Section 3. Animating / Animation Controls and Auto Key Animation Mode

Welcome to the animation part, yay!

There are 2 ways in which you can create animations in 3D Studio Max: with the Auto Key Animation Mode and Set Key Animation Mode . These two modes provide different ways of setting keyframes.

What's a keyframe ? Well, when you have a car in position A and you want it to travel to position B: you place the car in point A, decide that 2 seconds would be enough for it to get to point B, place the car in point B and A and B become your keyframes. 3D Studio Max will create that smooth transition between A and B.

Auto Key

Press the Auto Key button on the bottom-right corner of the software. When Auto Key is on, the changes you make to your 3D object will automatically be keyframed. Also, when Auto Key is on, your button will become red and your viewport will be outlined in red, to remind you that you are in the animation mode.

So, to animate, activate the key, drag the time slider to a different frame other than 0 and move, scale or rotate the object.

You can also animate modifiers, like the control points in an FFD4. We will give this a try in the first animation project.

Time Configuration

In the Time Coniguration window, you can editt the frame rate (usually 30, 24 for movie and less for media graphics), Animation Start Time and End Time which describes the number of frames shown in your track bar, the Playback Speed and whether you want it to loop or play what's in your active viewport only when you press that play button.

Set Key Mode worls a bit differently but we'll see that in the next video.