Assigning Controllers

Every parameter has a default controller type that gets assigned the moment the parameter is animated. You can choose from multiple controller types for any parameter and change controllers after the parameter is animated.

Assigning Controllers in Track View

You can assign controllers to any animatable parameter in the Curve Editor by selecting controller items and then choosing Assign Controller on the Controller menu.

You can also assign controllers to any animatable parameter in the Track View — Curve Editor by selecting the parameter in the Hierarchy List then right-clicking and choose Assign Controller from the quad menu.

You can also assign the same controller type to a selection of multiple parameters as long as all the selected parameters can use the same type of controller. For example, you could select the Length, Width, and Height parameters for multiple Box objects and assign the same controller type to all of them. This is because they all use controllers that work on floating point data.

If a parameter has already been animated, then assigning a new controller has one of the following effects:

Assigning Controllers on the Motion Panel

You can assign controllers on the Motion panel by selecting an object and then, on the Assign Controller rollout, choosing a controller and clicking (Assign Controller). You can change the controllers of only one selected object at a time.

Assigning Controllers Using the Animation Menu

You can assign controllers using the Animation menu. All the controllers and constraints are available by going to the menu bar and choosing Animation, and then selecting the type of Controller you want and picking the controller from the submenu that displays.

When you assign a controller in this method, a list controller is automatically assigned, and the controller you have selected appears as the first entry in the list. This automatic list controller assignment does not occur if you assign controllers using the Motion panel or Track View. Weighted list controllers allow you to blend between various tracks by animating the weights.

TipYou can use the Animation menu to assign the same type of controller or constraint to several different objects at once. Just select the objects and then choose the controller or constraint from the Animation menu.
NoteIf an assigned constraint requires designating an additional subject, such as a Path constraint, a rubber-band line extends from the first selected object to the mouse cursor after choosing the constraint. To complete the assignment, position the cursor over a qualifying target object and click.

Copying and Pasting Controllers

Right-click any blank area on the Track View toolbars, then choose Show Toolbars Controllers: Track View. This displays the Controller toolbar with buttons for quick access to controller tools.

Click Copy and Paste on the Track View toolbar to copy and paste controllers. For a general discussion of using Copy and Paste, see Copying and Pasting Items.

To copy and paste controllers in the Curve Editor, select the controller track to copy, then right-click and choose Copy from the Track View quad menu. Navigate the Hierarchy list to the target object, select the track, right-click and choose Paste.

Rules for using Copy and Paste are as follows:

Clicking Paste displays the Paste dialog, with three controls for determining how the Paste operation is carried out.


Pastes the controller as a copy.


Pastes the controller as an instance of the source controller. Any change you make to either controller will affect the other.

For example, you can paste a box's Length controller as an instance into its Height and Width parameters. This makes the box a cube. Changing either of the Length, Width, or Height parameters changes the other two.

Paste Target: Replace All Instances

When selected, all instances of the target controller receive the paste controller, whether or not they are selected. This keeps all instances of the target controller as instances. When off, the target controller is made unique and the remaining instances are unchanged.