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3ds Max provides another method for creating animation, and that is Auto Key mode. And when you're in Auto Key mode, almost anything that you do in the program is going to create key frame. So it's one of those modes that you need to be careful with because if you're not paying attention, you can accidentally start creating animation on things you didn't mean to. A really common error that people make and that I've made myself many times, is leave the Auto Key button on and start working on materials, and actually animate the materials accidentally.
So, if you use Auto Key just be very aware of whether it's on or off. To enable it, just click on the Auto Key button here. And as soon as that's on, as I said, literally almost anything that you do is going to start creating key frames. Not just position, rotation, but things like object parameters and materials. It's all keyable, which is amazing, but again Auto Key is, you know, kind of a dangerous tool because if you're not paying attention you'll start key framing stuff without knowing it. What I want to do here is, I just want to move the logo down into the frame.
Now Auto Key is kind of unique in that, if you are not on the first frame of your timeline, then if you move something or change some parameter, 3ds Max will create a key frame on frame zero or whatever the first frame of your time line is. So this is kind of a bizarre behavior, but, you'll get used to it. So, by way of illustration, let's say I go to, you know, frame 120 and I grab my logo, and then I move it up out of the frame.
As soon as I do that, now, suddenly I don't just have a key frame on frame 120. I also get one on frame zero. And what's going to happen here now is that, the object is going to move upward in the frame, so if I rewind and play this back, you'll see it move up. Okay, so that's kind of a bit non-intuitive, the fact that if there is no key frame before the current time when you create your first Auto Key, then you'll get two for one. You'll get two key frames.
One at the former position, it'll be created at the first frame, and then one at the current time position, and that'll be where you're currently parked. So, again, that's kind of weird. What I recommend to prevent this happening is to always start at range zero when you're using Auto Key or whatever the first frame of your animation is. I'm going to select these keys here by dragging a rectangle around them, and delete them and start over. Just press the delete key on the keyboard, and that deletes those keys but not the selected object.
Okay, so a better way of using Auto Key is to start on your first frame, and then place your object wherever you want it to be on frame zero, or whatever your first frame is. In this case, just right outside of the frame, there. And then, click on Set Key, and create your key manually. And I'm just keying position, currently. Okay, so this is just a work around for the unusual behavior of Auto Key. I've got one set manually, and now if I go back to Auto Key, and then go to some later point in time, let's say frame 90, and then move the object down, that's going to be a lot more predictable behavior.
All right, so now I've got a keyframe at frame 90, and I had an existing one over here already. And rewind that, and now that's doing what I want. It's moving down instead of up. Cool, so that's pretty straightforward. In Auto Key mode, if you simply position at a particular key, like directly on a key, and then make a change, you will edit that key frame. By way of example, let's say I park on frame 90 and then I move the object down here. Soon as I release the mouse, I've just updated that key frame.
I've overridden whatever data was there. We can rewind that and prove that it's going to slide over to the right. So that's actually a useful thing, because, you know, you can edit key frames directly without having to go into the curve editor or anything else. To help you with that, sometimes you might want to advance directly to a key frame. So on your transport controls here. There's a handy button here, that says Key Mode Toggle. If you click on that, then these little arrows here don't move one frame forward, they move to the next key frame of the selected object.
So if I click this, it's going to snap exactly to frame 90, because that was the next key frame. Okay, cool. So I can bring this back over. And soon as I release the mouse, once again, that key frame has been updated. Once I'm done, I have to always remember to exit out of Auto Key. And if you don't once again, you know, scary things may happen. Finally of course I can edit this. You know, I can maybe move these down a bit. Maybe I'll take that down to frame 120, and maybe bring this one to frame 60 or something. And just like I did before, I want no ease out of the starting position.
So that we have a linear rate of motion at the beginning of the animation. So once again I'll go into the curve editor. Another way to get there is through the Graph Editor's menu. And I can choose Track View Curve Editor. And here we see the position keys for the logo, and I can just select those first three keys and set them to linear. Close that window, rewind, see what that looks like in the camera view. So, at frame 60 that comes into frame. All right, very cool. So that is Auto Key.
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