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Moving Keyframes in the Graph Editor

You select keyframes in the Graph Editor using the same methods you use to select keyframes in a motion path (or, for that matter, to select keyframes in the standard view of the time ruler). The keyframe icons differ, but the procedures are the same, and we won’t review them here. However, the Graph Editor includes a couple of unique features when it comes to keyframes.

First, the Graph Editor has its own snap feature. As you know from other chapters (and other programs), snapping gives objects a magnetic quality so that it’s easier to align them with one another. In the Graph Editor, enabling snapping helps you align keyframes with In points, Out points, markers, the current time indicator (CTI), and other keyframes.

The Graph Editor also includes a more unexpected feature, a keyframe transform box. With this option active, selecting multiple keyframes includes them in a transform box—just like the bounding box that lets you scale a layer. Ordinarily, selecting multiple keyframes lets you move all of them by the same amount. In contrast, a transform box lets you adjust keyframes proportionally. In other words, keyframes included in the transform box maintain their relative positions on the box.

To enable keyframe snapping in the Graph Editor:

  • In the Graph Editor, click the Snap button (Figure 9.51).
  • When the Snap button is selected, keyframes align with other keyframes, markers, the CTI, and other elements more easily.

    Figure 9.51 Click the Graph Editor’s Snap button to assist in aligning keyframes with In points, Out points, the CTI, or other keyframes.

To move keyframes using a transform box:

  • In the Graph Editor, click the Show Bounding Box button (Figure 9.52).
  • When you select multiple keyframes, a bounding box appears around the keyframes (Figure 9.53).

    Figure 9.52 Selecting the Graph Editor’s Show Bounding Box button...

    Figure 9.53 ...creates a bounding box around selected keyframes.

To move multiple keyframes using a transform box:

  1. With the Show Bounding Box option selected, do either of the following:
    • Shift-click multiple keyframes.
    • Drag a marquee around consecutive keyframes.
  2. A bounding box appears around the selected keyframes.

  3. Do either of the following:
    • Drag any of the bounding box’s handles to scale the box (Figure 9.54).
    • Press and hold Option (Alt) to move a handle on the bounding box independently of the other handles (Figure 9.55).
  4. The keyframes contained in the bounding box move according to your adjustments, maintaining their relative positions on the box.

    Figure 9.54 Dragging the bounding box scales the box and moves the keyframes accordingly.

    Figure 9.55 Press Option (Alt) to drag a bounding box’s handle independently of other handles.

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