Editing an Animation

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Editing an Animation

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Animation Editor Window>Editing an Animation

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Keyframes are the image snapshots of the animation. They define the viewpoint (camera-angle, position and zoom), Focus Time, and 3D View Properties of the 3D Windows at a given point in time within the Animation.

Interpolation defines how the Animation transitions between Keyframes...

Adding a Keyframe

·Keyframes are added by left-clicking in either channel of the open animation editor Window.

Focus Time Keyframes

Store the date and time of the current Focus Time in the Gantt Chart

Focus Time Keyframes linked to a Task

Store the Start, Middle, End of the selected Task in the Gantt Chart. Updates automatically if the Task dates are updated.

Focus Time keyframe will be automatically linked to a Task if

1. Try to link automatically new Key Frame with selected Task is enabled in Options>Defaults for New Objects>Key Frames
2. A Task is selected
3. The Focus Time value is the set to the start time (or end time, or centre time) of the currently selected task

Camera Keyframes

Store the current camera-angle, position and zoom in the active 3D window

3D View Properties Keyframes

Store the current state of some or all 3D View Properties

·Keyframes can be added before or after an existing Keyframe, or even between 2 existing Keyframes.
·Scroll mouse wheel to rescale the Animation Editor to display the required time scale.
·To define the start of the animation move the Focus Time bar in the Gantt Chart to just before the start of the project. Click the left mouse button in the focus time channel of the animation editor at 0 sec. A marker will appear.
·To define the end of the animation, move the Focus Time bar in the Gantt chart to just after the end of the project. Click the left mouse button in the focus time channel in the animation editor. Another marker will appear.
TIP:Although Keyframes can be updated once added, the typical process would be to set the Camera or Focus Time properties and then add the required Keyframe to record the state.
TIP: Before creating the animation it’s a good idea to make sure that the 3D window is roughly the same aspect ratio as the desired output. This is to avoid clipping the sides of the view when exporting the animation. You can drag the title bar of the 3D Window and resize it as a separate window. The size of this 3D window is stated in the top right hand corner so you can alter the size to the required aspect ratio size that you want

Keyframes can additionally be added by recording live interactions with the 4D model (camera and focus time changes). See Live Capture Recording for more details.

Selecting Keyframes

To select a Keyframe, move the mouse cursor over it and left-click.   When the cursor is positioned to allow selection a left/right cursor is displayed:

Selection editing cursor

Selected (red border)


Multiple Keyframes can be selected by holding the Ctrl key while left clicking. Use the Shift key to select one keyframe, then a second - all keyframes in between will be selected.

Animation Editor context menu


Add a new keyframe


Delete the selected keyframe

Delete All

Delete all keyframes in the selected channel

Generate Timeline

Automatically create many Focus Time keyframes. See Generate Timeline for more information

Edit Focus Times

Update multiple Focus Time keyframes with new dates. See Edit Focus Times

Interpolation Type

See Changing Interpolation Type

Snap to Viewpoint

Apply the camera angle associate with the selected keyframe to the 3D window

Snap to Focus Time

Update the Focus Time with the value associated with the selected keyframe

Select linked Task

For Focus Time keyframes that are linked to a Task, selected the linked Task in the Gantt Chart

Perform Actions

Update the 3D View with the 3D View Properties associated with the selected keyframe

Use Current Viewpoint

Store the current Camera angle with the selected Camera keyframe (replaces previously saved Camera angle)

Use Current Focus Time

Store the current Focus Time with the selected Focus Time keyframe (replaces previously saved Focus Time)

Use Selected Task As Anchor

Choose Use Start/Use Center/Use End from the submenu to link the selected keyframe to the Start/Center/End of the selected Task. The keyframe will then update automatically if the Task dates are updated

Use Current State

Store the current 3D View Properties with the selected 3D View Properties keyframe (replaces previously saved 3D View Properties)

Zoom In

Zoom in on the Animation Editor timeline

Zoom Out

Zoom out on the Animation Editor timeline

Zoom All

Zoom the Animation Editor timeline to fit all keyframes

Changing Interpolation Type

1.Right-click the Keyframe for which the interpolation type is to be changed.   The key frame is shown as selected and a context menu is displayed.
2.Select Interpolation Type and then choose Curve, Line, Step, Turntable, or 3D Path from the context menu.

