Copying Keyframes, managing a gazillion curves, and Hotkeys

Hi there,

I'm following along trying to get used to the graph editor in Blender. So many great tips on this course, exactly what I needed.

While practicing this exercise I ended up with a few questions: 

- Is there a way to copy the keyframes from one armature to the other? Even if just on the same property? Since we are "copying" the same X translation from one to the next, and just changing interpolation, I wondered if there was a way to do that. I tried cmd+c and cmd+v, but it didn't quite work. If it ends up there is a way, can that also work amongst different properties? Say I'll copy the translation on X from -6 to +6 and do the same on rotation?

- Particularly because every time we insert a keyframe we can end up getting 9 different keys and curves, do you have any tips on management? Easier ways to visualize... hide, and all that. Fair warning, I haven't watched the whole course yet, so if it's on the horizon just tell me to cool my jets down and be patient. Lol.

- And is there a way to display all "free" keys on our key mapping on preferences? I don't have a numberpad and have tailored a lot of the hotkeys to my need, but I don't want to nix anything used anywhere else in Blender because I'm still learning all the features and don't quite know what I'll need or not.

Thanks for any insight!

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  • Wayne Dixon replied

    Hi nathitappan,

    Great questions - let's see if I can answer them for you.

    Copy keyframes from one Armature to another?
    Yes it's possible to do this.  You can copy keyframes, poses , or even curves on specific channels and paste them to the same channel (or different channel) on a different object.
    I hope you will get a better understanding of how the data works later in the course (the Master Your Animation Data Lesson), but essentially the trick is understanding how and what you are copying, and where and how you are going to paste it.

    First of all, the data is based on the names.  So if you copy something into the buffer (CMD  + C), then there needs to be somewhere for it to paste to when you press CMD + V.
    Let's image you are wanting to copy keyframes. The best/easiest way to do this select the bone you want to copy from, then in the timeline select the keys you want to copy.  Then make sure you mouse is still over the timeline when you press CMD + C (hot tip,  leave the play head on the first frame you copy.
    Then select the control you want to paste it to, put the playhead where you want that first keyframe to go, then with your mouse over the timeline press CMD V.
    This will paste it on that control.
    Now why might this not work for you?  Because the data works based on the names, Blender is trying to match the LocXYZ, RotXYZ, and ScaleXYZ (and any other properties it copied in those keyframes)  and paste them to the exact same names on the target.  However, if there is no animation data on the target, it cannot paste it and any unmatched data will be ignored.   So it's important to have somewhere for the data to land when you paste it (that means you need animation on those channels for it to land - if that makes sense).

    You can do a similar thing in the Graph editor, but you can select the whole curve (highlight it on the left hand side), and then paste it to a new target by highlighting the channel you want it to land.

    Or you can just copy some specific keyframes in the same way.

    Hope that helps it make sense to you.

    How do you manage lots of data and curves etc?
    It is possible to only set keyframes on the channels you need using keying sets. When dealing with armatures my preferred method is to use the "Available" keying set with auto-keying enabled.  "Available" will only add keyframes to the channels that already have animation data on them and ignore everything else.  So you just need to give it a jump start by setting some keys on the channels you are going to use, and then off you go (set and forget).
    There's many ways of doing this but my preferred method is to just kick start it by hovering my mouse over any channel(s) I need and pressing i.
    This will keyframe it and make it visible to the 'available' keying set.

    In regards to finding out what keys are free for hotkeys etc
    There are a few add-ons that will do this and possibly a free script that you can run (Google or DuckDuckGo this).  But I don't think there is any easy way for checking your hotkeys.
    If you don't have a numpad, a lot of the same buttons work with the top row numbers, and you can also enable "emulate numpad".

    Hope this helps.

    2 loves
  • Nathi Tappan(nathitappan) replied

    This worked perfectly! Thanks you so much for the detailed answer Wayne!

    I didn't have any keyframes on the channel I wanted to copy them to. Now it works! Thank you!

    And for the hotkeys, I'll take a look... I tried emulating the numpad for a bit, but there are too many shortcuts that I'm used now that use the regular numbers... I'll get there. Thank you thank you!

    1 love
  • Martin Bergwerf replied

    Hi Nathalia,

    I haven't used it, but there is an Addon in Blender: Development > Is key Free.

    2 loves
  • Dwayne Savage(dillenbata3) replied

    As spikeyxxx mentioned there is the Is key free addon. After enabling it, goto text editor then open side bar(Ctrl+t). Click on dev tab. You can type the key you want in the search and it will show where that key is used. 

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  • Nathi Tappan(nathitappan) replied

    That is great! Exactly what I needed. Thank you Martin and Dwayne!

    1 love
  • Dwayne Savage(dillenbata3) replied

    Sorry, I just realized that you are a different person. Here is what I posted on another thread talking about not having a number pad.

    Just to note there are 7 methods to switch views in Vanilla Blender.

    1. View Menu->Viewpoint

    2. The navigation gizmo. The thing on the right hand side of the viewport with the colored axis. Each sphere on the ends of the axis corresponds to a view. The camera icon is the camera view. 

    3. The tilde key pie menu. The real power to using pie menus in Blender is holding the key down and drag until option is highlighted and let go of the key to make the selection instead of having to go all the way and click on the option. Note: I turn on pie on drag(Just check the box) and remap it to the D key. This was a change that was planned by the developers, but in the community there was more votes to leave it on the tilde key.

    4. Thru the addon 3D Navigation. This gives you the views as buttons on the N-panel.(Technically called the sidebar)

    5. Thru the addon 3D Viewport Pie Menus. The hotkey is alt+Q. This includes a lot more options than the tilde key. 

    6. The Numpad of course.

    7. This last one doesn't have an option for the camera view. So you would need to use one of the other 6 for camera view. This is the Alt+Middle Mouse button drag. The direction you drag will go to the view relative to your current view. This can be change in preferences keymap under 3D View options you can change Alt Middle mouse drag from relative to Absolute. I prefer absolute. It is the same view directions as the pie menu. Up is top. Down is bottom. Left is left side. Right is right side. Diagonal up left is Front. Diagonal up right is Back.

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  • Nathi Tappan(nathitappan) replied

    Awesome info again Dwayne, thank you! I use the tilde key since the very beginning so that muscle memory is here to stay. And in fact, I even wouldn't mind just having the Home and End keys... Those are the functions I'm trying to replace with custom hotkeys, hence my question. I also just got approved to install Blender on my work computer, so I'm very happy to see that I can export my settings and bring "My hotkeys" anywhere!

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