Introduction. Time and again, people ask how to move multiple keyframes without changing the spacing between them. While having heard that moving multiple keyframes at the same time is possible, it is a fruitless exercise to find any supporting documentation. This capability is, as far as I can determine, undocumented.
Discussion. Multiple methods exist for selecting and then repositioning one or more keyframes. I am aware of at least four: Click, SHIFT + Click, CTRL+ Click, and ALT + Click (where “Click” refers to pressing the left mouse button). So, let’s discuss each method.
- Click. This is the most commonly used and best known method. Just click on or very near the keyframe to select it. A small buffer exists zone around each keyframe which, when clicked on, selects the keyframe. Those using drawing tablets (such as the Wacom tablets) can select a keyframe without directly clicking on the keyframe, inadvertently changing its position.
- To move the selected keyframe: click, hold the mouse button down, and then drag left or right. Note: keyframes cannot move beyond a keyframe located to its left or right. Another option is to right click over a keyframe and select the menu option “Select Time for this Keyframe.” Upon giving it a time, the keyframe is moved to the given time upon hitting the OK button. Note: if ADD / REMOVE TIME from the selected keyframe is selected … keyframes located to the right of that keyframe, on all layers, are moved to the right (add time) or left (remove time).
- Within the Keyframe Editor. Right click and select a menu option to align other keyframes to the current keyframe or a menu option to select a specific time location for all selected keyframes. Note: when multiple keyframes are selected, dragging a specific keyframe moves only that keyframe; all others are de-selected.
SELECT ANOTHER KEYFRAME. When a keyframe is selected (while in the Slide Options window), select another keyframe by doing the following:
- SLIDE OPTIONS. Works only on a single layer at a time
- Click on another keyframe.
- Press the SHIFT key and Page Up or Page Down. NOTE: does NOT work within the keyframe editor.
- Above the Preview Window, there are some buttons, the last three of which work like the SHIFT + Page Up and SHIFT + Page Down controls. Clicking on the left-pointing arrow changes the keyframe selection to the previous keyframe. Clicking on the right-pointing arrow changes the keyframe selection to the next keyframe. The icon between the next and previous arrow icons shows the number of the selected keyframe.
- KEYFRAME EDITOR. Works on single and multiple layers.
- Click on any keyframe on any layer. Any previously selected keyframe (on any layer) becomes deselected.
- CTRL + Click. Selects a keyframe in addition to any other selected keyframe as long as that additionally selected keyframe is on a different layer from those other keyframes. Note: a layer’s selected keyframe becomes deselected when a different keyframe is selected on that layer .
- Click Drag (rubberbanding). Click and hold down the mouse button when the mouse cursor is located above and to the side of any keyframe on any layer. Then, drag down or up to the left or right. Notice a bluish outline that starts where the mouse button was clicked and extends to the end of the mouse cursor.
•• As the outline expands to encompass a keyframe, the left-most keyframe within that outline (on each layer) is selected.
•• Release the mouse button after selecting all desired keyframes.
- Right click over one of the selected keyframes and select the Align or Set Time option. This repositions all selected keyframes to the same time as the keyframe over which the menu option was exercised (for Align) or all selected keyframes to the time entered (for Set Time).
- SHIFT + Click. This works only within the Keyframe Editor. SHIFT + Click on a keyframe and then release the mouse button. A vertical line appears directly behind the keyframe and it becomes stuck to the mouse cursor (it moves left or right with the cursor). To unstick it, simply click the mouse button at the keyframe’s desired time location.
- CTRL + Click. This selects the current keyframe. However, while the mouse button and CTRL key are depressed, multiple keyframes on the layer move proportionally when the mouse cursor is dragged left or right.
DRAGGING THE FIRST KEYFRAME. The distance between each keyframe located to its right is proportionally
•• Compressed when dragged right.
•• Expanded when dragged left.
NOTE: The very last keyframe on the right does not move in either case.
DRAGGING THE LAST KEYFRAME. The distance between each keyframe located to its left is proportionally
•• Compressed when dragged left.
•• Expanded when dragged right.
NOTE: The very first keyframe on the left does not move in either case.
DRAGGING AN INTERIOR KEYFRAME
•• The distance between it and between each keyframe located in the direction of travel is proportionally reduced.
•• All keyframes located in the opposite direction of travel remain stationary.
- ALT + Click . This selects the current keyframe. However, while the mouse button and ALT key are depressed, all keyframes on the layer move as one when the mouse cursor is dragged left or right. The caveat here is that distance must exist to the outside of the last keyframe in the direction the keyframes are being dragged. If no time exists beyond those last keyframes, movement in that direction simply will not occur. So, to move the keyframes:
•• Left: time must exist to the left of the first keyframe.
•• Right: time must exist to the right of the last keyframe.
SUMMARY. Multiple methods exist for selecting and then moving keyframes. I know of four different methods: Click, SHIFT + Click, ALT + Click, or CTRL + Click. Each method works wherever access to keyframes is allowed. The SHIFT + Click method works only from within the Keyframe Editor. It is also the only method that repositions a keyframe by attaching it to the mouse cursor.
© 2014 Dale Fenimore, All Rights Reserved, 141229-0930