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As part of Unity 5.5 beta, we’re happy to announce changes to our Animation window that improve workflow and iteration times, as well as in-editor performance.

The headline feature is the new box tool, which allows far simpler moving, scaling and even ripple editing of keyframes in your animation. In addition to this, we have carried out a host of performance improvements under the hood that should make your experience animating in Unity far smoother. We’re committed to bringing you better and better tools for animation. We’re looking forward to announcing more exciting additions to Unity for artists and animators soon!

Check out the video above to see the new additions and sound off in the comments below or on the forum with your feedback!

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  1. Thanks Unity Team to show the new features of the beta version in video ! Is simple to understand how to use them. Nice workflow!

  2. When are you guys planning to fix these unwanted animation key issues? I mean specially animating with layout ui is too painful. Since ‘new ui system’ is one of new key feature at Unity5, it’s pretty bizarre that it is not fixed yet and there isn’t any mention about it when you guys talk about animation window update.

    https://forum.unity3d.com/threads/unwanted-ui-animation-keyframes-suddenly-appearing.296888/
    https://issuetracker.unity3d.com/issues/animation-editor-generates-extra-frames-for-ui-objects-whenever-record-mode-is-enabled

  3. Please add the basic functionality to rename objects that are animated or move them into other objects and animation do not brake. This should happen in version 4, at least put it in 5.5.

    1. Indeed. This is one of the main things that has kept us from using Unity animations in our particular use cases. Ever replace an object in your hierarchy? All animation references for objects beneath it break. Rename one thing? Same result.

  4. One highly overlooked — but very BASIC feature needed for animators:

    STEPPED ANIMATION KEYFRAMES !!!

    We cannot control movement precisely enough without this! See below:

    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/stepped-animation-keyframes.294323/#post-2749911

  5. Awesome work guys and gals

  6. Looks good on video with a few keyframes but as soon as you deal with baked IK and try to select the 100s of keyframe this generates you’re fucked : framerate drops to 1fps in dopesheet as well as curve mode.

    Also the implementation of ripple is incomplete: it ripple outwards but not inwards.

    1. Exactly, working with only a few keyframes is fine but hundreds of them then the editor is bogged down. This is an issue that still makes animating in Unity a pain, without optimizing keyframe handling first, these features are useless to all but simple animations.

  7. Brilliant improvements! I hope to see the Director sequencer ship soon.

  8. Aww, that’s great. Animation window is one of the latest tools in Unity that felt kinda let down / too poor in function. I hope most of the remaining bugs will be fixed too (like the ones stated in other comments).

    Great job! Can’t wait to see that :)

  9. Cool, could be nice to be able to switch off the record button but keep the changes in the scene and be able to make changes without affect the animation.
    Now when record is switched off everything turn back to pre animated state wich is not very useful if you want to make changes in a particular frame without adding any keyframe. Maybe a toggle for auto-keyframing? Should it be the record button?

  10. Urban B. Corbillon

    September 20, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Uau! Yes! Supersweet guys! I come from the AE background and i was waiting for something like this! Cool!

    There are some things i still miss:
    -One, that there is a automatic reverse/flip of frames. Right now, this was somewhat solved, but you still need to be pendent on the exact scale, to match the first animation.
    -To be able to make tangents bigger! That they react in the same way any path program moves aligned or broken tangents (photoshop, illustrator, AE…).
    – To be able to change hierarchy without breaking the animation (plus that changing the name, changes it automatically in the timeline – now it works if you change it on both)
    – and yeah, 2d objects with a constant rotation interpolate and it can look horrible (we tried go around it, with adjusting timescale to 120f/s, just that that jump would not be seen, but it does sometimes)

    If this can be implemented, this would be awesome!

    Keep up the really awesome work!

