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Understanding the timeline

From: MODO 501 Essential Training

Video: Understanding the timeline

modo is known for a great modeling program, but over the years they have added in animation. A lot of people I know don't actually animate in modo. They just render out stills. But you can animate, and I am going to show you how. I've clicked over to the Animate tab, which is a preset in the 501 default layout, and at the bottom you can see a very nice timeline. You will see some play buttons, and you will see some keyframe buttons. Let me show you what all these mean. We're going to work simply just with this camera. So I am going to move mouse over, making sure I am in the Items tab here, and we're going to click on this to activate the camera, and we're going to animate this.

Understanding the timeline

modo is known for a great modeling program, but over the years they have added in animation. A lot of people I know don't actually animate in modo. They just render out stills. But you can animate, and I am going to show you how. I've clicked over to the Animate tab, which is a preset in the 501 default layout, and at the bottom you can see a very nice timeline. You will see some play buttons, and you will see some keyframe buttons. Let me show you what all these mean. We're going to work simply just with this camera. So I am going to move mouse over, making sure I am in the Items tab here, and we're going to click on this to activate the camera, and we're going to animate this.

We're just going to move it around in our scene, just so you could see how keyframing is done. It's a little trickier in modo than it is in most programs, but it can still work very well for you. One thing that's nice is that anywhere you see these little dots, that means that value can be animated. So we can animate the Scale, the Rotation, the Position--anything we want. You will even see in the Shader Tree, when you go to any type of material, that these values can be animated as well, the Color, the Specular, the amount of diffuse for a surface, and so on.

All of those values can be animated, so kind of keep that in mind. To set up animation, it works like this. For the Camera, we're going to be doing motion, so I am going to press the Y command, which is my big Transform tool right there, and you'll see that we've got this timeline I can click and drag through. Down here at the bottom you've got two sets of numbers. At the end, you've got another two sets of numbers. And notice that this 120 frames matches this 120. We're working in 30 frames a second, so we're set through 4 seconds at 120.

If I change this to 300, what happens is that I still see 120, but my preview now is shorter. What this means is our preview frames and our full animation frames. Why is it like that? Well, let's say you have a really long animation that's perhaps even 3 minutes long. Well, that's quite a few keyframes; in fact, 1 minute is 1,800 frames. That would be a really long timeline, like this, and it's kind of hard to actually work through all those equally and visually.

So what you can do is set a smaller number for the preview, because you're going to only work on one section at a time, and then I can drag this Preview bar at the bottom and just work on that section. If I want to see my whole timeline again, I can just double-click on this and it will expand all the way out. So that's what these numbers are: your preview and your final frames. You can also set a pre-roll, and what a pre-roll is good for is if you have something that's already in motion when your animation starts. So you can actually have a negative number, like -30 perhaps.

Your scene would start 30 frames, or 1 second, before the actual render at frame 0. So let's say a character is running. Well, you wouldn't just want to start at frame 0 and all of a sudden he starts running. When that frame comes in to render, you want him already in full motion. So you'd have a pre-roll; he would just start before that. And we can just zero this out. Let's talk about how to create keyframes and what a keyframe is. All a keyframe is is telling the timeline for that particular item, and in this case our camera, you are here locked in at this time. And we're going to set a Key for it, and you just click the button, and when you do, you'll see that little dot right there.

That means you've created a keyframe. What did I create a keyframe for? Well, come up here to the Camera Properties, and notice that the Position and Rotation now have red dots on them. If I move my mouse over these, you can actually see the Channel State, and red means a key at the current timeframe. Green means it's animated. If it's just blank, there's no channel animated at all. You can have mixed, and you can have driven channels as well from other items. But for the most part you're going to work with on and off. You're going to see red, green, and just nothing.

So we have a keyframe set right here, and we have a red dot signifying that there is a keyframe for Position and Rotation. Now, I don't want 1,800 frames, so we're going to come back to 120. That's all we need for this animation. Let's say that at frame 30, just 1 second, we want the camera to be over here, so I am just going to move it. And look what happened. We get a green line and another keyframe automatically, and because we only move the Position, new keyframes are made, but the Rotation stays green. That means that Channel is animated, but there's only keyframes at Position, and why did that happen? That's because of Auto Key, down here at the very bottom.

Auto Key says Animated, and what that means is once I set a keyframe, everything else will start automatically creating keyframes for me. You can turn this off, or you can create it for every single thing in the scene. In this case, Animated works the best. So how did this apply here? If it were set to All, when I had moved this camera at frame 30, I would have seen keyframes for my Rotation as well as Position. But since it was set just to Animated, and the only thing I animated was the position of the camera, that is what got keyframes.

So most of the time you don't even have to adjust this; just leave that by itself. You will also see down here a few more buttons, and these are key position channels on selected items, key rotation channels, and scale channels, and then you have a drop keyframe if you want to remove on. But I have to tell you, I rarely use those. I manually do it right here. I just kind of open this up like this, you just click and drag that up, and you'll get a Channel bar here. And what I can do with this is click right on these channels and adjust them. Or I can right-click on it, cut it, copy it, move it, and so on, and this works the same on PC or Mac.

