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Blender For Dummies®, 2nd Edition by Jason van Gumster

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Working with the Dopesheet

So you have a rigged character that you want to animate. Awesome! Change your screen layout to the Animation layout (Ctrl+←imageCtrl+←). After that, the first thing that you're probably going to want to do is change the primary 3D View to solid viewport shading (Z), change the Translate manipulator to the Rotate manipulator, and set it to Normal orientation (Alt+spacebarimageNormal). You should switch to Normal orientation because when you're animating with an armature, most of the time, you're animating bone rotations. By setting the Rotation manipulator to the Normal coordinate space, you can have quick, controlled transformation of bone rotations without having the 3D manipulator get in your way too much.

The next thing you need to pay attention to is the Dopesheet. As nice as seeing the Graph Editor may be, seeing all the f-curves for each object and each bone in your scene can quickly get overwhelming. The Timeline shows keys for multiple objects in a simplified way, but you don't have a good way to see which key belongs to which object, and the Timeline provides no tools for actually editing these keyframes. You need a different editor — one that gives you a big picture of the keyframes for multiple objects and bones in your animation. And, perhaps more important, ...

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