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Explicit Set Key

When animating, many animators prefer to use the Position XYZ, Euler XYZ, and Scale XYZ controllers in place of the default Bezier Position, TCB Rotation, and Bezier Scale controllers. This is because it usually allows them more flexibility and precision because separate tracks are used for each axis of motion. However, a long-standing complaint among users, many of whom were familiar with the workflow of 3D software such as Softimage, was that max created keys on all three axis tracks automatically, even when the user wanted a key to be placed only on one axis.

In response to this need, 3ds max 4 now enables users to set explicit keys on specific transform axes. This functionality, however, is not accessible in the default user interface. It must be configured in the Customize User Interface dialog box and assigned to either hotkeys, custom Quad menus, custom toolbar buttons, or dropdown menu items. The commands to create explicit keys are found in the Category drop-down menu under Keyframe Tools (see Figure 3.30). The Animate button does not need to be active to use this command, but it is important to understand exactly how these commands are achieving their results. When a key is set using a Create Explicit Key command, it deletes any existing keys on the other two axes at the current frame. Therefore, to create keys on two of the three axes at a particular frame, you must use the appropriate Delete Key command for the unwanted axis.


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