For explanation of the different Interpolation Types, see Video Terminology

NOTE:Interpolations are always between neighboring Keyframes. The interpolation type assigned to first (left) Keyframe defines the transition.

TIP: To create an animation (or part of an animation) in Isometric mode, right click in the 3D window and enable Isometric mode before adding a camera keyframe. Isometric mode will be saved with the keyframe even if it is turned off in the 3D window.

Removing Keyframes

1.Right-click on the Keyframe to be removed, it is highlighted with a red border indicating current selection. A context menu is displayed.
2.Select Remove to removed the selected Keyframe.
·Where a Keyframe is removed that is bounded by others, interpolations will be recalculated between the neighbouring Keyframes.
·If a removed Keyframe is bounded by just one other Keyframe, then the interpolation is also removed (nothing remaining to interpolate to).

Updating a Keyframe

Keyframes that have already been created can be updated with the current states of the camera, Focus Time, or 3D Grids/Notations.

1.To update a Keyframe, first set the state (Focus Time, 3D View Camera angle, or show/hide 3D Notations and 3D Grids) required to be applied as an update
2.Right-click the Keyframe to be updated, and select the Use Current Viewpoint, Use Current Focus Time, or Use Current State depending on which channel Keyframe has been selected.


For example, after reviewing the animation you may find that you need to edit some of the camera angles. To do this:

1.Right click on the blue marker in the camera channel and select Snap To Viewpoint.
2.Modify the 3D window to get the desired camera angle.
3.Right click on the blue marker in the camera channel and select Use Current Viewpoint.

You can also edit the animation by adding more points.

4.Drag the Focus Time Marker in the animation Editor to the point in time that you want to edit. Then modify the 3D window accordingly.
5.Left click in the camera channel of the animation editor where the Focus Time Marker intersects the camera channel.

Moving (Editing) Keyframes

·Keyframes can be moved to earlier or later positions on the animation editor time line.
·To move a marker, hover over it until an arrow appears. Left click and hold while dragging to move.
·If you move a marker and want following markers to move to suit, hold down shift when you are moving the marker.
·If many Keyframes appear to be overlaid, zoom into the time line using the mouse wheel (scroll the mouse wheel forward to zoom in).

Inserting / Appending Keyframes

·A new Keyframe can be inserted into an existing set of Keyframes.
·Inserting is carried out in the same manner as Adding Keyframes
·When inserting a Keyframe note that the current position of the camera or the focus time is recorded on that Keyframe, it is therefore suggested that if slight deviations are being inserted then prior repositioning of the animation Window focus time will take you to that current intermediate position, from which a new Keyframe can be set and recorded.
·See Playing an Animation for more details.


Edit Focus Times

It is possible to shift the focus time for Keyframes for the entire animation or a given interval. This is particularly useful if the start date of the project changes or the project falls behind schedule, and the Keyframes no longer match the construction sequence correctly.

To enable the Edit Focus Times dialog, open the Animation Editor then right click anywhere with either Camera or Focus Time channels

Select Edit Focus Times…

You will be presented with the Edit Focus Times window:


Apply changes to Keyframes

Choose if edits apply to all Keyframes in the animation, or within a given time interval in the animation


·Shift on given duration will shift the Keyframe Focus Times by the given amount. Enter a negative (-) duration to shift the Focus Time backwards in time.

The Start/End Time panels below will be greyed out when this option is selected

·Shift Start/End to Date will shift the appropriate Keyframe to the date set in the Start/End Time panel below. Use the button to input the date through a calendar.
·Stretch to interval will shift the first Keyframe in the interval to the date set in the Start Time panel and shift the last Keyframe in the interval to the date set in the End Time panel


Related Topics:

Video Terminology

Generate Timeline

Live Capture Recording

Playing an Animation