Working with Unity Timeline

Understanding the Timeline Controls and learning how to apply them

Continuing from the previous article, we are going to dive deeper into the Timeline controls and learn what they are and how to use them.

The Different Type of Modes:

Near the top of the Timeline, we are presented with 3 types of Modes which can affect the Tracks in the timeline. By Default the Timeline should start with the “Mix Mode”, but there are the other two which are the Ripple Mode and Replace Mode.

Mix Mode:

Mix Mode is the the basic Default mode, this allows you to place in or create new tracks into the timeline, it also allows you to extend or shorten the Track to the desired duration. You are also able to create Ease In and Out between two different tracks. The Mix Mode also allows you to reorganized the order of the Tracks simply by dragging the track.

Ripple Mode:

Ripple Mode allows us to select everything within the Timeline and slide it around the timeline. It is a good method to use to reorganize mass Tracks together instead of selecting one by one.

Replace Mode:

Replace Mode, just as the name suggest allows you to drag in new Tracks into the Timeline and either extend or cut through by inserting the added track into the existing one. Unlike the Mix Mode which places the added track to the side of the existing track, the Replace Mode will actually cut and stitch together the different tracks.

Tips and Tricks:

Here are some quality of life functions that will also speed up the usage of the Timeline.
1.) Once we start really using the Timeline, you will noticed that most of the tracks will occupy the entire window of the Timeline. Instead of always zooming out by using the mouse Scroll wheel, we can hit “Alt key” and drag around using our mouse. This allows quick travel between the length of the timeline.
2.) If you want to frame the entire track into your view, you can also hit the “F” key when you have a track selected.

3.) Another function which will help you organize your tracks better is to use the “Tile” function. Say you have two tracks that just have been added and there is a gap between those two. By selecting both of them together and right clicking > Tile, you will automatically move the two tracks side to side.

4.) Finally another useful tip, just like how you can use the Replace Mode to cut and insert new tracks, you can also just “Cut” or “Slice” the track by selecting the track and hitting the “S” key. Just make sure your scrubber is at the correct time before you slice.

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Simon Truong

Simon Truong

A Designer, an Illustrator and a massive tech geek aspiring to become a professional Unity Developer.