The Time Lines tab consists of a choreography list, a time line table and a number of controls on the bottom of the window. Moving the splitter line that divides the window vertically controls the space division between the choreography list and the time lines.
The following controls are available:
Choreography list: Shows all choreographs of the current project (or alternatively only the choreographs of the selected objects - see the Only Selected Objects option below). Each animated object has an initialization choreography, which defines its state in the beginning of the animation. An initialization choreography can have any number of sub choreographs, which are executed in the order they appear in the choreography list. A LMB click activates a choreography, after which its properties can be modified using the controls on the bottom of the window, with popup menus and with other tabs of the window. The same list is visible also in many other tabs of the choreography window.
A double click on a choreography with the left mouse button opens the sub structure of the choreography, showing the sub choreographs or the animated attributes (and their time lines on the right side) included in the choreography. A second double click hides the sub structure. A complex animation often contain very many choreographs. Keeping only choreographs under construction opened helps in managing the complex time line system.
A slow double click activates the rename tool. Assigning descriptive names for choreographs helps to manage complex animations. For example, facial expression choreographs can be renamed as 'smile', 'cry', 'anger' etc.
The choreography list has the following popup menu:
New/Keyframer, ...: Creates a new sub choreography for the target object of the selected choreography. The time line is initialized to fill the parent time line.
Duplicate: Duplicates the selected choreography. Initialization choreographs cannot be duplicated.
Split: Uses the current time to cut the time line of the selected choreography into two parts. The result is two key frame choreographs where the original defines motions before the cut and the newly created choreography defines the motions after the cut point. The actual motions remain unchanged. If the tool is applied to the root choreography, all keyframe sub choreographs are split.
Delete: Deletes the selected choreography. If the deleted choreography is the initialization choreography, the object becomes unanimated.
Rename: Activates the rename tool (slow double-click does the same).
Open: Open the sub structure of the selected choreography.
Close: Close the sub structure of the selected choreography.
Open All: Opens the sub structure of all choreographs.
Close All: Hides the sub structure of all choreographs.
Only Selected Objects: If set, the usual object selection at the select window controls which choreographs are shown. This helps to control and edit complex animations.
Load: Loads a choreography from disk and assigns it to the target object of the selected choreography.
Save: Saves the selected choreography to a disk file.
Time lines: The time line gadget shows a time scale, a slider for changing the current time and a table of horizontal time lines. Dragging the knob on the time scale with the left mouse button changes the current time. A RMB click moves the time to the clicked position.
A time line can be edited by dragging the end knobs with the left mouse button, or by using the numeric 'Start' and 'End' controls on the bottom of the window. The time line can be moved by dragging it.
By default changing the lenght of a time line scales also the associated key frames. This can be avoided by holding down the Alt key, in which case the associated keys are scaled inversely so that their positions in global time remains unchanged.
If the sub structure of a keyframer choreography is opened, the time line table shows also the attribute specific animation keys. Animation keys are shown as rectangular knobs. Keys can be activated by LMB clicking them. Shift modifier allows key multi-selection. LMB-dragging can also be used for multi-selection. Keys can be moved by dragging them with the mouse. Selected keys can be moved also using the 'Key Value' gadget below the time line table. The Shift modifier actives frame grid when knots are being moved.
Keys can be duplicated by draggning the selected keys while holding down the Ctrl key.
For accurate editing, you can zoom in by dragging with the right mouse button Shift key held down. Ctrl-RMB-dragging pans the time lines (i.e. selects the time range to be displayed on the window). Mouse wheel can be used for scrolling the window.
The time line area has the following popup menu:
Delete Key Values: Deletes a selected key.
Delete All Keys: Deletes all keys of attributes, which have one ore more keys selected. Those attributes become unanimated.
Reset: Resets zooming and positioning to show the full animation length.
Start: The start time of the selected choreography (in frames or real time depending on Options/Animation/Time System).
End: The end time of the selected choreography.
Weight: The weight of the selected choreography in the current frame.
Periodic: Repeats the selected choreography outside the actual time line.
Prev: Jumps the time to the previous key frame. Only keys show on the time line table are considered.
Next: Jumps the time to the next key frame. Only keys show on the time line table are considered.
Add key: Adds a new key frame at the current animation frame to the selected attribute or to all attributes of the current choreography.
Key value: The time of the selected key(s). If multiple keys are selected and their values are different, a red color indicates value conflict.
Active: Activates the selected choreography.