Active F-Curve Window

Please tell me there is an easier way to do this…

I want to type in specific values for a key. To do it, I found I can hit ‘n’ in the graph editor to open that window. It shows View Properties with the Show Cursor checkbox.

If I select one of the curves in the ‘t’ menus on the left, over on the right, the ‘n’ menu items change to F-Curve, Modifiers, and View.

If I then select a key on the curve, those tabs go away and it’s back to View Properties.

With the key selected, and selecting the corresponding curve back in the ‘t’ menu, the ‘n’ menu changes back again to show the F-Curve, Modifiers, and View tabs only this time, since I have the curve selected in the ‘t’ menu and a key selected on that curve, the F-Curve tab now shows the Active Keyframe menu with the Frame and Value.

Awesome! Except…

I select a new key on that same curve, and the ‘n’ menu switches back to View Properties. I then need to go back to the ‘t’ menu and click the corresponding curve again to get the ‘n’ menu to change to where I can see the Active Keyframe.

This is a HUGE pain to keep clicking back and forth and back and forth just to edit keys.

What is the proper way to do this? There has to be a way right?

I think this goes back to the whole “only show menus according to the context you are in” thing. I wouldn’t care if there was a way to get that active keyframe menu open and STAY open so I can just keep editing keys by selecting a key and editing, select new key, edit etc…

You need to explain what you’re trying to do, NOT what you’re doing in the graph editor that’s not producing whatever it is you want.

If you want to put a specific value on a key, try putting it on where you normally would, i.e. if you want to give a specific rotation value, type it in the rotation field in the properties panel, NOT in the graph editor.

Thanks for the suggestion, but that is almost the same as what I described in terms of clicks and movements.
Other software allows editing keyframes the way you are describing, which is the most basic way to do things but not the most efficient. The other softwares have then created a way to very quickly edit keyframes in order to speed up animation work. It is very obvious that blender has also created the same thing, only the the Active Keyframe area is not persistent and takes clicks to bring it back. If there is no way to keep it persistent, it’s almost like they tried to copy other software by adding this feature, not even realizing why it existed in the other software packages.
The answer can’t be to “just use the old inefficient method” because then there was no reason to add the new additional efficient method other software packages use.
Somebody out there has to have come across this before…

As I said, you need to explain what you’re trying to do… more specifically. You’re description is quite hard to understand what the problem is. Too many clicks for you? Shame…,.

Thanks for letting me know my description is hard to understand. I have thought about how to describe it better. Here goes…

Are you familiar with the following?

In the graph editor > F-Curve tab > Active Keyframe > Key: > Frame: and Value:

If you aren’t, please take a look at it after setting some keys on an object. If you can’t find it, I’m not sure how else to describe how to get there rather than these explicit directions.

Once you have found it and understand what it is and what it was created for, here is the thing to try:

  1. Change the value of the key and or frame.
  2. Select a different key in the graph editor and change it’s value and or frame.

Now imagine doing that many times. What do you notice that would make this not user-friendly?

Here you go. See this link to documentation and it has a picture for you.

Look at Active Keyframe Panel.

Now edit the selected keyframe to frame 10.7 with a value of 125. Then change the keyframe next to the one you have selected to frame 11.3 with a value of 127. Then change the keyframe next to that one to frame 14.9 with a value of 135.

That is about as basic to what I’m trying to do as possible. How are you doing it?

I have to look at this offline (another computer), so give me a while, but I’m interested to see if I can help.

If the values to be added/subtracted are all different, you have to do it one keyframe at a time. There’s just no other way around it in such a case. You can load all the channels you want to edit into the graph editor and then set up another window (i.e. the main properties window) to display the entry field where you can edit the value, and then you go through the keyframes one by one, selecting them in the graph editor, changing the value in the other window, and then pressing I with the mouse over that field to update the keyframe. Three steps. Threre’s no way to make it any easier, no matter what software you might be using. The only possible difference is how far you have to move your mouse to click on things, and that just depends on how you set up your screen.

