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keyframe( [objects] , [absolute=boolean], [adjustBreakdown=boolean], [animation=string], [attribute=string], [breakdown=boolean], [controlPoints=boolean], [eval=boolean], [float=floatrange], [floatChange=float], [hierarchy=string], [includeUpperBound=boolean], [index=uint], [indexValue=boolean], [keyframeCount=boolean], [lastSelected=boolean], [name=boolean], [option=string], [relative=boolean], [selected=boolean], [shape=boolean], [tickDrawSpecial=boolean], [time=timerange], [timeChange=time], [valueChange=float])

Note: Strings representing object names and arguments must be separated by commas. This is not depicted in the synopsis.

keyframe is undoable, queryable, and editable.

This command operates on a keyset. A keyset is defined as a group of keys within a specified time range on one or more animation curves.

The animation curves comprising a keyset depend on the value of the "-animation" flag:

Note that the "-animation" flag can be used to override the curves uniquely identified by the multi-use "-attribute" flag, which takes an argument of the form attributeName, such as "translateX".

Keys on animation curves are identified by either their time values or their indices. Times and indices can be given individually or as part of a list or range.

Omitting one end of a range means "go to infinity", as in the following examples:

This command edits the time and/or value of keys of specified objects and/or parameter curves

Unless otherwise specified by the -query flag, the command defaults to editing keyframes.

Return value

int(except where noted below) Number of curves on which keys were modified. In -query mode, the command can return a variety of things, as described with each queryable flag below.

In query mode, return type is based on queried flag.


copyKey, cutKey, findKeyframe, keyTangent, keyframeOutliner, keyframeStats, pasteKey, scaleKey, setInfinity, snapKey


absolute, adjustBreakdown, animation, attribute, breakdown, controlPoints, eval, float, floatChange, hierarchy, includeUpperBound, index, indexValue, keyframeCount, lastSelected, name, option, relative, selected, shape, tickDrawSpecial, time, timeChange, valueChange
Long name (short name) Argument types Properties
attribute(at) string createmultiuse
List of attributes to select

In query mode, this flag needs a value.

hierarchy(hi) string create
Hierarchy expansion options. Valid values are "above," "below," "both," and "none." (Not valid for "pasteKey" cmd.)

In query mode, this flag needs a value.

shape(s) boolean create
Consider attributes of shapes below transforms as well, except "controlPoints". Default: true. (Not valid for "pasteKey" cmd.)

In query mode, this flag needs a value.

controlPoints(cp) boolean create
This flag explicitly specifies whether or not to include the control points of a shape (see "-s" flag) in the list of attributes. Default: false. (Not valid for "pasteKey" cmd.)

In query mode, this flag needs a value.

index(index) uint createmultiuse
index of a key on an animCurve

In query mode, this flag needs a value.

time(t) timerange createmultiuse
time uniquely representing a key (or key range) on a time-based animCurve. Valid timeRanges include single values (-t 10) or a string with a lower and upper bound, separated by a colon (-t "10:20")

In query mode, this flag needs a value.

float(f) floatrange createmultiuse
value uniquely representing a non-time-based key (or key range) on a time-based animCurve. Valid floatRange include single values (-f 10) or a string with a lower and upper bound, separated by a colon (-f "10:20")

In query mode, this flag needs a value.

