About editing animations on the Time View tab

The Time View tab on the Animation Manager can be used to interactively change the arrangement of tracks and keyframes. For instance, it can be used to modify when keyframes of one track are played relative to others or to organize how tracks are synchronized with one another.

Reducing the animation time of a track

By default, animation tracks span the entire animation: their begin time is 0.0, and their end time is 1.0. These values can be changed on the Tracks tab or modified interactively by dragging the edges of the track on the Time View tab.

By changing the beginning and ending times of the tracks, you can create effects that happen in different parts of the animation. For instance, if you have two camera tracks, one with some captured views and another with recorded navigation, you can make the first one control the viewer camera from 0.0 to 0.5 and the second one from 0.5 to 1.0. The result is that when the animation is played, the camera will follow the captured views during the first half of the animation and the navigation during the second half.

Learn how to reduce the animation time of a track

Moving a track along the timeline

If the duration of a track is shorter than the total animation, the track can be moved along the timeline so that it plays later in the animation.

Learn how to move a track along the timeline

Editing the time stamp of a keyframe

Keyframes have a time stamp that also ranges from 0.0 to 1.0. However, this value refers to the time within the track, not to the total animation interval. If the beginning or ending time of the track is changed (by changing the value in the Begin Time and End Time columns of the Tracks tab, reducing the animation time of a track, or moving a track along the timeline), the time stamps of its keyframes will not change. The Time View tab can be used to edit the time stamp of a keyframe.

Learn how to edit the time stamp of a keyframe

Adding keyframes to an existing track

Each animation track has an option that controls whether the time stamps of its keyframes are distributed evenly when a new keyframe is added. The Distribute time stamps evenly option is available as a check box on the Keyframes tab of Animation Manager, and it is checked by default.

When the option is checked and a new keyframe is added to a track (for example, by using the Create Keyframe dialog box), all the time stamps are redistributed to be equally spaced in time. You can also force this rearrangement by clicking Reset Times.

Learn how to add keyframes to an existing track

When the Distribute time stamps evenly option is not checked for a track, new keyframes will be assigned a fixed time stamp of 1.0, thus positioning them at the end of the track. In this case, if you click Reset Times, the time stamps of the keyframes are redistributed between 0.0 and 1.0, but they keep their proportional separation. If the first keyframe was already at 0.0 and the last one was at 1.0, there will be no change.

This mode can be useful when you need to add keyframes at the beginning or end of an existing track that already contains keyframes with time stamps that are not equally spaced. For example, you have created a layer track with 30 keyframes, and you have carefully set specific time stamps for each of them from 0.0 to 1.0. You want to add one more keyframe that represents a later state of the layer. You need to add it to the track, but you don't want to edit the other 30 time stamps to accommodate the new keyframe.

Adding a track to an animation

If you want to add a track that will play either before or after the existing tracks, you can add time to accommodate the additional track.

Learn how to add a track to an animation

Published 6/7/2010