Question: It will take me forever to manually create a lot of Key Frames from scratch for a complicated shot! Isn’t there some way to speed up the process?

For shots featuring obstacles, objects in relative motion, or both, you have no choice but to create as many Key Frames as necessary to guide all objects and the active camera on their desired paths. Sometimes the process of making new Key Frames is as easy as dragging objects across the set and snapping the new shots, but in other cases, such as when an actor is moving his or her limbs, or a camera’s intended movement does not follow a straight line, that kind of manual manipulation can be tedious and time-consuming.

Fortunately, there’s a trick to help speed up the process in many cases:

  1. Set up and snap the absolute first and last frames of the shot you want to animate.
  2. Tween  one frame between those Key Frames.
  3. Open the Shot Manager (Tools > Storyboard Shot Manager).
  4. Select the Tween frame and click [Edit Shot].
  5. You’ll be taken back to the Control Room, with the selected shot on set. Modify the position, pose, or other attributes of anything on the set that’s not exactly right for the halfway point of the shot. (In the case of the car jump, for example, this is where you would position the car in its flying-off-the-ramp pose.)
  6. Click [Store Shot]. You’ll be asked if you want to leave the shot designated as a Tween. Click [No], because for the time being, at least, you’ll be using this as a Key Frame. (You can always re-designate it as a Tween later if you wish.)
  7. The newly-adjusted shot becomes a Key Frame.
  8. Repeat the process in both directions as necessary, selecting existing Key Frames, generating a single Tween between them, then modifying that Tween as necessary and saving it as a new Key Frame, until you’ve generated the critical Key Frames you need.
  9. Now you can generate as many Tweens as you need, either by selecting one pair of adjacent Key Frames at a time and Tweening them or by Tweening more than two key frames simultaneously, as described in the next topic.

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