Time Scroller Palette frustration

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  09 September 2012
Time Scroller Palette frustration

I've closed both time scroller/control palettes at the bottom of the screen and I can't seem to get them back. I know I can just load the default layout to bring them back, but I've customized my interface quite a bit and I just want to bring the time bar back, without having to redo all my changes.

Any help?

I'll go on a rant while I'm at it. The following can safely be skipped by everyone.

Why can't Maxon call the Graph Editor by a proper name instead of "Timeline"? It's confusing as hell for anyone who has used any other 3D animation package. It's not a time line. It has a time line, but it's primarily an Animation/Keyframe Editor. When you need to manage layers, you go to the Layer Manager. Materials? Material Manager. Object attributes? Doh! Attribute Manager. Edit animation? Timeline! In fact, if you look at the Window menu, you'll see every single editor has a proper, descriptive name except the Graph Editor.

Last edited by eikonoklastes : 09 September 2012 at 07:39 PM.
  09 September 2012
Main Menu>Window>Timeline
  09 September 2012
To be fair--timeline is a standard title for managing animation in some animation packages (after effects for instance).

I understand that Maya users can be a little confused with the nomenclature--as Maya seems to work in a different way----in terms of how you go about animating a scene.

In C4D the method is assigning keyframes at a given point on the timeline.

In Maya, it seems there is the more esoteric method of working entirely with graphs.
it requires a slight change in how you think about how you approach animation (as with many things) in C4D.

To me, having always used software that works in this linear method, C4D and its timeline makes perfect sense. But I can see how others might find it disconcerting.

Luckily you can choose to work entirely in f-curve mode if you wish (hit spacebar while in timeline).
  09 September 2012
Hello Joel. You seem to have misunderstood my post. I don't want to show a window. I want to show a palette.

Specifically, the time scroller/slider thingy palette at the bottom of the screen, and the one below that as well, with all the time control functions like Play, Next Keyframe, etc.

Also (off main topic), it's just the name "Timeline" that bothers me, not its actual functions, because it's a very capable Graph/Keyframe Editor. The word "timeline", in pretty much any app I've used refers to the actual line/bar with the time values/ticks on it.
  09 September 2012
If you prefer to work with "pallettes" that you would like to open only when needed, you can go into your command manager and assign keystrokes to have them pop up as needed.
  09 September 2012
It's called Timeline Manager simply because it encompasses all manager modes that have anything to do with the timeline (motion clips, f-curves, and keyframes.) Calling it the graph editor will exclude the other two modes by name, which would be a worse misnomer.

As for the scrubber that you're looking for, go to your Command Manager, and type in timeline in the Name Filter box. What you're looking for is Timeline Scroll Bar (Key Area) and Timeline Scroll Bar (Power Area). The former is the timeline where all the keys and the current frame are displayed. The latter is the one that adjusts your scene time length and preview range.
Do what you want to do, not what you think you want to do.
| ToothedWheel V2 plugin for C4D |UberTracer plugin for C4D |
  09 September 2012
Thanks rustEdge, that was what I was looking for. You have to first click New Palette and then drag it to that palette before you can then dock it.

However, for some strange reason, it doesn't bring back the time control buttons, only the scrollbar. Very annoying. Clearly this was something not meant to be fiddled with and the UI dev team has forgotten about it. It'll be less work to just redo my entire custom interface from scratch.

Again, off main topic, I wasn't suggesting it be called Graph Editor. I think Animation Editor would be closer to the truth, but I'm not really bothered with it. That was just a rant borne from disconnected frustration.

Joel, you're still misunderstanding me. I just wanted the default time scrubbing palette UI back, because once that's gone, you can't scrub time unless you open the Timeline. I removed it because I was modeling and wanted to remove unnecessary UI.
  09 September 2012
Aha! I sorted it by loading the Standard Layout, right-clicking on the palette and saving it as a file.

I then loaded my custom layout and reloaded this palette back into it.

All's well now!

Thanks for your input.
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by JoelOtron: In C4D the method is assigning keyframes at a given point on the timeline.

In Maya, it seems there is the more esoteric method of working entirely with graphs.

Sorry, but this is not true. In either package you can work in the Graph editor (aka Timeline in FCurve mode in Cinema), the Dopesheet (aka Timeline in Key mode in Cinema) or the Timeslider (aka Powerslider in Cinema).

The names are different but the workflow is not really, I jump back and forth between animating in Maya and C4D all the time and my basic workflow in either package is almost identical.

  09 September 2012
Sorry--I dont actually use Maya so maybe shouldnt have tried to help here.

I work in a studio with several Maya animators and we've had conversations about the differences/similarities between C4D and Maya--and one of the things that comes up is the differences between the approach--keyframing in c4d versus working solely in the graph editor in Maya. Didnt mean to spread erroneous info or get anyone worked up.
  09 September 2012
Heh, well didn't mean to come across as worked up.

Really there are almost as many workflows as there are animators. For me I tend to work with the timeline not open at all when I'm blocking out a shot, instead I set keys for the entire rig for each pose and use the Timeslider/Powerslider to navigate the scene and do basic retiming while doing that. I only open the GraphEditor/FCurve Timeline when I need to adjust a bunch of keys together or when I get to the splining/polishing stage. I tend to use the C4D Powerslider in 'Advanced' mode as it then works in a more similar way to the one in Maya.

I've seen some guys that work very much like they are animating stop motion characters, ie in a very visual way directly manipulating the character in the viewport, and others who dive straight into the Graph Editor, both work of course, it's just down to preferences.


Last edited by Horganovski : 09 September 2012 at 10:07 PM.
  09 September 2012
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