!!