LightWave 2018

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When you create keyframes for items, you specify a set of keys for the item’s animation channels (generally position, rotation, and scale, but also light intensity, etc.). The Graph Editor provides both a more global and more detailed way to alter the settings that govern an item’s animation channels. You have all of Layout’s keyframe editing capabilities, plus some others like dragging keyframes to different frames , or graphically adjusting keyframe attributes. Use it to visually fine-tune or dramatically change an item’s animation characteristics.

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Each Animation Channel is displayed on a two-dimensional graph. Time is constant along the bottom, and the Channel value or setting is equal to the vertical position. Because time is constant, you can visually judge things like where an item slows down or speeds up based on the slope of the curve. The Graph Editor is a great way to identify and fix those annoying hiccups, which can occur from time to time , in what should be a smooth animation.

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You can click the Collapse buttons to hide the left side and bottom areas of the panel . This will to increase the screen real estate used by the Curve Edit window. When the left side is collapsed, the primary selected curve is shown in the information field.

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When you first open the Graph Editor, the Channel Bin displays the appropriate curves for the currently selected item are displayed in the Channel Bin. The Channel Bin is merely a repository to show you which curves are available for display and edit. Deleting curves from this window will not affect your scene. This system makes it very simple to edit multiple curves from several different items.

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To remove channels from the bin, select them and hit Shift dD. Once you add channels to the bin, you can rearrange their order by dragging and dropping.

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The information display, just to the right of the buttons, will display the name of the selected mode button, the shortcut key, and mouse operation information.

To select curves for editing

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Click on the channels in the Channel Bin to select their curves for editing. (Hold the Shift key for range and Ctrl for non-contiguous selection). Selected curves will become highlighted, but unselected curves will still be visible as a reference. You can also Alt+RMB on a curve in the Curve Edit window to make it the (only) selected curve. Use Alt+Shift+RMB to add the curve to the current curve selection.

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When multiple curves are selected, one will be the “primary” selected curve, and its selection color will be a little brighter. Some commands, like Fit Values by Type, use the primary selected curve when more than one is selected.

To select/unselect keys for editing

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In Move mode, select keys by clicking on them with your LMB. In any mode, except Roll, you can drag out a bounding box with your RMB. This will toggle the state of the bounded group of keys. To add to or subtract from a selection, hold the Shift key. To deselect all selected keys, just right click in the graph. To select all, Shift+double-click.

If only a single key is selected, you can use your keyboard left and right arrowkeys arrow keys to cycle the selection of keys along curves.

To add keys to curves

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  1. Select the channel curve(s).
  2. Click the Add Mode button, or press the keyboard shortcut + .

  3. Click on the graph at the desired frame (horizontal) and value (vertical) position. Before you release the mouse button, you can drag up and down to adjust the value. Hold the Ctrl key to adjust the frame.

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  • Key Locked - toggle for locking a key. Only one key will be locked even if multiple are selected
  • Copy / Paste Key Value - Allows you to copy the values assigned to a key and paste them to a different key
  • Ease In/Out - Sets the Tension to 1.0 on all selected keys
  • Incoming Curve Type - Converts selected key to the curve type requested between TCB, Hermite, Bezier, Linear, and Stepped spline types. Does not work with multiselectmulti-select
  • Open Color Picker - This entry only appears when you are editing a color graph. Changing the color applies to all three keys (RGB).

To change key value/time

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  1. Select the key(s) and click the Move Mode button (or press the keyboard shortcut T).

  2. Drag with your LMB to change the value. Hold the Ctrl key to change time.

To scale selected keys

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  1. Select the key(s) and click the Stretch Mode button, or use the keyboard shortcut H.

  2. Place your mouse pointer at the position you want to use as the center of the scaling.
  3. Drag using your LMB to scale value. Hold the Ctrl key to scale time.

To roll a range of keys

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  1. Select the Roll mode or use the shortcut Y.

  2. Drag out the time range using your RMB.
  3. Drag your LMB to roll the keys-as keys go past the end of the range, they reappear at the other end of the range.

To Zoom in and Out of the Graph Workspace

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  1. Select the Zoom tool

  2. Drag your Left Mouse button and drag a bounding box in the area you want to magnify.

  3. Right Click to Zoom out. You can also use the Magnifying Glass icon at the top right of the Graph Editor, or the normal keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Alt+LMB to interactively zoom in and out (or the scroll wheel).

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