You can interactively edit an animation and its keyframes by working directly in a map or scene. Use the Edit Current Keyframe tool to activate interactive editing, display the animation path and its keyframes, and visualize the changes as you make them.
Use the Edit Current Keyframe tool to add a moveable control over the active keyframe and make adjustments such as repositioning a keyframe, inserting and removing keyframes, and changing the camera rotation or height. Click individual keyframe elements or click the Edit Next and Edit Previous buttons to move along the path. The look-at points associated with a keyframe and control-points associated with the adjustable transition type are also editable points along the animation path. They appear as orange or yellow dots in an animation and are available for interactive editing.
The interactive keyframe editing tools are located in the Display group on the Animation tab. When you finish your interactive edits, you must switch to another main tool, for example, the Explore tool . You can right-click in the view to switch to Explore, press Ctrl+Alt+C, or add the Explore tool to the Quick Access toolbar so it is always visible.
Use the Edit Current Keyframe tool
An animation must contain at least two keyframes to edit it interactively and display the edit control, path, and keyframes. Interactive edits are commonly used to refine parts of the playback experience. Once an animation is finished, it can be exported to a movie format or duplicated as an additional animation.
To use interactive editing for an animation's keyframe, do the following:
- Ensure that an animation is included in your project.
- In the Display group, on the Animation tab, click Edit Current Keyframe .
The moveable edit control appears over the current keyframe. The current keyframe aligns with the current time in the animation.
- Drag the rings on the moveable control for the keyframe to make adjustments.
Drag the middle gray ring to reposition the keyframe in X and Y. In 3D, rotate the green and red rings to change the camera's heading and pitch values. Use the vertical green arrow to drag the keyframe in Z to update its height value when animating in a scene.
- Press the C key to temporarily navigate the view but continue to keep the interactive editing for the keyframe active. Optionally, use the middle mouse button to pan.
- Right-click in the view and click Explore when you are finished to close the Edit Current Keyframe tool.
The movable control no longer appears in the view and the path and keyframe display is turned off.
Modify a keyframe interactively
You can modify a keyframe in the view using the on-screen edit control in the following ways:
Only one keyframe can be modified at a time when the Edit Current Keyframe tool is active. To change values for multiple keyframes, use the Animation Properties pane based on your selected keyframes in the keyframe gallery in the Animation Timeline pane.
Move a keyframe to a new location in X, Y, or Z
The moveable control surrounding the keyframe looks like a shaded disk with arrows. The pointer changes to four-points when you hover over the moveable edit control. Click to drag and reposition the keyframe x and y values.
In 3D, use the vertical green arrow to adjust the height (z-value).
Remove a keyframe
Press the Delete key on the active keyframe, or right-click a keyframe and click Delete Keyframe.
Insert a new keyframe
Add keyframes to the animation by right-clicking anywhere in the view or along the current path and choose from the following:
Change the rotation of the camera heading
In 3D, if a keyframe does not include a defined look-at point, you can use the rotation rings around the keyframe to position the direction the camera faces. Click and drag the green horizontal ring to modify the heading of the camera. An orange direction line indicates approximately what's in the camera's view.
Change the tilt of the camera angle
In 3D, if a keyframe does not include a defined look-at point, you can use the rotation rings around the keyframe to position the direction the camera faces. Click and drag the red vertical ring to modify the pitch angle of the camera. An orange direction line indicates approximately what's in the camera's view.
Change control points for adjustable camera path
If a keyframe is using an adjustable transition type, it includes configurable control points for the Bezier curve. Click a control point and move it around the view using the on-screen edit control. The curve updates immediately to show the updated path.
Edit the next keyframe without changing the current view perspective
By default, if the keyframe is off-screen and not in view, the view automatically zooms to the edit handle when you click Edit Next or Edit Previous or use the Edit Current Keyframe tool. The behavior zooms to the keyframe and orients from perpendicular perspective. To maintain your perspective, click the Bring Into View button so it is not selected and the automatic zoom is turned off. You must manually pan or zoom to navigate to the keyframe, but you can maintain your viewing angle.
To set specific values or to observe values change when interactively modifying a keyframe, ensure that the Keyframe tab is active in the Animation Properties pane. Expand the Camera layer properties section to see the position values update accordingly.
Set a keyframe look-at point
A look-at point is a specified location in a scene view where the keyframe's camera is focused during animation playback. By default, keyframes interpolate a look-at point based on the camera's heading and pitch values. In some cases, a look-at point can be added at the same time you create the keyframe. For example, the Import drop-down menu includes four methods that automatically create keyframes to circle around either the center of the view or a selected object as the look-at point. These keyframes are defined by a specific look-at point.
To add a look-at point to your keyframe while editing an animation, use the Edit Current Keyframe tool. Ensure that the editing focus is on the keyframe where the look-at point will be added. Position the view around the location or object you want to use as the look-at point, right-click in the scene, and choose Set Keyframe Target Point. An orange dot and leader line connects the look-at point to the keyframe. Optionally, choose Look At Next Keyframe to set the look-at point to the position of the next keyframe to mimic following along a path rather than looking side to side.
To update the look-at point for multiple keyframes, select the series of keyframes from the Keyframe Gallery in the Animation Timeline pane. Right-click the selected keyframes and point to Look At Point and choose either Next Keyframe or Center Of View. This is also how you remove a look-at point.
Add, remove, and reset a control point
Camera path transitions that use the adjustable transition type include control points that define how the Bezier curve path is calculated. By default, camera transitions that use this type include two control points, one leading out from the start point of the transition path and one heading into the end point. If these two control points do not provide enough flexibility for defining the curve, you can add more intermediate control points for further adjustment.
When working with control points, it is recommended that you first display the animation's path and keyframes in the view. This provides a visual display of the camera's path and the effect control points have on it.
To add, remove, and reset control points for an adjustable transition curve, do the following:
- In the Display group, on the Animation tab, click the Path drop-down menu and choose Path and Keyframes .
The path display is enabled when the button is highlighted and the icon reflects the current display option.
- Right-click the keyframe in the Keyframe Gallery on the Animation Timeline pane.
- Point to Control
Points and choose Add Control Point.
An additional control point is added to that transition line, shown as yellow points connected by yellow lines.
- To remove a specific control point, enable the Edit Current Keyframe tool in the Display group on the Animation tab so the tool is active in the view.
- Right-click a control point in the view, point to
Control Points and click Remove Control Point.
An adjustable transition type must have at least one control point; you cannot delete the last control point using this method. To remove all control points, you must change the camera's transition type to another option, such as Linear or Fixed .
- To reset the control points for a keyframe, which returns the control points to
their initial state on the transition line, right-click the keyframe in the Animation Timeline pane, point to Control Points, and choose
Reset Control Points.
This is useful when you manually edit the control points and need to smooth the playback results.
By default, the Bezier adjustable curve has Maintain Tangents enabled, which ensures a smooth flight path between multiple keyframes that use this curve type. To disable this, right-click the keyframe in the Animation Timeline pane, point to Control Points, and uncheck the option.