To start creating animation, first turn on the Auto Key button, use theto go to a particular frame, and then change something in your scene. You can animate the position, rotation, and scale of an object, and almost all other settings and parameters.
When you make a change, 3ds Max creates a key storing the new value for the changed parameter at the current time. If that key was the first animation key created for the parameter, a second animation key is also created at the to hold the parameter’s original value.
For example, if you have a cylinder that has not been animated yet, it has no keys. If you turn on Auto Key, and at frame 20 you rotate the cylinder 90 degrees about its Y axis, rotation keys are created at frames 0 and 20. The key at frame 0 stores the original orientation of the cylinder, while the key at frame 20 stores the animated orientation of 90 degrees. When you play the animation, the cylinder rotates 90 degrees about its Y axis over 21 frames.
For example, you might animate an object bouncing around your scene and then decide to create pads for the object to land on. To do that, you drag the time slider to a time when the bouncing object hits the ground, and make sure Auto Key is off before you proceed. You can then create a pad under the bouncing object and repeat the process at the next time where it hits the ground. Because Auto Key is off, the frame at which you create the pad objects does not matter. They remain present and inanimate through the entire animation.
For example, you might animate a sphere’s radius to be 15 at frame 0, 30 at frame 10, and 50 at frame 20. If you drag the time slider to frame 10, turn Auto Key off, and increase the sphere’s radius from 30 to 40, the change in the radius is applied to the other two keys as well. Because you increased the radius by 10 units with Auto Key off, all radius keys are increased by 10 units. The sphere’s radius is now 25 at frame 0, 40 at frame 10, and 60 at frame 20.
Sometimes you need to know in advance if you can animate a parameter. If so, you can use . The Track View Hierarchy list displays every parameter that can be animated. You might also need to add a to a track before it can be animated.