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New Animation timeline

April 5, 2009 in Technology, Unity Products and Services by

With 2.5 out the door, I finally got some time to work on new features. I love that part – to me new features are so nice – the first couple of weeks always feels like you’re the world’s fastest coder (after that, reality sets in and you actually have to make it work in real life – even for corner cases).
Rune and I are busy on the new animation timeline. (Actually, I’m stealing his thunder – he’s doing the real work while I’m just mocking up in Photoshop and spreading general confusion) We’re basically going for a complete rewrite that gives you control over all curves with key editing, tangent dragging, the works. – have a look at what we’re thinking:

Timeline shot

Upcoming 2.6 timeline WIP

I’m really excited about this. I’m thinking that it should be able to require a lot less scripting work for a bunch of stuff. It will also support material animation (so you can actually just make some curves for a UV scroll – instead of having to code the thing from scratch).

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loken
6 Apr 2009, 2:20 am

That is going to be awesome! I was so sad to see that it wasn’t included in 2.5, but I understand why.

Ergh, I hate asking this question as I know how annoying it is, but I ask it in the hopes of at least a hint as I;m sure you Unity guys have no clue yourselves at this point..

Is 2.6 going to be a free upgrade for those that bought 2.5?

I only ask because I really want to purchase Unity. It’s perfect. Except for the lack of the timeline editor, and I’m on a PC here, so I can’t use the old versions. Highly restricted budgets want to know.. :(

Keep up the great work guys, and feel free to dismiss the question.

Joachim Ante
6 Apr 2009, 3:06 am

2.x upgrades are always for free. Thus the timeline will definately be a free upgrade.
The next paid upgrade will be Unity 3.0.

Preludian
6 Apr 2009, 11:51 am

This is great news. I still have the windows demo, but once 2.6 is out I’ll buy the Indie version.

This new and advanced animation timeline is really one of my personal biggest missing features. This will allow me to move over from my 3D App (Blender) to Unity much sooner and gain extreme flexibility. Hopefully this will allow me to do all Bone-Animation and generally all animation work inside of Unity.

Got 15 days till end of demo, so hurry up ;)

Oh, and Antialiasing with pixeleffects like bloom and blur would encourage me to buy pro one day ;)

6 Apr 2009, 4:26 pm

Bloody awesome. :)

6 Apr 2009, 4:47 pm

@loken: you don’t have to hate asking, as Joachim said it’s always been our policy that 2.x upgrades are free for existing Unity 2.x license holders. :)

@Preludian: to be clear, you will not see a Unity dot-release update by the end of your demo, it’s a bit further out than that.

loken
6 Apr 2009, 5:07 pm

Joachim, and Tom, thanks for the info guys! I have no reason not to buy now. =)

Preludian
6 Apr 2009, 5:14 pm

@THiggins: I thought it would be that way, the animation timeline isn’t something that can be done in a few weeks. And I guess this won’t be everything you planned for the 2.6 update… Oh well, than you’ll get a new customer a little bit sooner, your fault ;)

Adams Immersive
10 Apr 2009, 5:22 pm

Just having curves for material colors alone simplifies all kinds of things I’ve had in mind!

Chris Kim
12 Apr 2009, 7:52 am

Awesome!! Along with the curve editor, one very useful feature is adding a capability to trigger scripts on the timeline. It can be used to trigger sound, as an obvious example and many others to create dynamic cut-scenes. It might be a simple addition but the possibility is endless.

shalmdram
4 May 2009, 9:58 pm

mm.. attractive..

29 Jun 2009, 8:42 pm

Fantastic! Brilliant!

It will be so much easier than making animations in third party software and then battling with the FBX export.

Can I make a suggestion? It may be so obvious I look a fool but I don’t care.

If you haven’t already done it, can we have the ability to move the object axis in relation to the object? Some 3D programs are a bit arbitrary where they put the axis and you need to be able to move it before you can correctly animate something. Move the axis to the hinge position before the door will work correctly for example. Sometimes you need to move it during the animation but I don’t think many programs do that so that’s probably too much to hope for.

Brilliant work chaps!

14 Jul 2009, 1:59 am

Will the animation feature allow us to link/parent/wire (depending on what 3D term you’re most used to) from other objects? Or will that still require some scripting intervention?

IE, can I drive a material UV offset from the position of an object, etc?

16 Jul 2009, 10:08 am

@Bentley:
The animation window is for editing animation clips and it will let you specify animation curves for just about any property, including UV offset. Driving some properties by other properties is not related to that, and this would still require scripting.

Kristian Doyle
26 Aug 2009, 4:16 am

Just curious will animation rate be one of the properties that can be parametised with the user-defined curve?

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