If the value to be added/subtracted is the same for every keyframe, then it becomes much easier. You can just select all the keyframes in the graph editor and shift them up or down on the y axis by whatever amount you want to change their values.

This sounds pretty clear to me. But if I understand it, this is not the correct behavior. You are saying that each time you select a new key you are getting the view properties? This does not happen for me. It only happens if I select the action in the T panel. As long as I am clicking on curves or keys F Curve Tab and the Active Keyframe panel always stays visible in the N panel. Are you saying this does not happen for you?

And by the way did you know you can use the same keyboard shortcutss to edit keys as you can objects in the 3D view? Of course it is additive values at this point. But just FYI.

If you are getting the behavior you describe though, this is not correct. Something else is wrong, like your configuration or graphics card issue.


That is what I’m saying thanks. That gives me something to go on. I do use Maya presets so maybe that is causing it somehow? I might have to switch to blender and see if it behaves like you are saying. It would be SO much more helpful to not have to click so much just to change some key values.

Yeah. For many reasons I do not actually recommend changing the presets to something like Maya. I know the temptation is there for familiarity. I also use Maya and a few other apps. But I highly recommend using and learning the Blender defaults to get the best out of Blender. If that does not fix it, I don’t know if there is another configuration that would affect this. Maybe try roll back to the factory defaults. Other than that, the only thing that I can think of would be your OS or a graphics card issue.


Thanks for the tips. You helped me figure this out. Turns out, when I switched to blender mode, the only way to select a key is by clicking straight on it or to use the box select method. Doing these allow the Active Keyframe to stay put.

So I switched back to Maya and the selection method is more like maya or the box select. You can just drag your selection. BUT, this is causing the window to revert to view properties.

HOWEVER, if I just click on an individual keyframe, the Active Keyframe stays put like in Blender Mode. This is awesome to figure out thanks!

I have been using Maya since the 90’s and after being jerked around by Autodesk with their latest stunts involving subscription and maintenance, I started looking at Blender again. Every time in the past I’ve started looking at it, it was so frustrating and felt like I had one hand tied behind my back. This time I forced myself and have been using it almost exclusively for the past 6 months and it is pretty awesome, minus some of the frustrating things.

I’ve been working on a couple projects with some big deadlines and can’t try to switch to blender mode right now. Just need the speed for now rather than risk not meeting the deadline.

One thing I had to fall back to Maya for was where I received a file from a client which was from Autocad. It was a bunch of curves from Autocad, but they wouldn’t show up in blender. No errors, just nothing there. Because of deadline, I had to open Maya to work with those curves and export a mesh to blender to keep using it.

Need to figure that one out.

Cool. Glad you got it sorted. I had a similar thing coming from LightWave many years ago. In my case, stagnant development more or less forced me to put the blinders on and learn Blender. Fortunate for me, I was working on a personal project at the time. No deadlines. Since then, I moved from Blender to Softimage and then Maya and MotionBuilder as a pair of tools for animation pipeline. I still use those and own a perpetual license for all of them as of 2015.5. I also use Maya LT in my studio for the NEXT tool set. Some of my guys still like to use Maya LT for modeling and it is definitely our go-to tool for hand retopo. So my studio right now is a mix of Blender and Maya for modeling.

That said, recently I have started to focus more on a Blender pipeline with these new features in 2.79. And of course what is coming in 2.8 which just looks awesome.

Regarding your CAD I/O workflow. I can recommenced Freecad as a way to import/export models you can’t get into Blender directly.

For files that don’t open there, here is a thread where some other solutions are discussed:

Best of Luck!

Thanks Richard. You’ve been extremely helpful. Good tip for freecad. I’ll check it out.


Great! Glad to be of help. :slight_smile:


Finally had some time to test out using FreeCad in my workflow to get these curves from autocad into blender. Works absolutely perfect. Thanks so much!


Cool! Glad to hear it. :slight_smile: