The Motion Editor

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The Motion Editor with a partial time selection that includes falloffs

In the Motion Editor, you can adjust and blend animations for controls. You can work with multiple controls and even multiple animation sets simultaneously, and you can use preset sliders or 3D manipulators to modify them.

You can also select a region of time, and any modifications you make will be applied only inside that time selection. If you select all of time (or infinite time), any changes you make will be applied across the entire timeline. You can also create and modify falloffs for your time selection, to blend animations.

Tip.png Tip: If you want to make changes to your entire sequence, select all of time. All changes, including those made with presets, are applied only to the current time selection, and only to currently selected controls.
Note.png Note: If you switch back and forth between the Clip Editor and the Motion Editor, you can see that both display the same amount of time, with the currently selected shot displayed as a lighter section in the Motion Editor.

The Motion Editor also contains the floating modification layer, a tool that stores changes as temporary until you decide to keep or discard them.

What, how, when

You can think about manipulating objects in terms of what, how, and when: what controls are selected, how you are manipulating them, and when you want the changes to happen. You can actually do these in any order, but we find this order to be the most efficient.

  • What—Select the object(s) you want to manipulate.
  • How—Perform the manipulation.
  • When—Select the time period you want to be affected by the manipulation.

Playback in the Motion Editor: preview and review

When you're in the Motion Editor, you can preview time without actually moving the playhead by holding down Shift and moving your mouse left and right. When you release Shift, time will jump back to the playhead's location. You can also review just the current shot by pressing Ctrl+Spacebar; again, time will return to the playhead's location when the review of the shot is complete.

Note.png Note: When you're in the Motion Editor, we strongly recommend using preview or review instead of dragging the playhead and then pressing Spacebar. Where the playhead is located matters for manipulating controls, and the Shift preview and review hotkeys help avoid needless playhead adjustments.


The Motion Editor with two bookmarks
The Motion Editor with curves flattened using Resample at bookmarks

The Motion Editor displays curves to represent animation. You can bookmark specific times on those curves and use them to modify the animation. Pressing M adds a bookmark at the playhead's current location. The bookmarks appear as small blue marks at the top of the Motion Editor.

Tip.png Tip: After you add a bookmark, you can move it by dragging it.

You can flatten the animation curves between bookmarks by resampling at them. This averages the values between them and flattens the curves, making them linear.

To resample at bookmarks:

  1. Place your bookmarks.
  2. Right-click in the Motion Editor, click Resample, and click At Bookmarks.
Tip.png Tip: On the timeline, pressing Tab will toggle between the Clip Editor and either the Motion Editor or the Graph Editor, depending on which view you were most recently in.

See also