Let's jump up to frame 60, and what I am going to do then is rotate the camera, and since I only rotated it on the Y axis, look what happens: just the Y is keyframed. Now, if I go to 90, I'll move this over. So all I am doing is moving my timeline and telling my item, you're here at this particular time. Down here, we've got the Rewind button, so I can click that back to the first frame. Here's a play button, play forward, camera turns and goes that way. Isn't that fantastic? What a fantastic motion.

It's not really fantastic motion, but it does the job. And that's how easy it is to keyframe in modo. There is a lot more you can do when it comes to keyframing, in terms of keyframing your color, keyframing your reflections, keyframing scale, zoom, depth of field, as well as adjusting those keyframes in the graph editor, and we're going to cover that in this chapter in some upcoming videos. But just to start simply, rather than setting up a whole scene and objects and animating the camera through, get a feel for animating just by moving the camera around, perhaps moving the light around, and see how that feels to you, adjust those keyframes by clicking on them and sliding, and remember, we've got this extra timeline bar here just by clicking and dragging up. That's all I have to do just to adjust these. Try this out.

Keyframing is a very easy way to put motion into your scene. It does not have to be large motions. It could be very simple, smooth camera moves, just to demonstrate a product shot, perhaps to look at an animated logo. Anything you can think of can be animated inside modo.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for MODO 501 Essential Training
MODO 501 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 4606 viewers

Dan Ablan
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 21s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 26s
  2. 42m 37s
    1. Understanding the interface
      4m 30s
    2. Understanding the workplane
      5m 7s
    3. Understanding Action Centers
      4m 12s
    4. Working with the modeling tools
      5m 10s
    5. Understanding surfaces
      7m 12s
    6. Selecting elements
      7m 33s
    7. Understanding the elements of a 3D model
      4m 3s
    8. Understanding symmetry
      4m 50s
  3. 1h 2m
    1. Building a model
      8m 56s
    2. Editing geometry
      10m 39s
    3. Controlling geometry
      10m 31s
    4. Bending geometry
      6m 42s
    5. Adding detail with edges
      5m 37s
    6. Editing polygons
      10m 27s
    7. Extending polygons
      9m 34s
  4. 42m 53s
    1. Understanding subdivisions
      3m 49s
    2. Understanding Pixar-based subdivisions
      2m 48s
    3. Creating a basic model
      7m 51s
    4. Beveling with subdivisions
      6m 6s
    5. Adding detail to models
      8m 54s
    6. Deforming and shaping objects
      7m 48s
    7. Cloning
      5m 37s
  5. 49m 32s
    1. Creating with Radial Sweep
      4m 44s
    2. Working with text
      8m 40s
    3. Understanding replicators
      7m 22s
    4. Instancing objects
      7m 0s
    5. Working with Curve Clone
      4m 36s
    6. Working with Curve Extrude
      2m 25s
    7. Modeling with Array
      8m 50s
    8. Understanding Mesh Paint
      5m 55s
  6. 1h 4m
    1. Introducing the Shader Tree
      4m 32s
    2. Exploring layer-based shading
      4m 29s
    3. Creating surfaces for polygons
      7m 41s
    4. Editing surfaces
      7m 4s
    5. Applying procedural textures
      7m 38s
    6. Applying image-mapped textures
      6m 2s
    7. Working with transparent images
      5m 48s
    8. Adding bump maps for realism
      8m 49s
    9. Enhancing surfaces with specularity and glossiness maps
      3m 25s
    10. Creating a reflective surface
      3m 27s
    11. Working in glass
      5m 28s
  7. 39m 9s
    1. Building 3D scenes
      2m 49s
    2. Working with different light types
      8m 26s
    3. Lighting a 3D scene
      12m 51s
    4. Reflecting light
      5m 23s
    5. Lighting environments for realism
      4m 18s
    6. Blending light sources
      5m 22s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Understanding the MODO 501 camera
      5m 39s
    2. Setting up a camera
      5m 42s
    3. Placing multiple cameras
      7m 11s
    4. Animating cameras
      2m 29s
  9. 29m 58s
    1. Understanding the timeline
      7m 16s
    2. Adding and controlling keyframes
      3m 22s
    3. Fine-tuning keyframes in the Graph Editor
      6m 17s
    4. Animating nontraditional elements
      4m 31s
    5. Animating colors
      4m 39s
    6. Animating displacement maps
      3m 53s
  10. 13m 57s
    1. Working with Hair Guides
      3m 18s
    2. Creating human hair
      4m 7s
    3. Creating the hair's surface
      1m 30s
    4. Generating animal hair
      1m 48s
    5. Building enhanced hair textures
      3m 14s
  11. 26m 21s
    1. Working with the painting tools
      6m 14s
    2. Painting on multiple layers
      9m 37s
    3. Sculpting models
      5m 45s
    4. Tweaking and finishing with the sculpting tools
      4m 45s
  12. 25m 56s
    1. Working with the Schematic interface
      1m 20s
    2. Understanding channels
      4m 9s
    3. Building a channel-based animation
      5m 51s
    4. Creating a schematic network
      6m 26s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    6. Adding the finishing touches on schematic rigs
      3m 41s
  13. 26m 47s
    1. Understanding resolutions and rendering
      12m 43s
    2. Setting up a render project
      4m 51s
    3. Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences
      9m 13s
  14. 3m 23s
    1. Exporting an object
      1m 2s
    2. Exporting a full scene for backup
      2m 21s
  15. 2m 2s
    1. Next steps
      2m 2s

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