  11. Looks really helpful, something really really helpful is copy/paste, you guys have to add that someday please.

    1. But you can copy and paste key frames already!

  12. Too bad animating rotations have been broken on an off since 5.1. I really wish the API would just be opened up for the Animation Window so we can fix some of these bugs ourselves. I’ve been working directly in Unity’s Animation Window for years now and it seems to get worse rather than better. Actually even the rotation interpolation system seems to be broken on and off as well, rotations now default to Euler before were Quaternion and now copying and pasting rotation keys default to Quaternion and can break current rotation curves by mixing them up. At least make rotations smarter so we can have a drop down menu or a default to set, so all rotations being keyed will follow that choice rather than switching the defaults up on us all the time. Additionally before copying and pasting animation keys it should see what the current curves it is pasting over and match to that so we don’t have to switch the interpolations between the 3 different choices all the time.

  13. Anomalous Underdog

    September 19, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Will the new curve editor allow us to change a tangent’s distance from the control point? Personally, it’s an extremely limiting part of the Unity curve editor that’s putting me off making animations within Unity. http://hypertensiongamedev.tumblr.com/post/146330028920/i-was-thinking-if-the-dash-feature-should-be-a-new

    1. I wonder if its more processing intensive to use Bezier over Hermite Curves? Hermite curves are very limiting for creating smooth and quality animation.

  14. Awesome changes; one of the things that I often wish the animation window had was the ability to change ALL the handles on all selected key frame points. For instance, supposing I have the X, Y and Z keyframe points selected and I want to adjust the shape of the curve; currently I have to adjust the curve handles of X, Y and Z separately; even though I just want them all to be identical.

    It would be awesome if all the selected/overlapping points could be adjusted together by holding a hot key whilst dragging the curve handle.

  15. Its cool, but as I think of the indies that are looking at this video – they will have to “use the force” to really comprehend what you’re talking about because during the video you focussed entirely on the tool and not really on the effect that it had on an animation so it will likely leave many still trying to figure out what the tool is doing.

    Please demo the side-effect to a feature if you’re going to introduce a new feature.

    1. If you know anything about animation you won’t understand. They don’t have to teach you how animation works.

      1. * if you know nothing

  16. Nice work. Can’t wait for the entire Playables API, Director, and anim window improvements to all come together.

  17. Good job guys! Keep it up :)

  18. Would love a fix for 2D so that rotation animations don’t always interpolate.

  19. Anthony Rosbottom

    September 19, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    A good start. Copying and pasting curves from one attribute to another needs attention. It’s quite unintuitive (no feedback that CNTRL-C has worked) and annoyingly, on Paste, shows all the curves in the clip.

  20. Yes to all of this! The lack of Box Selection was very annoying.

  21. Good,But those updates for the Curve mode are even better.

  22. Cool stuff. I’m hoping this is part of a larger work towards the Sequence / Cinematics Director. :)

  23. Was the issue fixed where objects loose their reference when you rename or move it in the hierarchy?

  24. great start!

    please think also about the animation management – we have more than 500 animations in one animator and there’s no simple way how to find one of them as there’s no sorting and no scrollable window you can pick animation from

    1. Hi Archie, are you referring to within the animator state machine window? Are you looking for a way to find clips used there? via search? Representing this in our UI will be far easier once we transition to our new UI under the hood which is well on it’s way. This gives us way more flexibility to add long standing requests like zooming etc, and would be the framework we could use to highlight states when narrowing down via search. Let me know if that’s not what you mean though!

      1. i guess so, the case is:

        we have few entities with many many handmade animations and transitions between them all animated in unity, created in random order as I work with artists who “need to see it first”

        the little scrollable drop-down menu in top left corner in the animation window is probably sorted by asset ID or maybe by asset creation date (never figured it out) so when I need to find one specific animation I am forced to make temporary AnimatorController and drag the animation (or few) in it, then use the controller in the Animator of the entity and then I have just one animation (or few) in the menu so I can revise the animation itself; when I am done I need to return original AnimatorController to the Animator

        this practice is very uncomfortable

        I include link of my colleague where’s illustrated feature, where is no menu but scrollable part of the window with search (actually sorting options would be nice too) https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6749738/animFeature.jpg

        1. Hi Archie,

          We are looking at improving that part of the workflow. For sure, a dropdown is not a scalable ui when you have a huge number of clips and we want to rethink that whole part of the ui in the animation window!