Time Editor

Create and edit animation sequences with any keyframeable object or attribute in Maya.

To open the Time Editor:

The Time Editor is a comprehensive tool for creating and editing animation. It combines animation editing workflows from existing editors to give you an intuitive, clip-based workflow for non-linear animation editing that lets you easily navigate between clip-level views and key-level details.

Any object or attribute in Maya for which you can set keyframes can be brought into the Time Editor as a clip, which can be edited in a non-destructive way. The Time Editor defines the timing operations (for example, speed, length, start/stop times, and so on,) of animation, so you can experiment with combinations and variations of elements in your scene. When you create a version of the animation you like in the Time Editor, you can bake it so that the new animation can be used in Maya.

Basic Tasks

The following table provides a brief overview of tasks using the Time Editor:

To... Do this

Open the Time Editor as an independent window

Select Windows > Animation Editors > Time Editor.

Place the Time Editor in a scene view

Select the scene view in which you want the Time Editor to appear, then select Panels > Panel > Time Editor.
Add animation to the Time Editor
  • Select an animated object in the Viewport or Outliner and select File > Add animation from scene selection > from the Time Editor menu bar.
    Note: Make sure that animation curves or keyframes are selected.
  • Click the Content Browser button in the right corner of the Time Editor window.
  • Press I.
  • The Add animation to the Time Editor window opens to let you specify settings for the animation clip that is to be created.

See also Add content to the Time Editor,

Pan and Zoom in the Time Editor Same as in the Viewport:
  • Pan: press Alt (or Option on Mac) + middle-drag.
  • Zoom: press Alt (or Option on Mac) + right-drag. Zooming is centered based on the location of the mouse cursor.
Scrub animation Drag the Current Time Marker.
  • To scrub along the Time ruler at the top of the Track view, drag the Current Time Marker left or right.
  • To scrub in the Time view (below the Time ruler), press K to release the cursor lock. (The cursor is locked from scrubbing in the Time view to prevent unintentionally moving clips.)
Resize the Playback range On the Time Ruler, click on the edge of the dark region and drag to change the playback range. Stretch the playback range in the time view by dragging the flags on the Time ruler.
Frame clips
  • Frame all: press A
  • Frame Selection: press F
  • Frame playback range: press G
Crossfade clips Drag a clip over another clip so they overlap.

See Create transitions between Time Editor clips.

Transition clips Select the clips, right-click them, and select Create Transition from the Time Editor Clip contextual menu.
See Create transitions between Time Editor clips.
Group clips Drag or Shift-select multiple clips of the same type and click Group in the Time Editor toolbar or press Ctrl + G.
Razor clips Select a clip, move the Current Time Marker to the desired split location, and select in the Time Editor toolbar or press W.
See Edit animation in the Time Editor for information on Ripple editing.
Add audio to the Time Editor

  • Select Tracks > Audio Track from the menu bar.
  • Right-click in the Time View and select Audio Track from the contextual menu.
  • Drag .wav or .aiff audio files from a file browser into the new Audio track.
  • Press Shift + I.

See Add content to the Time Editor.

Edit (split, loop, and so on) clips in the Time Editor
  • To split the selected clip: press W
  • Activate Trim Mode: press E
  • Activate Scale Mode: press R
  • Activate Loop mode: press T
  • Activate Hold mode: press Y
See Edit Time Editor clips.
Show keys Click in the Roster controls (or press V on a parent group or single clip to show animation keys for the track.

The keys appear as a vertical bars. See Keying animation in the Time Editor.

Expand hierarchy Click the arrow next to the clip name, and to show the animation hierarchy, click each arrow in the Roster to progress through the hierarchy.
Change track playback (mute, solo, and so on) in the Time Editor
  • Activate Mute Track mode: M
  • Activate Solor Track mode: N
  • Add track to Soloed tracks: Alt + N
See Working with Time Editor tracks.
Disable the Time Editor to edit animation Click Mute Time Editor in the Time Editor toolbar or press Q. See Mute the Time Editor for more information.

See also Time Editor interface overview and Edit Time Editor clips.