Selection Objects in the Timeline


I was going to set up some Selection Objects for a character, mainly for keying, not actually for selecting, as I will be using Visual Selector for that. But, I will set them up for Autokeying. My question is, some of my control objects are set up with sliders. Would it be a waste to add them to a Selection Object for keying, since they need to be keyed in the Attribute Manager? I didn’t think they were affected by Autokeying…

Thanks in advance…


Hi Bobzilla,

If you use selection objects you have to hit the restore selection button in the Attribute Mgr before moving the slider, which would then be autokeyed. As opposed to just a contol object that you select in the Timeline or Object Mgr and then move the slider setting the autokey. If it’s for grouping the controllers for ease of use, then maybe a layer in the timeline would be better. As with everything, I guess it’s a matter of personal preference and workflow.



Thanks very much for the info. I didn’t realize about the “restore selection” button in the AM. I don’t remember seeing anything about that in the manual.

Thanks for your help. I was beginning to think everyone was stuck in the Flow Tracer thread!!!


Sorry Bobzilla,

I think I miss interpreted your post, I got fixed on using a selection object to select a slider as apposed to limiting keyframes or selecting in the editor window. For those purposes you wouldn’t need to use the restore selection button.

I haven’t used Visual Selector, does the interface allow for a control object to link to the Attribute Mgr? If not, maybe an on screen controller for the slider that would be able to use autokeying.

Hopefully, that is more in line with your question?



Well, basically I want to use the Selection Object in the timeline as an Autokey feature, but some of my controllers are set up to sliders and the only way I think you can record sliders is in the AM, which is a bit of a pain. I’d like to, say, move my foot controller, then use a slider for ffot roll and have that all keys as I’ve doing it, rather than moving my foot controllers into position, then clicking on the foot roll controller, going over to the AM, move the slider then go to animation>set keyframe.


Well, in case your still interested, I think I figured out what I want to do.

I don’t think I add it to a selection object, but I click on my User Data with my slider, select Animation>Set Keyframe Selection. Then, in autokey mode, everytime I move the slider it records a key.

At least you got me thinking in the right direction…thanks!


Hey Bobzilla

Always interested! By on screen controller I meant that you link your control null in the editor window via expresso to the slider, then anytime autokeying is enabled you get a key without a trip to the A.M. just like any other controller.



Hi, Sam…

Well the way I set it up as described above isn’t too bad. I know what you mean, but I’m not sure how I would set that up. How would I actually move the slider? That’s in in AM. Wouldn’t I still have to go to the AM to actually move the slider?


Hi Bobzilla,

I was going through Jason Osipa’s book ‘Stop Staring’, at the the same time Cactus Dan posted this: which was really nice of him. My first on screen controller was for the spline mouth for lip synch through a posemixer. In your case you can input data to the user data port for the foot roll on the control objects expresso node.

I’m not sure if my posts are still on delay or not, but I hope this helps.
(No more delay for me)



Yes. I remember that thread. I’m actually helping beta test Dan’s CD IK Tools for rigging.

If you’re into character animation you should check it out:

If you go here: you can see what I’m working on. I’ve rigged the camarasaur (the one with the long neck) with Dan’s plugin and am currently trying to do a walk cycle for him. My first quad, so it’s a little scary…

Thanks again for the info…I need all I can get.


Wow Bobzilla that is looking excellent. Is that the dinosaur which you were going to use the TPsoftbody effect on? I kind of gave up on that for now. I could get it to work but once i started rigging i ran into problems. I’ll pick it up again once i get my patience back.

Anyways, i thought i remember there being a plugin where one could set to record all keyframes of all objects in a scene with one button. I wonder if this could be setup with xpresso? It would fill up the timeline with keyframes pretty quickly but would be easy to delete them. I hope there is a solution because i’ve got a pretty intense animation project coming which i’ve been dreading because of this problem.


Oops, forgot to ask a couple of questions. Bobzilla, have you used Erigger from eago? If so do you find Cactus Dan’s rigging tools better, not as good, or usefull with Erigger?


Hi, Dan…

Yeah, the dino with the long neck needs the jiggle! I’ve come up with something using a SIK chain that goes from the chest and runs under the belly to the base of the tale. Hopefully as I animate it will swing a little and create some jiggle. Not exactly what I wanted, but may have to do for now.

I’ve not actually used ERigger. I went through the tutorials, though. It seemed a little less traditional in it’s set up and I was finding it hard to alter the final set up if I needed to.

Someday, I’d like to have time to play around with EMorpher, though…

Cactus Dan’s plugin is very easy to use and works the same way as rigging in other apps, just tailored to work in C4D…

Both develpers have movies you can download to see how hey work, so you may want to check those out.


Yeah i will check out Cactus Dan’s site and videos. I have Erigger but tend to shy away from it because of its different approach to rigging. Although the example rig included with the plugin is my favorite rig to date. Its very predictable imo.


Those are looking good Bobzilla! I’ve had Cactus Dan’s site bookmarked for awhile and will probably be using his IK Solver for an Eagle I’m working on, it’s rig will probably be to different to easily use Motionbuilder.

Thanks for the link.



Thanks, Sam. I had actually bought Motionbuilder when that great deal was going on, but I have yet to use it. It looks great for humanoid bipeds, but I was a little leary of using it for dinosaurs. I know they give you a dino with the app, but I kind of wanted to see if I could stay in Cinema for as much as I could.

Looking forward to seeing the eagle. do you have any renders or pics posted anywhere??


Yeah, I was (am) still on the learning curve for Cinema when the Motionbuilder deal came along, couldn’t resist the price, so other than checking it out and watching the vids I was holding off until I had some understanding of all areas of Cinema and all the other hardware/software I had already gotten.

I purchased a ton of stuff about a year ago after looking at all the many options but it wasn’t until about 9 months ago that I was able to spend much time at it (no more 60+ hour weeks at work for me). Now I can spend even more time doing this and it just doesn’t seem like work. Unless I want to play outside, yesterday was a 3 hour trip up north to get video of Denali (Mt. Mckinley) for reference footage. Summer in Alaska is soooo nice.

I do have a website I haven’t set it up yet but since I’ve started posting here instead of using it as resource (I often research peoples questions before reading the rest of the posts to learn as much about all I can) Thanks Everyone!, I’ll have to get that set up and post some shots.

Thanks for asking and I’ll look forward to your feedback when it’s ready.


Yeah, I’m just starting out myself. I don’t do 3D/animation for a living, so it’s a “nights and weekends” thing, like a lot of us here.

I’ve scoured the web for anything and everything I can find. Actually I learned a lot from Maya and XSI tutorials. In fact, I bought a video series for a Maya project. Modeling, texturing, rigging, and animating an elephant. Very informative. Also, sometine funny as I watch the instructor traverse the Maya interface, when some of his actions are a click or two in Cinema to achive the same thing!

I always hear how beautiful Alaska is. I think everyone’s opinion of Alaska in the lower 48 is tainted by the film Mystery, Alaska!!!


Remember you can use selection objects in Visual Selector, which handles them better than Cinema does natively (just one click).


I use Visual Selector! I couldn’t even imagine working without it. No mater how hard I try, I always end up have SOME of my controllers burried in the hierarchy somewhere, and VS makes it a piece of cake.

It’s not really the selecting I need to be easier, but the keying. The keying of sliders, to be exact.

One of my posts above I think explains what I will probably do…