includeUpperBound(iub) boolean create
When the -t/time or -f/float flags represent a range of keys, this flag determines whether the keys at the upper bound of the range are included in the keyset. Default value: true. This flag is only valid when the argument to the -t/time flag is a time range with a lower and upper bound. (When used with the "pasteKey" command, this flag refers only to the time range of the target curve that is replaced, when using options such as "replace," "fitReplace," or "scaleReplace." This flag has no effect on the curve pasted from the clipboard.)
animation(an) string create
Where this command should get the animation to act on. Valid values are "objects," "keys," and "keysOrObjects" Default: "keysOrObjects." (See Description for details.)
absolute(a) boolean create
Move amounts are absolute.
relative(r) boolean create
Move amounts are relative to a key's current position.
timeChange(tc) time createqueryedit
How much (with -relative) or where (with -absolute) to move keys (on time-input animation curves) along the x (time) axis. Returns float[] when queried.
floatChange(fc) float createqueryedit
How much (with -relative) or where (with -absolute) to move keys (on non-time-input animation curves) along the x (float) axis. Returns float[] when queried.
indexValue(iv) boolean createquery
Query-only flag that returns an int for the key's index.
valueChange(vc) float createqueryedit
How much (with -relative) or where (with -absolute) to move keys along the y (value) axis. Returns float[] when queried.
option(o) string createedit
Valid values are "move," "insert," "over," and "segmentOver." When you "move" a key, the key will not cross over (in time) any keys before or after it. When you "insert" a key, all keys before or after (depending upon the -timeChange value) will be moved an equivalent amount. When you "over" a key, the key is allowed to move to any time (as long as a key is not there already). When you "segmentOver" a set of keys (this option only has a noticeable effect when more than one key is being moved) the first key (in time) and last key define a segment (unless you specify a time range). That segment is then allowed to move over other keys, and keys will be moved to make room for the segment.
adjustBreakdown(abd) boolean create
When false, moving keys will not preserve breakdown timing, when true (the default) breakdowns will be adjusted to preserve their timing relationship.
breakdown(bd) boolean createqueryedit
Sets the breakdown state for the key. Returns an integer. Default is false. The breakdown state of a key cannot be set in the same command as it is moved (i.e., via the -tc or -fc flags).
tickDrawSpecial(tds) boolean createedit
Sets the special drawing state for this key when it is drawn as a tick in the timeline.
keyframeCount(kc) boolean createquery
Returns an int for the number of keys found for the targets.
name(n) boolean createquery
Returns the names of animCurves of specified nodes, attributes or keys.
eval(ev) boolean createquery
Returns the value(s) of the animCurves when evaluated (without regard to input connections) at the times given by the -t/time or -f/float flags. Cannot be used in combination with other query flags, and cannot be used with time ranges (-t "5:10"). When no -t or -f flags appear on the command line, the evals are queried at the current time. Query returns a float[].
selected(sl) boolean createquery
When used in queries, this flag returns requested values for any active keys.
lastSelected(lsl) boolean createquery
When used in queries, this flag returns requested values for the last selected key.

Flag can appear in Create mode of command Flag can appear in Edit mode of command
Flag can appear in Query mode of command Flag can have multiple arguments, passed either as a tuple or a list.

Python examples

import maya.cmds as cmds

# Two ways to find out how many keys there are on the
# paramCurve connected to surface1.translateX;
cmds.keyframe( 'surface1', attribute='translateX', query=True, keyframeCount=True )
cmds.keyframe( 'surface1.translateX', query=True, keyframeCount=True )

# Query all keyframes of object "surface1" within the time range 0 to 20.
cmds.keyframe( 'surface1', time=(0,20), query=True, valueChange=True, timeChange=True);

# Query just the time of the first key in the
# "Translate X" parameter curve.  Note that the indices are 0-based.

# Shift all the active object's keys in the range 10-20
# by one (current) time unit (frame, second, etc.)

# Two ways to move all keys at time 10 of
# the active object to time 12.  Note that "-absolute"
# is the default.

# Set the 2nd keyframe of cube1's Translate X parameter
# curve to be 10.25 at time 1.5 seconds.

# Evaluate the animCurve feeding into nurbsCone1's translateX attribute at time 3

# Query the times of the active keys on attribute translateX of nurbsCone1
cmds.keyframe( 'nurbsCone1', at='tx', sl=True, q=True, tc=True )

# How many keys are selected on nurbsCone1?
cmds.keyframe( 'nurbsCone1', sl=True, q=True, kc=True )

# Here's a script to print out all a cone's animCurves that have
# keys selected.  Each animCurve is followed by a list of times
# for the selected keys.  The result of this script is:
#     nurbsCone1_translateX: 5
#     nurbsCone1_translateY: 12
#     nurbsCone1_translateZ: 4 14
myCone = cmds.cone()
cmds.setKeyframe( myCone[0], t=[0,5,10], at='tx', v=5 )
cmds.setKeyframe( myCone[0], t=[2,7,12], at='ty', v=10 )
cmds.setKeyframe( myCone[0], t=[4,9,14], at='tz', v=15 )
cmds.selectKey( t=[(5,5),(12,12),(4,4)] )
cmds.selectKey( animation='objects', add=True, t=(14,14) )

nodes = cmds.keyframe(myCone,query=True,name=True)
for node in nodes:
   keyTimes = cmds.keyframe(node,sl=True,query=True,tc=True)
   print "Node: %s" % node
   print keyTimes

# For the above sample script, the last selected key is
# nurbsCone1_translateZ: 14.  The following may be used to query
# the values for that key
cmds.keyframe( query=True, lastSelected=True, name=True )
cmds.keyframe( query=True, lastSelected=True, timeChange=True )
cmds.keyframe( query=True, lastSelected=True, valueChange=True )