The Graph Editor is a dedicated widget to create and manipulate F-curves that are driving item attributes. However, it is possible to directly animate and edit keys on attributes using the Attribute Editor.
The Graph Editor is divided into 3 sections: the item tree, the toolbar and the curve editor.
(1) Display Only Animated Attribute (2) Display Kinematic Attributes (3) Display Non Kinematic Attributes (4) Expand Selection (5) Collapse Selection (6) Auto Fit View to Curves (7) Fit View to Selection (8) Enable Frame Snapping (9) Enable Tooltip (10) Tension (11) Continuity (12) Bias (13) Free Tangent Length (14) Link Tangent Length (15) Link Tangent Angle (16) Flat Tangent (17) Auto Tangent (18) Key Type (19) Key Frame Number (20) Key Value (21) Warp Tool (22) Stretch Tool (23) Insert Tool (24) Bake Selected Curves (25) Delete Selection (26) Pre Behavior Type (27) Post Behavior Type (28) Pre/Post Bevahior Type (29) Contextual Help (30) Current Application Frame Cursor (31) Curve Editor (32) Item tree
Right Button in the Curve Editor pops up a contextual menu offering useful actions.
To pan press Space+Left Button or Space+Middle Button in the curve editor area.
Drag in any directions to pan the view.
To zoom the view, press Space + right-drag in the curve editor area. Drag left or up to zoom out and right or down to zoom in. You can also use the mouse wheel to perform incremental zooming.
Please note that it is possible to use the Alt key instead of Space.
Changing Application Time#
It is possible to change the current time of the application by **click-dragging on (30).
The item tree displays items in the selection that are matching the current display filters. By default, the Graph Editor filters out items that don't have animated attributes. It is possible to customize this behavior by toggling Display Only Animated Attributes (1) button in the toolbar so that the tree displays all selected items that have animatable attributes.
There are also other filters that allow you to control what's displayed in in the item tree. By toggling off Display Kinematic Attributes (2) you can hide all attributes in the tree that are related to item transformation such as Translate, Rotate, Scale...
Toggling off Display Non Kinematic Attributes (3) hides all other attributes that are not related to item transformation.
Animated attributes are always displayed with a curve next to the attribute name. Non animated ones are displayed with a straight line representing a constant value. Expanding attributes reveal their animated channels.
You can select multiple items using Shift or Ctrl Key and freely mix items and attributes in your selection.
To expand a selection click on Expand Selection (4). To collapse it, click on Collapse Selection (5).
When a curve is selected, it is displayed in orange in the Curve Editor area.
Working with Curves#
Curves can be selected using the Item tree or by directly clicking on the curve in the curve editor area. Hold Shift and click to add curves to the selection. Hold Ctrl and click to add/remove the curve to the selection.
Press Ctrl+A to select all curves. It is also possible to select keys with a selection marquee when the marquee doesn't include any keys.To initiate a selection marquee, click and drag in the curve editor area and release the mouse button to select all curves intersected by the selection marquee.
You can also use the marquee in combination to Ctrl and Shift keys to add/remove curves from the selection.
Press Del to delete the selected curve(s) or click on Delete Selection (26).
Managing Curves Display#
Curves are automatically displayed in the Curve Editor area (31) when selected in the item tree (32). By default, the curve editor fits the view to the selection. This behavior can be changed by toggling Auto Fit (6).
To fit the view to the selection (selection of curves or keyframes) click on Fit (7) or press F.
By default, the curve editor displays an informational tooltip when the mouse cursor is hovering keys and curves. It is possible to switch this off by toggling Tooltip Display (9).
To select a key just click on it. Press Shift and click to add keys to the selection. Hold Ctrl and click to add/remove keys from the selection.
Press Ctrl+A to select all keys.
To initiate a selection marquee, click and drag in the curve editor area and release the mouse button to select all keyframes enclosed by the selection marquee.
You can also use the marquee in combination to Ctrl and Shift keys to add/remove keys from the selection.
Selecting Next/Previous Keys#
It is possible to select the previous and next key by pressing Left and Right arrow keys respectively.
Pressing Shift+Left and Shift+Right will respectively select all previous or all next keys.
To insert a new key, select the curve and Middle Button anywhere in the curve editor area. Alternatively, it is possible to use the Insert Tool (23).
Select the curves you wish to add new keys on.
Activate the Insert Tool by clicking on (23).
