Animation and Time Controls

The main animation controls are found at the bottom of the program window, between the status bar and the viewport navigation controls, along with the time controls for animation playback within viewports.

Two additional important animation controls are the time slider and track bar, found on the status bar to the left of the main animation controls.

The time slider and track bar

Animation Controls

Auto Key Animation Mode and Set Key Animation Mode

Selection List

Default In/Out Tangents For New Keys

Key Filters

Go To Start

Previous Frame/Key


Next Frame/Key

Go To End

Current Frame (Go To Frame)

Time Controls

Key Mode

Time Configuration

See Also
  • Auto Key Animation Mode

    The Auto Key button toggles the keyframing mode called Auto Key. While Auto Key is on, changes to objects’ position, rotation, and scale are automatically keyframed (recorded). When Auto Key is off, these changes are applied to frame 0.

  • Set Key Animation Mode

    Set Key Animation mode allows you to create keys for selected objects individual tracks using a combination of the Set Keys button and Key Filters. Unlike Auto Key, Set Key mode gives you control over what you key and when. It allows you to pose a character (or transform any object) and then if you like it, use that pose to create keys. If you move to another point in time without keying, your pose is discarded. Set Key also works with object parameters.

  • Default In/Out Tangents For New Keys

    This flyout provides a quick way to set a default tangent type for new animation keys created with Set Key Mode or Auto Key Mode. You can also access the tangent types from the Key Info (Basic) rollout and the Curve Editor's Key Tangency toolbar.

  • Go To Start

    Go To Start moves the time slider to the first frame of the active time segment. The active time segment is set in the Start Time and End Time fields of the Time Configuration dialog.

  • Previous Frame/Key

    Previous Frame moves the time slider back one frame.

  • Play/Stop

    The Play button plays the animation in the active viewport. If you click another viewport to make it active, the animation continues playing in that viewport. When the animation is playing, the Play button becomes a Stop button. The Play button is a flyout for playing only the animation of selected objects.

  • Next Frame/Key

    Next Frame moves the time slider ahead one frame.

  • Go To End

    Go To End moves the time slider to the last frame of the active time segment. The active time segment is set in the Start Time and End Time fields of the Time Configuration dialog.

  • Current Frame (Go To Frame)

    Current Frame displays the number or time of the current frame, indicating the position of the time slider. You can also enter a frame number or time in this field to go to that frame.

  • Key Mode

    Key Mode lets you jump directly between keyframes in your animation. By default, Key Mode uses the keys visible in the track bar below the time slider. Other options are available on the Time Configuration dialog in the Key Steps group.

  • Time Configuration

    The Time Configuration dialog provides settings for frame rate, time display, playback, and animation. You use this dialog to change the length of your animation, or stretch or rescale it. You also use it to set the start and end frames of the active time segment and your animation.