Timeline

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The Timeline gives an overview of animation data. You can use it to set the working frame range, manipulate the active frame and play back animation. There are two main parts to the timeline. At the top is the Timeline view. Below that is the Tools area.

The Timeline can be shown or hidden using the Timeline button on the right of the Animation Panel.

Timeline view

The Timeline view shows the active frame, the positions of keys for the item currently selected in the Curve Editor or Dope Sheet and the working frame range.

The position of the active frame is shown with a green frame cursor that is drawn the whole height of the editing view. You can click and drag the frame cursor to move it around. When the frame cursor is selected it has orange stripes. If the frame cursor is outside the area displayed in the view a little green box is drawn in the top left or right of the view which shows which frame the cursor is positioned on. You can double click that little box to centre the view on the frame cursor. You can also move the cursor into the view using the "Centre frame cursor" key.

The working frame range is shown by the area of the view with a darker background.

Key positions for the item selected in the Curve Editor or Dope Sheet are shown by yellow bars. The first key also has a green stripe while the last key has a red stripe.

Directly under the Timeline view is a scroll bar. The scroll bar only scrolls the view through the working frame range. There are little buttons with double arrow icons at each end of the scroll bar. You can use these buttons to scroll outside the working frame range. Click and hold them to continue scrolling.

Tools area

Toggle 3D Preview live update button
This button turns on or off live updates for the 3D Previews in response to editing in the Animation Panel. It's on by default. You may find that as your scene gets more complex the editing becomes sluggish and if so you can use the button to turn off live updating. The 3D Preview will still update when you've finished an editing operation, like moving keys.

Frames : Start/End
These two fields let you edit the start and end of the working frame range. These values correspond to the Start and End frame params in the Project settings.

Current frame
This field lets you set the current active frame position. You can enter any frame in the edit field. The stepper control will step through frames in the working range. This value corresponds to the Current frame param in the Project settings.

Fit to working range button
This button will fit the editing view to the current frame working range.

Playback buttons
These playback buttons are the same as the ones in the main window timeline. This what each button does (left to right):

  • Jump to first frame in working range
  • Step to previous frame
  • Start or stop playback
  • Step to next frame
  • Jump to last frame in working range

Loop playback button
If this button is pressed playback will loop continuously. When playback reaches the end of the working frame range it will begin again at the start of the frame range.

Loop playback back-and-forth button
Press this button to have playback loop back-and-forth. When playback reaches the end of the working frame range it will reverse and step backwards through the frame range to the start. It will then play forwards again.

Lock playback to frames button
If this button is pressed every frame will be played in sequence, regardless of how long it takes to draw each frame. If this button isn't pressed then playback will be in realtime (24 frames per second). Frames will be skipped to try and keep playback moving in realtime.


Input Settings
These are the input and manipulation methods available for the Timeline view. See the Mouse and Key Settings dialog for the input bindings.

Zoom - zoom the view
Zoom frames in/out - zooms the view horizontally
Pan, left/right - pan or scroll the view
Fit to working range - fits the view horizontally to the current frame working range
Centre frame cursor in view - this will bring the frame cursor into the centre of the area displayed in the view
Nudge left - nudges the selected item (key or frame cursor) left by one frame
Nudge right - nudges the selected item (key or frame cursor) right by one frame


Back to the Animation Panel
Back to the Animation Module Reference