Select Page

Timeline – Blender 2.80 Fundamentals

Blender is Free and Open Source Software
Support core Blender development –

This tutorial is part of the Blender Fundamentals series, produced by Dillon Gu.

Find more free tutorials on:

Follow Blender on social media:
* Twitter:
* Facebook:
* LinkedIn:


Timeline in Blender #

The Timeline in Blender is an essential tool for managing and editing animations. It provides a visual representation of the animation’s progression over time, allowing you to navigate, add, and modify keyframes easily. This guide will introduce you to the Timeline in Blender, highlighting its features and how to use it effectively in your animation projects.

Overview of the Timeline #

The Timeline is located at the bottom of the default Blender interface and can be accessed by switching any editor window to the “Timeline” editor type. It displays the frames in your animation as a horizontal sequence, with a vertical line (the playhead) indicating the current frame.

Navigating the Timeline #

Navigating the Timeline in Blender is simple and intuitive:

  1. Scrubbing: Left-click and drag the playhead along the Timeline to scrub through your animation and preview the changes in the 3D viewport.
  2. Jumping to a specific frame: Use the “Current Frame” input field in the Timeline header to jump directly to a specific frame.
  3. Zooming: Use the mouse wheel to zoom in or out on the Timeline, or press the “Home” key to frame all keyframes in the Timeline view.
  4. Panning: Hold the middle mouse button and drag to pan the Timeline view.

Timeline Features #

The Timeline provides several essential features for managing your animation:

  1. Play/Pause: Use the playback controls in the Timeline header to play or pause your animation. You can also press “Alt+A” or the spacebar to toggle playback.
  2. Start and End Frames: Use the “Start” and “End” input fields in the Timeline header to define the range of frames that will be included in your animation. This is useful for setting up looping animations or rendering only a specific portion of your scene.
  3. Markers: Markers are visual cues that can be added to the Timeline to indicate important events or key moments in your animation. To add a marker, position the playhead at the desired frame and press “M.” You can label, move, or delete markers as needed to keep your animation organized and easy to navigate.
  4. Keyframe Manipulation: While the Timeline offers limited keyframe editing capabilities, you can still select, move, or delete keyframes directly in the Timeline. However, for more advanced keyframe editing, you’ll want to use the Dope Sheet or Graph Editor.

Tips for Using the Timeline #

  1. Enable Auto Keying: The Auto Keying feature in Blender automatically creates keyframes for any changes made to objects or bones in the 3D viewport. To enable Auto Keying, click on the red record button in the Timeline header, and choose the desired keying set (e.g., “LocRotScale” for location, rotation, and scale).
  2. Synchronize the Timeline with Other Editors: By default, the Timeline’s playhead is synchronized with other animation editors, such as the Dope Sheet or the Graph Editor. This allows you to seamlessly switch between different editors while maintaining the same frame selection, making it easier to work with multiple aspects of your animation simultaneously.
  3. Use Keyboard Shortcuts: Familiarize yourself with Blender’s keyboard shortcuts for navigating and managing the Timeline. For example, use the “Up” and “Down” arrow keys to jump between keyframes, or press “Shift+Left Arrow” or “Shift+Right Arrow” to jump to the start or end of your animation.

The Timeline in Blender is a fundamental tool for animating and managing your projects. By understanding the basics of the Timeline and its features, you can efficiently create and edit animations, ensuring that your projects are both

well-organized and visually compelling. Mastering the Timeline, in conjunction with other powerful animation tools like the Dope Sheet and Graph Editor, can significantly improve your animation workflow and help you create stunning animations with ease.

  1. Use the Timeline for Audio Synchronization: If your animation project includes audio, the Timeline can be used to synchronize the audio with your animation. Import the audio file into Blender’s Video Sequence Editor (VSE) or through the Speaker object in the 3D viewport. You can then use the Timeline to match keyframes with specific points in the audio, ensuring that your animation lines up with the soundtrack or sound effects.
  2. Loop Playback for Continuous Preview: When working on a specific portion of your animation or creating a looping animation, you might want to preview it continuously. In the Timeline header, enable the “Playback Range” button, which looks like a small clock icon. The playback range will be limited to the Start and End frame values you have set, allowing you to watch the animation loop repeatedly for fine-tuning.
  3. Adjust Animation Speed: Sometimes, you may want to preview your animation at a different speed or frame rate. To do this, click on the “Playback” menu in the Timeline header, and then select “Playback Speed.” Choose from the available speed options or create a custom playback speed by adjusting the “Custom FPS” setting.

The Timeline in Blender is a versatile and essential tool for managing your animations. By understanding its features and capabilities, and combining them with other powerful animation tools, you can create professional-quality animations that engage and captivate your audience.

Powered by BetterDocs