Keyframe Basics

Keyframe Basics

Maya 2012 Tutorial


How to Add Keyframes to Groups, Objects and Object Parameters in Maya



Keyframes are used to define an object's parameters at a point in time. Twenty frames later another keyframe may be added where the parameters are different. Just to name a few, you can key location, rotation and scale. Once the keyframes are in place, it is up to Maya to calculate the object's appearance and/or location at the in-between frames.

You are not just limited to the parameters listed above. In Maya there are thousands of parameters that can be tweened over time.

Another thing to think about is that the keyframes can be added to objects, groups and parent objects.


Step One

Add a cube to the workspace by choosing Create > Polygon Primitives > Cube.

Step Two

Select the cube and click frame one of the Timeline.

Step Three

Press the s key and a keyframe is added to frame one. Since we pressed the s key, keys were added to all the channels listed in the Channel Box (Translate, Rotate, Scale and Visibility)

Step Four

Click frame 24 of the Timeline, move and rotate your object and press the s key to add another keyframe.

Step Five

Press the Controller Play button to view your animation.

Why So Many Keys?

If you want to add a keyframe that only adds key for Translate, Rotate or Scale, try one of these shortcuts.

Translate = Shift/w

Rotate = Shift/e

Scale = Shift/r


Keyframing is Universal

You are not limited to adding keyframes to just objects. You can also add keyframes to object parameters (i.e., shader transparency), groups, lights, cameras and projections. Is also possible to place object in the component mode and key faces and vertices.