Are exesive key-frames OK?

Does having tons of key-frams cause any negative effects on Blender as opposed to having a few key-frames. I am animating characters and making them talk… for aroung 2 minutes. I was wondering if there was any dissadvatage to making keyframes for the whole character rig (all the bones) when only 1 bone is being moved between key frames. I know I could make key frames for just 1 bone, but does it make a significant difference on something like animation render time?

Just testing the reply system for my thread on

I’ll try to address each part of your question separately:

  1. Most animators today recommend keying every (animatable) bone in a rig every time you insert keyframes - at least during the blocking stage. The reasoning behind this is so that on each keyframe, you end up storing a complete snapshot of each pose, so that, if you later on start posing another bone, you won’t inadvertently end up destroying old poses. When doing facial animation, you may want to key only the facial bones (and not the rest of the body - i.e. arms, legs, etc.), though it usually depends on what exactly you’re doing.

  2. A related question is related to inserting keyframes on every frame - i.e. keying on “ones” or “twos”. While it may be necessary to do this for some short sequences of animation (i.e. a very complicated move that you need to carefully art-direct/sculpt precisely), it is definitely not advised to do this for entire shots. Blender will not really cope that well with that case - it really wasn’t designed and/or intended to work with such dense data (not mention that it isn’t really manipulatable).

  3. What are the side-effects of having many keyframes? Apart from obviously requiring more memory/larger filesizes, the main issues that arise when you really have many many many keyframes on an F-Curve (usually when that’s about 1 keyframe per frame or so) are that: a) playback in the interface becomes quite slow, b) the interface is slow to draw and/or respond, c) it is very difficult to adjust these curves to result in smooth/consistent animation. But, these issues are really only likely to happen if you have a situation that falls under #2. For standard animation (i.e. keyframing every control, with maybe a few frames in between most keyframes), you aren’t going to run into any major issues.

Thanks for explaining it to me. I have about 1 keyframe per 4 frames in the densest sections of my film, which is no problem. I finished my first film for my school project, and presented it in class. Thanks for helping out.