How to Keyframe (Animate)

Hi! Today, we will be talking about how to keyframe in Blender 2.6. If you do not know what a keyframe is, let me define it for you:

A keyframe in animation and filmmaking is a marker that defines the starting and ending points of any smooth transition.

Now we are going to learn how to make a keyframe. First, you need to have a model and a rig on in (A rig is a skeleton made of virtual bones, or an Armature, that allows the model to move.). I have a LEGO horse I modeled and rigged already. You need to go to the Animation UI that is already built into Blender. The UI switcher is near the top by the Help button.

Now that you are in that mode, I advise hiding the small 3D view (in the right top corner) to make the program run faster. Here is what my UI looks like after I slightly modified it. I have also labeled the image so you know what some of the parts of it are:

Now to keyframe.

  1. Go to the point on your timeline or DopeSheet that you want the keyframe to start.
  2. Select the bone you wish to move (Haha. Get it? Wish-bone. 😛 ).
  3. With you mouse over the 3D View, press ‘I’ and select an option. For example, if you were going to move the bone only location and not rotate it, you would select Location. If you were going to Move it by location and rotation, you would select LocRot. For complex animations where I am moving more than one bone at a time, I usually select Whole Character which will add a keyframe to every bone.
  4. On you timeline or DopeSheet, go to the spot where you want the movement of the bone to end.
  5. Move the bone to the desired place and press ‘I’ LocRot (if you are using Location andRotation).

Now you have just keyframed! To preview your animation, press ‘Alt+A’ or the little play button below the Timeline. Keep practicing you keyframing and you will get better at it! 😀

BTW, want to see the horse I modeled? Check it out!

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