IPO,NKEY,Timer;speed set

I have two problems. They are very similar. They both involve the IPO window, the Object and the Lamp buttons, the NKEY Transform Properties dropdown.
I have been following the Gold Mine tutorial and wish to embellish it a bit. I have a track 1000 frames long. A camera parented to the track. A spot light parented to the camera. I would like to very the energy of the spot light from time to time and even turn it off for a few frames. I would like to very the speed of the camera, as it moves down the track and pause it for a few frames. From what I see in the IPO window this must be possible. I see a timer button, energy button, and a speed button in the Transform Properties dropdown. But what are they talking about frames per sec or some number relative to the start speed. My results are the camera will not move at all, the spot light spot is a black hole. Do you know of any Tutorials that will clear up these mysteries?
Wallace Leeker
PS I got the spot to work, but I realy don’t how or why it works,

You’ve obviously worked some of this out already but here’s the basics:

Select the lamp in the 3D window then open the IPO window.

Select “Lamp” from the drop down menu. Select “Energ” in the list of options then CTRL-LMB in the IPO window to create an IPO curve with one point. Tab into Edit mode in the IPO window and you can move the point manually (G-Key) where you want it or N-Key to enter explicit values for Vertex X and Y.

The left column of the IPO window represents the value (in this case “energy” of the lamp) and the bottom of the window represents frames. For energy you’ll usually want to vary the value between 0 and 1 (Off and On).

Ctrl-LMB in the window again to add a second control point. You now have two points with bezier handles. Add as many control points as you need along the 1000 frames to deliver the desired effect. For quick On/Off effects (flicker etc) T-Key and change the type to Constant. For more control, change it to Linear then add points one or two frames apart, this way you can have a mixture of fast and slow effects.

To change you path speed, you do much the same thing except select the path in the 3D window and select “Path” from the drop-down menu and “Speed” from the option list. A flat curve represents a stationary object, a slope up to right is moving forward and down to right is backwards. In this case a value of 0 represents the start of the path and 1.0 represents the end so you would usually start the curve at value 0 frame 0 and end it (varying the curve along the way if you wish) at 1.0 on the end frame (1000). Values less than 0 and greater than 1.0 are ignored.

Just read your instructions. Will work on it latter today and let you know. also took a quick look at you site.

Hi Andy D
Your instructions did not completely solve all my problems. I don’t think I gave you enough data.
The rails were created, by applying a bevel object to the path. The camera is parented to the rails. The spotlight is a child of the camera and so is a lamp. This works find. But the Ties and the overhead Beams, which are DupliFrames, run ahead when I slow down the camera. When I try to slow them down they disappear. So I want to thank you for your help, but I now have spent too much time on this aspect of Blender. It is time for me to move on to another project. Thanks again
Wallace Leeker

I haven’t really played with dupliframes but I’m sure there’s an option to make them real or something, so they’re independent of the path animation.