Dope Sheet

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The Dope Sheet allows you to manipulate the timing and position of keys, as well as to insert and delete keys. It doesn't let you edit values directly, you should use the Curve Editor for that.

You can show the Dope Sheet by clicking the Dope Sheet button on the right of the Animation Panel. You can see the Dope Sheet and Curve Editor at the same time by clocking the Split/Unsplit button, also on the right of the Animation Panel.

The Dope Sheet is divided into 3 main areas. On the left is the node list, which displays all the animated nodes in the project. To the right is the Dope Sheet view, where you can view and edit the keys for animated params. At the bottom of the panel is the Tool area.

Node List
The node list displays all the animated nodes in the project. It's a hierarchic list. At the top level is the name of each animated node. When you expand the top level you will find items for each animated param in the node. For params with multiple coordinates you can then expand the item further to see items for each coordinate.

Double clicking on a node name in the list will open that node in a floating param view. Double clicking on a param item or coordinate item will fit the Dope Sheet view to all the keys for that item.

Selecting a list item will display, if appropriate, the keys for that item in the Dope Sheet view as well as show the keys for that item in the Timeline.

Scrolling the node list vertically also scrolls the Dope Sheet view.

Dope Sheet View
The Dope Sheet view shows rows of the keys for each item in the Node List (where appropriate). Keys are drawn as little white diamonds. Some keys are drawn as little yellow diamonds. These are special keys called metakeys. Metakeys are only displayed for the param level items of a param that has multiple coordinates. There is more information about metakeys in the editing section. All the keys for a param are connected by a dark bar called the range bar.

Keys can be selected by clicking on them, drag selecting or you can select all the keys for an item by double clicking the range bar. Selected keys are drawn in orange.

Selected keys can be moved and deleted. New keys can be inserted. See below for more information about editing keys.

The position of the active frame is shown with a green frame cursor that is drawn the whole height of the editing view. You can click and drag the frame cursor to move it around. When the frame cursor is selected it has orange stripes. If the frame cursor is outside the area displayed in the view a little green box is drawn in the top left or right of the view which shows which frame the cursor is positioned on. You can double click that little box to centre the view on the frame cursor. You can also move the cursor into the view using the "Centre frame cursor" key.

The working frame range is shown by the area of the view with a darker background.

The Dope Sheet view can be manipulated in much the same way as the network view. You can pan and zoom it and fit it to the working frame range or the selected keys. See below for more about input settings for the editing view.

Directly under the Dope Sheet is a scroll bar. The scroll bar only scrolls the view through the working frame range. There are little buttons with double arrow icons at each end of the scroll bar. You can use these buttons to scroll outside the working frame range. Click and hold them to continue scrolling.

Tool Area
The Tool area is at the bottom of the window and contains some controls for manipulating the Curve Editor. These are the controls currently available (STC):

Curve mode popup
This popup lets you choose the interpolation mode for the selected item in the node list. If the selected list item is a param item then changing the curve mode will effect all the coordinates of the param. There are two choices at present - Linear and TCB. These are explained further in the Curve Editing section on the Curve Editor page. There is also a "Mixed" item which is disabled. This item is selected when the selected list item is a param item and the coordinates of the param don't all use the same interpolation mode. You can't actually set the interpolation mode for an item to "Mixed" yourself.

Fit to working range button
This button will fit the editing view to the current working frame range.

Fit to selected keys button
This button fits the editing view to the selected keys.

Move keys button
Press this button to enter the normal selection and movement mode for editing keys.

Scale from frame cursor button
Click this button to scale selected keys from the frame cursor. Select the keys you want to scale and then drag a key left or right to scale them around the frame cursor position. For example, if you wanted to scale keys from the start of the working frame range you could move the frame cursor to the start. If you wanted to scale the keys around a particular frame then you would first move the frame cursor to that frame. Dragging past the frame cursor will reverse key positions.

Scale from centre of selected keys
Click this button to scale selected keys from the centre of the selected keys. The centre of the selected keys is the frame position half way between the first key and last key in the selection. As an example if the first key was at frame 1 and the second key was at frame 10 then the keys would be scaled around frame 5.5. Drag one of the selected keys left or right to scale the keys. Dragging past the frame cursor will reverse key positions.

Action edit field
You can use this field to enter values for operations performed using the Action button, described below. Note that when you are scaling keys the value in this field is taken to be a percentage. For example to scale keys to twice the length you would enter 200 for 200%.

