Animating in Layers?

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  01 January 2018
Animating in Layers?

I was curious about animation layers. Iíve heard of them but never really put them into heavy thought or even considered trying them myself. Is it possible to key frame different parts of the rig on different layers? Is it much more organized and less clutter to key frame on different layers? †I feel like when I key frame itís a jumbled mess all in one line. Does keyframing in layers separate the keys?†
  01 January 2018
yes to all of your questions. animation layers can be used to organize your keyframes, also it can be used to separate axes. say you want an object to move constantly forward in a linear while having it go up and down with easing curves. of course you can also do that by just adjusting things in the graph editor or simply grouping things, that's why i rarely use animation layers. personally i have no issues keeping an overview over my animations having everything in one single layer. just try it out and see if the workflow is for you.
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  01 January 2018
Animation layers are handy. You just have to try it to see if it works for you. Here are some examples of how I use animation layers.

Say I have a vanilla walk cycle and I want to add some variation to the strides or add some acting. Instead of going in and changing the walk I will leave the cycle on cycled infinity. On an animation layer I will add the controls and animate the variations and gestures on top of that. This way I'm not changing the cycle in any way. Lets say I added a head gesture on a layer and I want to exaggerate it. Well I can do it easily but scaling the head curves on that single layer while leaving the cycle alone.

Another way I use layers is it's easy to try things out. Imagine testing a change then playblasting. If it doesn't work you will have to undo undo undo. With layers I can quickly set some rough keys on a new layer. If it doesn't look like it'll work I will delete the layer. If it works, I will refine and merge if I want/need to.
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