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Animation Timeline pane

The Animation Timeline pane contains the animation timeline control and the keyframe gallery for your animation. As you get more familiar with building animations, the Animation Timeline may likely become the place you most commonly work when authoring and editing your animation.

There are two regions for working with animation keyframes in the pane. The upper region is the timeline (horizontal bar) and is ideal for previewing and editing across the entire animation duration. It displays keyframes individually, but it can cluster keyframes into a group if they would otherwise overlap. You can interactively move and update keyframes or the current time by dragging items along the timeline. Keyframes are spaced relative to how they actually occur in an exported video format.

Below the timeline is the Keyframe Gallery, which contains an ordered list of preview images for each keyframe in the animation. You may not see all of your animation's keyframes in the gallery at once, as it will display the ones relative to the current time. The gallery can scroll to show additional keyframes. The gallery is used to visualize and edit the animation and work with selected keyframes.

In between the timeline and the keyframe gallery, you may optionally see an additional timeline specific to overlays. It will only be present when overlays have been added to your animation, allowing you to click Next Overlay Next Visible Overlay and select the overlay for editing.

Selection is an important aspect for working within the Animation Timeline pane. Selected keyframes allow you to perform common edits and updates, or enable highly detailed editing capabilities when coupled with the Animation Properties pane.

Tip:

You can click Undo Undo or press Ctrl + Z to return your animation to its previous state if you get an unexpected result when editing.

Open the Animation Timeline pane

By default, the Animation Timeline pane is automatically opened and docked at the base of the application when a new animation is added to a map or scene. To begin a new animation, on the View tab in the Animation group, click Add Build Animation. The Animation Timeline pane is empty until you click Create first keyframe to begin.

Sometimes panes are closed to maximize the viewing space of the map or scene. To reopen the pane for editing capabilities, on the Animation tab in the Playback group, click Timeline Timeline to reopen the Animation Timeline pane.

Open the Animation Timeline pane

Animation Timeline pane layout

The Animation Timeline pane automatically populates with keyframes as you create them. You can manually add keyframes using Append Keyframe, or import items into a preconfigured animation format, such as creating keyframes from bookmarks or from your map's time or range properties.

The image below shows the Animation Timeline pane with the timeline as a horizontal bar and keyframes (including a cluster), extra control buttons in the middle, and the keyframe gallery along the bottom. The gallery also shows a selected keyframe, a hold keyframe, and how to change a keyframe's transition type.

Animation Timeline pane

Tip:

To select a keyframe, click it once. To zoom to a keyframe in the map view, double-click it. Every keyframe has a context menu, if you prefer to access commands by right-clicking a keyframe.

Timeline control

Along the timeline, you can see the exact timing between keyframes, so you can observe how it would appear during playback or if exported to a video. Changing the distance between keyframes affects the speed of playback. Capabilities for working in the timeline are as follows:

  • Visualize time spacing.
  • Drag keyframes to rearrange.
  • Right-click a cluster of keyframes to expand and work with those grouped keyframes.
  • Right-click a keyframe for additional commands for editing and playback.
  • Drag the current time indicator to scrub through the current time.
  • Work with a selected keyframe or group of keyframes to perform edits.

Keyframe gallery

The gallery is used to visualize and edit the animation and easily work with selected keyframes. When a keyframe is selected in the gallery, the outline looks like a puzzle piece indicating how each keyframe and transition connect to form the animation. A keyframe and its transition type (located in front of each keyframe) are stored together. Capabilities for working in the gallery are as follows:

  • Drag keyframes to rearrange them.
  • Right-click a keyframe for additional commands for editing and playback.
  • Drag the current time indicator to scrub through the current time.
  • Change the transition type for a keyframe by clicking the transition symbol on the keyframe.
  • View where a hold appears along the animation. These keyframes have an arrow indicating that properties are being held or paused from being animated.
  • Work with a selected keyframe or group of keyframes to perform edits.

Overlay timeline

When an animation contains on-screen overlays for text and images, a supplementary overlay timeline appears on the Animation Timeline pane. It only appears if overlays exist for the animation.

Overlay timeline for animations

Capabilities for working with the overlay timeline include:

  • Drag an overlay along the timeline to change the time it appears.
  • Drag either the first or last keyframe node on the overlay to adjust the duration.
  • Click Next Overlay Next Visible Overlay to select the next overlay in the animation. This allows you to cycle through all overlays in the animation, not just those that are visible at the current time.
  • Edit properties for an overlay once it is selected. Properties are editable from the Overlay group on the Animation tab or using the Overlay tab on the Animation Properties pane.

Additional commands in the Animation Timeline pane

The Animation Timeline pane has a series of commands to enhance your workflow when interacting with or editing keyframes along the timeline or in the keyframe gallery. The controls and the keyframes on the Animation Timeline pane are designed to work together. Controls on the Animation tab apply global effects. The edit, selection, playback, filter, and gallery commands in the Animation Timeline pane allow you to do the following:

  • Stay working in the pane to perform common actions so that you can minimize the need to switch between the pane and the Animation tab.
  • Insert a new keyframe at the current time if no keyframe currently exists, for example, if you move the scrubber between two keyframes.
  • Work with only a selected keyframe or a set of keyframes to perform certain actions. For example, you can update properties, add a hold, or refresh properties.
  • Access commonly used playback controls.
  • Use filters to show only those keyframes that have changes to individual keyframe properties, including camera, time, range, and layer.
  • Optionally view the gallery uncompressed if you have chosen to filter some keyframes from the display.

Selected keyframes

When a keyframe is selected, you can do the following:

  • Update Update Keyframe—Sets the camera if you navigate the map or scene while the keyframe is selected. Otherwise, it will set other values for the selected keyframe from the active map.
  • Delete—Removes the selected keyframes.
  • Hold Hold Keyframe—Inserts a hold to the selected keyframes.
  • Refresh—Updates the preview image on the selected keyframes.
  • Current Time—You can update the value for the current time of the selected keyframe by dragging its matching keyframe along the timeline or typing a new value in the Current box in the Playback group on the Animation tab.

Tip:

Selected keyframes can also be edited from the Keyframe Properties pane in greater detail.

Filters

Filters are a way of displaying and editing keyframes that contain a particular property type. Filter types include Camera , Time Time, Range Map Range, and Layer . Therefore, if you only want to work with the range-aware keyframes in your animation, you uncheck the other available filters and leave Range as the only enabled filter.

The available filters listed reflect the properties stored with your animation's keyframes. Therefore, if your map does not contain time- or range-enabled layers, those filters do not appear.

Tip:

When a filter is being used, clicking Delete or Update in the Animation Timeline pane for selected keyframes will remove or capture the enabled property (for example, Range). It is important to be aware of your editing and viewing settings in the Animation Timeline pane, as you are storing all the values from the enabled filters.

Keyboard shortcuts for working with animations

The following keyboard shortcuts can help you save time and be more productive when working with animations by providing access to many common functions. These shortcuts work with animation regardless of whether the Animation Timeline pane is open or not.

Keyboard shortcutDescription

Ctrl + Right Arrow

Next Keyframe Step forward

Ctrl + Left Arrow

Previous Keyframe Step back

Space

Play Play all steps/Pause Pause

Ctrl + Insert

Append—A new keyframe will be added at the end of the animation after the last keyframe.

Shift + Insert

Update Update Keyframe or Set Set Keyframe—If a keyframe exists at the current time, it will be updated. Otherwise, a new keyframe will be inserted at the current time in between two keyframes.

Ctrl + Shift + Delete

Delete Delete—Deletes the current keyframe.

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