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Exploring the Keyframe Editor

When you begin working with multiple layers and adding precision keyframe timing, the Keyframe Editor becomes incredibly valuable.

Using the Keyframe Editor, you can see all layers and keyframes on your slide at one time. Let's use the slide you have just created as an example of what you can do with the Keyframe Editor.

Opening the Keyframe Editor

You can open the Keyframe Editor by clicking the Keyframe Editor button in the Keyframes pane of the Motion Effects, Adjustment Effects, or Caption Motion tab.

Click the Keyframe Editor button keyframeeditor.jpg to get started. This opens the Keyframe Editor dialog, which features a preview panel and a list of layers on the right (Figure 4.49).

Figure 4.49

Figure 4.49 The Keyframe Editor features a preview panel and a list of all layers, each of which shows a Keyframe Timeline and associated keyframes.

The Keyframe Editor dialog displays all the layers on your slide, as well as captions. Each one shows all keyframes and timing so that you can get your entire slide at a glance without switching between multiple layers.

This is a great way to make sure that your timing is correct and that the keyframes are arranged in the way you want them to appear.

Using the Keyframe Editor

On the left side of the Keyframe Editor is your preview panel and some basic controls:

  • Play starts playing your slide as it is currently set up. You will see how everything works and get a quick preview this way (Figure 4.50).
    Figure 4.50

    Figure 4.50 Use the Play button to preview your motion effects.

  • The Editor Zoom slider (Figure 4.51) increases or decreases the zoom of your Keyframe Timelines on the right. Drag the slider left to decrease the zoom, and drag it to the right to increase the zoom.
    Figure 4.51

    Figure 4.51 The Editor Zoom slider enables you to get a closer look at the timing of your keyframes.

  • Keyframe Time (Figure 4.52) works just like right-clicking a keyframe and choosing Set Time. Click the keyframe marker you want to move, click Set Time, and enter the value.
    Figure 4.52

    Figure 4.52 KeyFrame Time works like the Set Time option. Select a keyframe marker, click Set Time to open the dialog, and enter the new time.

  • Keyframe Selection allows you to quickly deselect any keyframes you have been working with.
  • Close simply closes the Keyframe Editor dialog.

Look at the editor list on the right side of the window. Here you can see your three layers, in order. Each layer has a full Keyframe Timeline, showing all the same information as the normal Keyframe Timeline. You can see each keyframe, the time markers at the top, and the section shading at the bottom.

Working with keyframes in the Keyframe Editor is just like using them on the Keyframe Timeline. You can select keyframes, drag them to adjust time, or right-click them to set the time to whatever value you want.

The benefit of the Keyframe Editor comes from the ability to see all your keyframes at once. Notice here that you can see how your keyframes all line up. Keyframe 1 in layer 2 starts right where keyframe 3 ends in layer 1. The same is true for layers 2 and 3. You can tell, just by looking, that your keyframes have been placed properly (Figure 4.53).

Figure 4.53

Figure 4.53 You can quickly get a look at how your keyframes line up and are timed by using the Keyframe Editor.

Selecting Multiple Keyframes

The Keyframe Editor gives you the ability to work with more than one keyframe at a time. If you want to move a group of keyframes around at once, you can lasso to select as many as you like.

To select keyframes using a lasso:

  1. Click anywhere in the editor pane, and drag your pointer. You will see it create a selection box, or lasso, which highlights the selection (Figure 4.54). Every keyframe that is inside your lasso when you release the mouse will be selected.
    Figure 4.54

    Figure 4.54 Drag the pointer to select multiple keyframes in the Keyframe Editor.

  2. Try dragging a lasso around keyframe 1 in both layer 1 and layer 2 (Figure 4.55). The selected keyframe markers are now in blue.
    Figure 4.55

    Figure 4.55 Click and drag to select keyframe 1 in both layer 1 and layer 2. The selected keyframe markers will be in blue.

  3. Once you have done this, right-click keyframe 1 in layer 1.
  4. Choose Align Selected Keyframes Here (Figure 4.56). This will automatically match both keyframes you have selected to the same place (Figure 4.57).
    Figure 4.56

    Figure 4.56 Right-click keyframe 1, and choose Align Selected Keyframes Here.

    Figure 4.57

    Figure 4.57 After you choose Align Selected Keyframes Here, the two selected keyframes now have the same starting time.

This is a great shortcut to make sure that your keyframes all line up and are properly timed.

Remember, you can find examples of keyframe use on the companion Web site at Chapter 4.

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