Cinema 4D / BodyPaint 3D Program Documentation Tutorials Animation Tutorial (basic)
Function available in CINEMA 4D Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio & BodyPaint 3D

The Animation Process

Now that you know how keyframes are recorded and what their function is we can put this knowledge to practical use with some simple examples. We will begin with a few examples in which we will apply every possible method of recording keyframes to create an animation in which a Cube object will be moved 500 units in 2 seconds along the Y axis.

Recording Keyframes

Using the Record Button

Make sure to set the new keyframe before you move the cube or Timeslider again. Otherwise the object will revert to the position saved in the previously set keyframe.

Using Autokeying

The Autokeying feature is a special recording mode that saves all parameter changes at a given point in the animation in a key without having to press the Record button or the F9 key.

If Autokeying is enabled, a Track will automatically be created as soon as a setting is changed at a frame other than frame 0. Zwo keys will be created: one key at the current frame with the modified settings and a key at frame 0 with the setting’s initial value.

Initial values are the predefined values of the respective element. To use values other than the predefined values, these should be modified at the very start of the animation when the Timeslider is at frame 0 (if the Timeslider is at frame 0, a key will not be set even if Autokeying is enabled. A key is first set if the Timeslider is at a different location than frame 0 and a change is made to an element’s settings).

A Track can also be created manually by selecting the item in the Object Manager and selecting an option from the Create | Add Property Track menu.

If Autokeying is enabled, the active Viewport will be highlighted with a colored frame:

A Track with 2 keyframes will automatically be created for the cube: one key at frame 60 with a Y value of 500 and second key at frame 0 with the cube’s initial Y value of 0.

Now all of the cube’s movements and modifications will be recorded, regardless if it’s modified in the Viewport or in the Coordinates Manager. Even if the Timeslider is not moved, modifications made to the object will still be recorded. Make sure that you don’t accidentally overwrite an existing animation when using Autokeying!

Using Keyframe Buttons

Using the Timeline Ruler

When using this method of setting keyframes it is not necessary to move the Timeslider to the frame at which you want to set the new keyframe. Simply reposition the object and set a keyframe at a new keyframe at the frame desired.

Using the Timeline

Recording keyframes in the Timeline is very similar to how it’s done on the Timeline Ruler with the exception that you first have to create a Track for the parameter you want to animate, otherwise no keyframes will be set.

To display items in the Timeline that have not yet been animated, disable the Show Animated option in the View | Show menu. Alternatively you can activate the object in the Object Manager.

You have probably already noticed the parent Track in the Timeline. This is a Track that includes the entire object selection. This Track can be used to set keyframes for multiple objects simultaneously.

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