Action button
The Action button pops up a menu which lets you choose from several different operations. You can use it to move keys, scale keys by a percentage or to jump to a certain frame. The value used for each operation is taken from the Action edit field. Let's say you want to move the selected keys 4 frames to the right. You could enter 4 in the Action edit field and then choose "Move keys" from the Action button menu. To move the keys to the 4 frames to the left you would enter -4 in the Action edit field.

Editing Keys
Keys can be selected by clicking on them or by drag selecting. You can select multiple keys. You can also select all the keys in a range by double clicking the range bar. When keys are selected you can move them around by clicking on a selected key and dragging it. Key positions will snap to whole frames as you move keys, fractional frame positions are not supported yet.

When you move one key past another one the key being moved will be repositioned on the appropriate side of the key which is being moved past. This prevents loops and undercuts edit being formed in the spline.

You can insert a key by pressing the I key and clicking in the Dope Sheet view where you want the key to be positioned.

You can delete keys by selecting them and pressing the delete key. If you delete all the keys for a param it will be removed from the Node List. You will need to set a key on it again to see it back in the Node List for editing.

If you want to move or scale keys by a certain amount you can use the Action button. First enter the desired amount in the Action edit field and then choose an operation from the menu that pops up when you click the Action button. Note that the amount in the Action edit field is interpreted as a percentage when you choose a scale operation.

The Action button can make it easy to flip or reverse key timings. First select the keys and then enter -100 in the Action edit field. Next select the appropriate scale operation from the Action menu. The scale factor of -100 will reverse the keys without otherwise changing their timing.

Metakeys are a special sort of key and are drawn as yellow diamonds. Metakeys are used for params which have multiple components such as vector and colour params. Metakeys are drawn in the param level row for a param.

Metakeys give an overview or summary of all the keys set on the individual components of a param. Each metakey indicates there are one or more normal keys set at that frame.

Metakeys are useful in two main ways. First off they provide an overview so you can see where the keys are set on a param without needing to show the components of the param. Secondly they let you manipulate multiple keys at once. When you select a metakey all of the normal keys at that frame are also selected. When you move the metakey the normal keys will move along with it. If you delete a metakey all the normal keys at that frame are deleted. If you insert a key in a metakey row then all of the components of the param will get a key set at that frame.

Metakeys can be edited in much the same way as normal keys. The main exception is that you can't copy and paste metakeys. If you try to do this TG2 will beep at you.

Copy and Paste
You can copy and paste keys in the Dope Sheet. Keys are only copied from and pasted to the param/component that is currently selected in the node list. Even if you select keys from multiple params and components only the keys belonging to the currently selected item in the list are copied. As mentioned above you can't copy and paste metakeys.

When you paste keys they're inserted at the current frame cursor position. Pasted keys will replace any keys that are at the same frame.

You can also duplicate keys. When you duplicate keys they're inserted one frame past the last existing key.

When you've pasted or duplicated keys the view will move to centre on the newly added keys.

Input Settings
These are the input and manipulation methods available for the Dope Sheet view. See the Mouse and Key Settings dialog for the input bindings.

Zoom - zoom the view
Zoom frames in/out - zooms the view horizontally
Windowed zoom - click and drag to zoom in on a specific part of the view
Pan, left/right - pan or scroll the view
Fit to working range - fits the view horizontally to the current frame working range
Fit to selected keys - fits the view to show all of the selected keys
Reset to origin - repositions the view to frame 0.
Centre frame cursor in view - this will bring the frame cursor into the centre of the area displayed in the view
Insert key - this activates the insert mode and a new key will be inserted in when you click in the Dope Sheet view
Delete key - deletes the selected keys
Nudge left - nudges the selected item (key or frame cursor) left by one frame
Nudge right - nudges the selected item (key or frame cursor) right by one frame
Move keys mode - switches the view to the normal key movement and selection mode
Scale keys from frame cursor mode - switches the view to the scale from frame cursor key movement and selection mode
Scale keys from centre mode - switches the view to the scale from centre of selected keys movement and selection mode

Back to the Animation Panel
Back to the Animation Module Reference

The Node List is a part of the Terragen interface that shows a list of nodes along the left side of the application window. The Node List generally shows only those nodes that are relevant to the current Layout (e.g. Terrain, Atmosphere). It sometimes includes buttons or other controls that are specific to a particular Layout as well. The Node List is hierarchical and each level is collapsible.

A single object or device in the node network which generates or modifies data and may accept input data or create output data or both, depending on its function. Nodes usually have their own settings which control the data they create or how they modify data passing through them. Nodes are connected together in a network to perform work in a network-based user interface. In Terragen 2 nodes are connected together to describe a scene.

A vector is a set of three scalars, normally representing X, Y and Z coordinates. It also commonly represents rotation, where the values are pitch, heading and bank.