Animation Editor

The Animation Editor plugin allows you to design and publish custom animations on rigs.

A rig is an object with individual sections connected by joints. You can move these joints to create poses, and the Animation Editor will smoothly animate the rig from pose-to-pose. As long as all moving parts are connected with Motor6D objects, you can use the Animation Editor for both human and non-human rigs.

Interface

Media and Playback Controls

The name of the animation.

Opens a pop-up menu with the following menu items:

  • Load
  • Save
  • Save As
  • Import
  • Export
  • Create New
  • Set Animation Priority
Moves the scrubber to the first key.
Moves the scrubber to the previous key.
Previews the animation in reverse.
Pauses the animation.
Previews the animation.
Moves the scrubber to the next key
Moves the scrubber to the last key.
Toggles looping for the animation.
The position indicator that displays the timeline unit for the position of the scrubber in seconds:frames.

Timeline

A scrubber that marks the current frame position.
Time units that allow you to move the scrubber to a precise time unit.
A keyframe that marks the change in position or orientation of a part.
Either expands or contracts the time unit marks.

Opens a pop-up menu with the following menu items:

Track List

The name of the rig.
Opens the Manage IK window.
Opens a pop-up menu of additional tracks you can add to the track list.
The track displaying the name, position, and rotation of the part that has been moved or rotated to a new position or orientation.

Opens a contextual menu with the following menu items:

  • Add Keyframe
  • Delete Track

Opening the Animation Editor

To create an animation within Studio, you will first need to open the Animation Editor.

To open the Animation Editor:

  1. In the menu bar, navigate to the Plugins tab.

  2. In the Animations section, click on the Animation Editor. The Animation Editor window displays.

Creating an Animation

Before you create an animation, you should have a rig within your experience. If you don't have a rig available, insert a pre-built rig with the Build Rig plugin. The pre-built rigs have all of the basic parts and mechanisms to build a character animation.

After the Animation Editor is open, you can create a new animation for a rig:

  1. Select the rig you want to create an animation for. A dialog displays.

  2. In the Animation Name field, enter a new animation name, then click the Create button. The Animation Editor window displays the media and playback controls, timeline, and track list.

From here, you can begin creating poses for your rig and experiment with animation settings, such as looping the animation or setting its priority.

Creating Poses

A pose is when you move and/or rotate parts of a rig (hands, feet, torso, etc.) to specific positions. After you create multiple poses, the Animation Editor will run between them with a defined easing setting to smoothly animate the rig from pose-to-pose.

For example, consider a simple animation where a humanoid character turns to look 45° to the left. This animation involves two poses:

  • The initial position looking forward.
  • The turned position looking left.

To create a pose:

  1. In the Animation Editor window, navigate to the timeline, then click-and-move the scrubber to the frame position where you want to set the pose. By default, timeline units are expressed as seconds:frames and animations run at 30 frames per second, so 0:15 indicates ½ second.

  2. In the viewport, hover your mouse over the rig and click on a part to select it.

  3. Move and/or rotate the part to a new orientation. A new track displays in the track list, and a new keyframe displays on the timeline.

  4. Continue moving or rotating parts until you get the desired pose. Whenever you adjust a specific part, a new keyframe displays on the timeline for that part at that specific frame position.

  5. When you're ready to preview the animation, you can either:

    • Navigate to the Media and Playback Controls, then click the Play button.
    • Or press the Spacebar.

Keyframes

Once you create basic poses for a rig, fine-tuning individual keyframes can significantly improve the final animation.

Adding Keyframes

Whenever you change a part's position or orientation, a new keyframe displays on the timeline. You can also add keyframes to a timeline through the following methods.

To add a keyframe for a single part of the rig:

  1. Navigate to the timeline, then move the scrubber to a new position.

  2. In the track list, navigate to the part's track and click the button. A pop-up menu displays.

  3. Select Add Keyframe.

To add a keyframe for multiple parts of the rig:

  1. Navigate to the timeline, then right-click in the dark region above the tracks. A pop-up menu displays.

  2. Select Add Keyframe Here.

Note that the keyframes insert at the frame position closest to where you click, not at the position of the scrubber.

Moving Keyframes

You can increase or decrease the amount of time between keyframes by moving either individual keyframes or every keyframe in a frame position.

To move a single keyframe:

  1. Navigate to the timeline and click on any gray keyframe. Both the gray keyframe and the white keyframe are now surrounded with a blue border.

  2. Click-and-drag it to a new frame position.

To move every keyframe in a frame position:

  1. Navigate to the timeline and click on the white keyframe in the dark region above the tracks. Every keyframe in the frame position is now surrounded with a blue border.

  2. Click-and-drag it to a new frame position.

Duplicating Keyframes

You can duplicate either a specific keyframe or multiple keyframes for multiple parts into a new position in the timeline. This is particularly useful for when you want to

To duplicate one or more keyframes:

  1. Navigate to the timeline and select one or more keyframes. Every selected keyframe is now surrounded by a blue border.
  2. Press Control+C (Command ⌘+C on Mac). Every selected keyframe copies to your clipboard.
  3. Move the scrubber to a new frame position.
  4. Press Control+V (Command ⌘+V on Mac). The keyframe(s) paste into the new frame position.

Deleting Keyframes

To delete one or more keyframes, select the keyframe(s), then press Delete or Backspace.

Looping an Animation

To make an animation automatically loop, navigate to the Media and Playback Controls and click the Looping button.

Setting a Priority

An animation's priority dictates when it will play in an experience. For example, if you play an animation with a higher priority than another animation that's already playing, the new animation will override the old.

Developers often use unique animations for different player actions and states, such as a jump or idle animation. In this example, the jump animation should take priority over the idle animation so that a character doesn't perform both at the same time.

There are four types of priority:

To set an animation to a different priority:

  1. Navigate to the Media and Playback Controls and click the button. A pop-up menu displays.

  2. Hover over Set Animation Priority, then choose your desired priority setting.

Saving an Animation

When you save an animation, Studio saves it as a KeyframeSequence object. This object contains all keyframes for an animation, determines if the animation is looped, and notes its priority against other animations.

To save an animation:

  1. Navigate to the Media and Playback Controls and click the button. A pop-up menu displays.

  2. Select Save or Save As to save the animation as a child of the AnimSaves object (itself a child of the rig).

Exporting an Animation

When you export an animation to Studio, it becomes available for use in all experiences. This means that you only need to create an animation once, then you can reuse it as many times for as many characters as you want.

To export an animation:

  1. Navigate to the Media and Playback Controls and click the button. A pop-up menu displays.

  2. Select Publish to Roblox. The Asset Configuration dialog displays.

  3. In the Asset Configuration dialog, fill out the Title and Description fields.

  4. If you are using Team Create, select a Creator.

  5. Click the Submit button.

Once the upload is complete, you can copy the animation's asset ID by clicking the copy button. This ID is required for scripting animations as outlined in Using Animations.

Defining Important Settings for Default Character Animations

If your animation will be used for a default Roblox character animation like jumping or running, you must rename the final keyframe End (with a capital E). You can do this by performing the following steps:

  1. Right-click the final white keyframe symbol in the dark region. A pop-up menu displays.

  2. Choose Rename Key Keyframe. A Rename Key Keyframe dialog displays.

  3. In the New Keyframe Name field, type End.

  4. Click the Save button.