Graph Editor in animation

I have a question about it. Everyone tells me it’s important but not how to use it. The only examples I came across is of people moving cubes around. Which is easy, because there are only a few curves.

But I have three characters and each of them give me about 50 curves to work with. Do people expect me to go over every curve on every keyframe on every character in my scene? If that’s true, might just quite 3d animation while it’s early. Because that is pure madness if it’s true.

Can’t you just animate without using the graph editor and still get good fluid animation? Or is there a system I’m suppose to be using that no one of youtube mentions?

LOL. You only use it if you need to use it. If you have set your interpolation to Bezier for instance, and you want the ease in to not be as slow, then you tweak whatever curves make that motion for that part of the animation. IE a bone rotating. You got sumtem against spaghetti?

LOL. I got nothing agaisnt spaghetti, just f-curves.

The graph editor is an awesome way to edit or adjust key frames after you make them. You can organically tweak things to make sure the timing and interpolation is working for you. It’s especially great if you need to change the values of a key frame after you set it.

I am generally tweaking one or two parameters at a time, not 50. Take one parameter and just mess with it in the graph editor, and I think you’ll see how it works.

There are even modifiers in the graph editor, you can add noise to a curve, for example, to give the animation a more organic quality.

That’s how my graph editor looks. How the hell does anyone work with that, or is suppose to do any fine tuning.

Just look at it!

Take a look at the documentation for view controls and filters. If you just want to tweak on object, select the object and then select the “show only selected” view control in the graph editor. If you just want to limit it to armatures, turn off all the filters but armatures (don’t forget to turn them back on). See the little magnifying glass? You can sort down on any f curve. IE I only want to see the scale. Press the magnifying button and type in scale. You get just f curves with scale in their name. etc.

That makes it easy to read, but if it’s necessary to go trough every curve over hundreds of frames, it’s kinda nuts.

hi there, i make a living as an animator. GE is important indeed but as others have said you use it as a Tool when you need it.
As for when you might need it here are a few examples,

  • when you only need to move a tiny little bit, or with real precision.
    dragging the controller in the scene can be too rough (too big of a movement)

  • when you need to adjust multiple objects that are related at once,
    one good example of this is the tail-to-tip movement or arm-to-finger swinging,
    there is a time offset to the rotation and you can do that in GE more easily and with
    better certainty (instead of your eye)

  • when you want to adjust multiple keys at once,
    you can change the height of several keys at once in GE for example.
    or select multiple keys and scale. (say you like the motion but want the whole
    sequence to be bigger or smaller)

GE looks messy indeed but as others have said you can hide certain things,
or for me at work (Maya) we tend to reduce the (key-everything) habit so less meaningless (static) keys are created.

all in all animation is still a lot of information to manage,
we need to know what to look for and tools to use, just like modelling etc.
good luck and dont give up. its a lot of fun.