Join David Andrade for an in-depth discussion in this video Clean up key frames with the Graph Editor, part of Creating a Finished Character Animation in Blender.
- Cleaning up animation can take a long time. Thankfully, Blender has many tools to help us quickly refine and clean up our animation, such as a Graph Editor. Now, to access the Graph Editor, you're going to want to pull this up a little bit, click here, and go to Graph Editor. Now don't be afraid as soon as you load it for the first time you'll probably see a whole bunch of black dots and a bunch of colored lines going everywhere. That's because a Graph Editor is showing you everything that you have selected. Let's focus on the hips for now by selecting them.
Now this will only show the hip Keyframes, but there's still a whole bunch of curves. Let's just focus on the location curves. I'm going to do that by selecting each one and hitting Shift H. Now I'm only looking at the hips' location Keyframes and nothing else. As you can see, there's a whole bunch of little black dots and three colored lines. The black dots correspond to the Keyframes, the colored lines correspond to where those Keyframes are at in the x, y, or z axis.
There's a bunch of redundant keys here, too. You can clean them up quickly by hitting A, going to Key, and going to Clean Keyframes. Now, let's talk a little bit about tangents and transitions. I'm going to get rid of this key right here, and I'm going to highlight both of these. Now to access your tangents, you can hit V for Vector, and you'll have a new list come up. Let's start with Automatic. Automatic gives you a whole bunch of overlap with your animation.
Maybe even a little bit too much. You can also go to Vector, which gives you a very linear-like transition, almost like a robot. Free lets you use tangent handles in any way that you want, whereas Aligned gives you a little bit of tangent control. Let's go to Automatic and see what we get. Now, right away you can see that Arthur goes forward a lot, and goes backward a lot.
In fact, right through the seat. We can adjust that a little bit by moving him, or by setting the key and bringing it down a little bit. But we're still going to have a little bit of overlap. Let's watch it. Using tangents, you can quickly clean up animation, or even add a little bit of extra animation without too much effort. Now, a little bit about selecting keys. There's a couple of tricks you can do. First, depending on where your playhead is at, you can hit the left bracket to select all the keys behind it, or you can hit the right bracket to select all the keys after it.
Another thing you can do is to click on a key and then hit L to select an entire curve. You can do this with multiple curves, too. Finally, depending on where your playhead is at, you can click this option, and set it to 2D Cursor and you can rotate, or scale, depending on where your cursor is at. Ultimately, there's no easy way to clean up animation. However, with Blender's tools, we're able to breeze through most of the process.
- Listening to the dialog clip
- Sketching out the animation framework
- Learning how character and facial rig works
- Blocking key character poses
- Getting feedback
- Adjusting appendages
- Matching dialog to the animation
- Cleaning up frames with the Graph Editor
- Lighting and rendering the animation