The timeline allows control of individual aspects of scene objects over time. Each scene object is represented as a single track that can be extended in order to show the object properties. Every object track is shown in a different color.
The timeline consists of five main panels:
On top there are playback controls and the time ruler. The initial and final frames values, specified in the text boxes on each side of the time ruler, are used to narrow the object visibility range.
The left bottom panel represents the current selected object along with the names of any parameters that have any keyframes defined. The details displayed in this area change as the selection changes, however, objects can be pinned to be displayed along with other objects regardless of selection state.
To pin the object in the tree, simply tick the box next to the icon and name:
In the right bottom panel, you can see objects (or their parameters) as layers in a classic timeline form, where it is possible to interact with and alter their start time and/or duration.
On the bottommost panel the time scale control is placed allowing you to change the time scale on the timeline and scroll to the desired part of it.
Collapsing/Expanding the Timeline
The timeline is a collapsible panel. To hide the object tracks, press the ▴ button on the right of the timeline. To expand the timeline, press the button one more time. When creating simple scenes, this provides a less cluttered and less complex way to work, as well as maximizing space for the canvas area.
Moving the Current Frame Position
There are several ways to move to the desired frame position:
- Click on the desired location on the timeline to jump to that location
- Left-click the animation position slider and holding it move the slider to the desired timeline location
- Use the <→> and <←> buttons or use the <Shift+6> or <Shift+4> shortcuts respectively to move the animation position slider forward or backward on the timeline
- Hit <S> to jump to the end of the scene
- Hit <A> to jump to the beginning of the scene
- Use <→> or <4> to move a frame forward and <Alt+→> or <2> to move 10 frames forward
- Use <←> or <3> to move a frame backward and <Alt+←> or <1> to move 10 frames backward
- Hit <Space> to start/stop playing
Working with the Objects on the Timeline
Changing the Duration
Each object track has its respective start and end markers on the time ruler:
They are used to change the duration that the object will display. Simply click on the marker and drag it to the desired position. The track duration will change accordingly.
These markers are typical start and end animation keyframes.
You can also change the temporal position of the object by dragging it to the desired position on the timeline. To do this, click on the object track and drag it to the required position.
The number in the beginning of the track specifies the initial frame for the object to be displayed.