Tracking the trajectories

When working with animation, it is very useful to see the trajectories of objects. From them, you can immediately estimate the speed and position of the object in all the desired frames.

  • Open the Dracorex_walk_cycle scene.
  • Switch to the point controllers mode
  • Select any point of the character. For example, the point of the tip of the dinosaur's tail.
  • Move to the first animation frame
  • Hold down the left mouse button and move the mouse over the timeline while dragging the black frame.This way you can select several frames at once.
  • Without de-selecting the frames, move the red slider to view the animation.
In the viewport you will see dots connected by lines. Each dot shows the position of the point controller in the frame

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Trajectories of several objects

By default, if several objects are selected at once, you will only see the trajectories of the highest objects in the hierarchy.

  • Select all points of the dinosaur's tail.
  • Make sure that the frame interval on the timeline is highlighted
  • Open the menu of trajectory modes and select the All trajectories mode. So you will see the trajectories of all the selected frames

The next two modes also allow you to see the lines between points. This can be useful for tracking back or weapon movements!

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Fixing trajectories

By default, you will see trajectories for those objects and frames that are currently selected. If objects or frames are not selected, you will not see any trajectories in the viewport.
Often, however, you want to see object trajectories even if they are not currently selected.

  • Select part of the animation frames
  • Select the object to show its trajectory
  • Click the lock icon
Now you can deselect the objects - the trajectories won't disappear!
  • Click the Set trajectory Interval button
You can now see the trajectories of the selected frames even if you select another frame.

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Adding new trajectories to fixed ones

Sometimes it is necessary to add trajectories of new objects to already anchored ones.

  • Hold Shift and Right-click the objects to add a display of their trajectories.
In the same way, you can disable the display of trajectories for some objects without removing the anchor.

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Hiding trajectories

Sometimes it is necessary to temporarily hide the trajectory display.

  • Press the Trajectory turn off button to turn off the display of trajectories.
  • Press the button again to see the trajectories of the selected objects again.

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You can also see the position of objects in other frames as silhouettes.

  • Turn on the ghost display button
  • Select the guest display mode for the previous and subsequent frames.
  • Increase the values of the numbers in the boxes to see more ghosts.
  • Click on the key icon to see only the keyframes

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And that’s not all!

The listed above options of working with trajectories are enough to start making animations and tracking the movement of the character. However, this is far from all that they are capable of! You can learn more about the trajectories from the video:

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