Middle-drag to position the vertical marker where you want to add new keys and release the mouse button to create the keys. You can also use the left-mouse button to drag the vertical marker horizontally.
Insert Key tool
It is also possible to insert keys to a selected curve by pasting keys using Ctrl+V that were previously copied to the clipboard using Ctrl+C.
By default, newly inserted keys are using the Default Key Interpolation Type defined in Edit > Preferences... > Animation. However, it is possible to change the type of selected keys using the Key Type button (18).
|Linear||Interpolate the key value linearly|
|Step||Interpolate the key value as constant so that each key defines a new step|
|TCB||Interpolate using Kochanek–Bartels spline which are parametrized using 3 parameters: Tension, Continuity and Bias that can respectively be edited using (10) (11) and (12) numeric fields.|
|Hermite||Interpolate using a Hermit spline.|
|Bezier||Interpolate using a Bezier spline where each key is defining user editable tangents.|
Editing Bezier Tangents#
The Graph Editor provides some tools to edit key's tangents. When enabling Free Tangent Length (13), it is possible to freely edit the length of the tangents otherwise tangent lengths are not modifiable.
When enabling Link Tangent Length (14), incoming and outgoing tangents length are linked so that modifying the length of one affects the length of the other.
In the same way it is possible to link the angle of the tangents by enabling Link Tangent Angle (15).
Clicking on Flat Tangents (16) flattens the tangents along the horizontal axis while Auto Tangent (17) modifies the tangents according to the values of the adjacent keys.
To move selected keys, just click-drag on a selected key.
Holding Shift before click-dragging detects the major axis of the mouse movement to lock the offset on that axis. Keys can also be edited using the Key Frame Number Edit (19) and Key Value Edit (20). These fields also support the same type of basics math operations the number field of the Attribute Editor offers. For more information on the supported operations please refer here.
By default, keys will be snapped to frames. It is possible to disable frame snapping by toggling off Enable Frame Snapping (8) to freely move selected keys.
Alternatively, you can use the Key Frame Number field (19) to offset keys horizontally. In the same way you can use the Key Value field (20) to move keys vertically.
It is possible to quantize keys to snap fractional keys to their nearest non-fractional frame. To quantize a selection of keys, Right Button and select Quantize in the pop up menu or press Q.
The Graph Editor provides 2 tools to transform a selection of keys. The Warp and the Stretch tools. The Warp tool enables you to warp a selection of keys whereas the Stretch tool enables you to stretch keys both horizontally and vertically.
To enable the Warp tool click on the Warp Tool (21) button. A rectangle will surround the selection. Drag any edges or vertices to warp the content of the selection.
Initiating Warp Tool
Warping the selection
To enable the Stretch tool click on the Stretch Tool (22) button. A rectangle will surround the selection. Drag any edges or vertices to stretch the content of the selection.
Initiating Stretch Tool
Initiating Warp Tool
If you hold Ctrl, you will enter the center/pivot based stretch mode where you can stretch the selection around an editable center/pivot. To move the center/pivot just drag the center/pivot around. When you stretch the selection, it will be performed around this center/pivot.
Center Stretch Mode
Just press Del key to delete selected keys. It is also possible to delete the selection using the Delete Selection button (25).
Curve Pre/Post Behavior#
By default, the value of the curve outside its definition maintains the value of its first and last keys. This mode is called constant since the values before the first and after the last keys are constant across time. It is possible to change this behavior using the Pre Behavior (26) and Post Behavior (27) buttons on selected curves.
Pre Behavior controls how the curve is interpreted before the first key, while Post Behavior controls how it is interpreted after the last one.
Note that it is possible to change both pre and post behavior at the same time using Pre/Post Behavior (28) button.
|Constant||Maintain the value of the first/last key.|
|Repeat||Repeat the animation curve infinitely.|
|Oscillate||Repeat animation curve by reversing its values back and forth.|
|Offset Repeat||Repeat the animation curve infinitely except that it adds the value of the last key to the first repeated key.|
|Linear||Extrapolate the curve value outside its definition as linear using the incoming/outgoing tangent of the key.|
It is possible to bake (plot) selected curves by clicking on Bake Selected Curves (24). By default, a keyframe will be inserted at each frame. It is possible to over or under sample the curve by pressing Shift+Left Button or clicking on the 3 dots next to the Bake Selected Curves button.
This will popup a window on which you can input the frame step sampling value you wish. Values beyond 1.0 under samples the curves, while value under 1.0 over samples them.