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This course provides an overview of modeling, animating, and rendering 3D graphics in the open-source software Blender 2.6. Beginning with a tour of the Blender interface, author George Maestri shows how to create and edit basic objects, work with modifiers and subdivision surfaces, and apply materials and textures. The course also demonstrates lighting 3D scenes, setting up and using cameras, animating objects, and assembling basic character rigs.
Another way to edit animation is to use the Dope Sheet. Now this doesn't use animation curves; it basically just allows you to move keyframes around and create new ones. But it can be a lot faster than the Graph Editor in a lot of situations. So let's go ahead and open up a window to add in a Graph Editor. So I'm going to go up into the right corner of my viewport here and left-click and drag down a horizontal window. And again, because I'm working with time, I like to have a horizontal window to put my editor in. And so we're going to find the Dope Sheet and go ahead and select that.
Now this actually has all of the animation in the scene represented as little diamonds here. And if I want, I can scroll in by grabbing this little icon here. And you'll see that I have a number of options here, but basically the ones I want to look at are the ones for the billiard ball. In fact, let's go ahead and zoom down a little bit. And you can see that each key here is actually broken down into separate keys for X, Y, and Z, so in that respect it's similar to the Graph Editor, but we don't have curves between them-- we just have the keys themselves.
Now this is a simpler way of looking at your animation. But you don't have all the curves in place. It's just a really easy way to move keys around, and a lot times it can be faster. So as we scroll through, you can see how we've got a set of keys in the middle, where the billiard ball is reaching the top of its arc. So you can see, as we play this, the ball basically just does a quick bounce. And so we have a key here. Now if we want, we can move that key or just parts of that key. So if I right-click and drag, you can see how I'm dragging that key.
Now look down on the Timeline. You can see how it's snapping along with the keys in the Dope Sheet. So if I put it on frame 12 and left-click to lock it in, now my ball goes up a lot quicker and down a lot slower. So if I wanted to move that back, again, all I do is right-click over it and drag, and once I let go of that right-click, it's locked until I left-click to set it. So another thing we can do is change individual keys. So let's say we want it to have its peak somewhere earlier.
Let's say I want to move that key for Z Location up a little bit. I can right-click on just that key and drag, and now you can see how I'm just moving that one key for that one channel. So if I move that, say, to 10, left-click and lock it in, you'll see I get another key here at 10, but when I go to that key, you'll see that the only thing keyed is location for Z; everything else is not keyed. And when I go over to 15, everything is keyed except for that one I move. So I can move individual channel keys around if I want.
Now I can also use this as a keyframing interface. So if I go over here somewhere around 21 or so, I have a Key menu here, so that we can insert keyframes and the hotkey for that is I. So if all I do is hit I over this, we can key all channels or only the selected channels, which will be, in this case, Z Location. So if I hit I, only selected channels that creates one key for that. And again I can move that around if I want, and again, left-click to lock it in.
Now another thing we can do is we can actually duplicate keys, so if I were to select, for example, this and Shift+ Select another one, you can actually use the same selection tools we have in any other part of Blender. So if I select Y and Z here at frame 26, I can go Key > Duplicate and then it allows me to dial that additional key in and then left-click to lock it in. So it's a great way to actually duplicate keys as well.
Now another thing you want to be aware of is that any value that isn't really animating will show up with this black bar. So remember, in this animation we were really only animating Y and Z. X and all the other variables were pretty much held constant throughout the animation. So if something is constant from one frame to the next, it will show up as a dark line. So those are some of the basics of the Dope Sheet, and as you can see, it's a very fast way to move keys around and reorganize and re-time your animation, so I'm sure you'll find it valuable as you continue to animate in Blender.
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