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I do animating entirely manually, sometimes 1 frame by 1 frame. Then, I discovered the graph editor and thought it might possibly have some use, though I have yet to see how.

Suppose I make a basic animation of a cube moving in a diamond-like shape. Is there an easy way to use the graph editor to turn that diamond motion into circular motion so that the cube now looks like it is orbiting something? Because otherwise, even if you add extra frames manually, it will still look jagged, just a little bit less so.

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  • $\begingroup$ maybe it's possible but why wouldn't you use a Follow Path constraint to make your object follow a bezier circle? $\endgroup$ – moonboots Jan 25 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ or parent to a Circle and animate that. $\endgroup$ – rob Jan 25 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think any of you read the post. Firstly I asked about the graph editor. Secondly, this is about more than a basic circle, this is about a technique that can be applied to any animation using a circle only as a basic goal to illustrate the technique clearly. $\endgroup$ – Vane Voe Jan 25 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ I often find it more effective to manually keyframe animation or emulate physics than use built in features, particularly when modifiers or physics are going to interfere with possible future additions. The Graph editor is ideal for this. It is arguably one of Blender's most powerful animation features. The behavior such as speed, location, central animation origin points, and interpolation between keyframes is easily manipulated and can end up precisely to your liking. Playing with curves and their shapes give you power over how objects behave which can be most useful for comedy. $\endgroup$ – Edgel3D Jan 25 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ A couple of examples - blender.stackexchange.com/questions/109883/… blender.stackexchange.com/questions/99821/… $\endgroup$ – Edgel3D Jan 25 at 23:10
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Yes, you can do this with the graph editor:

key-frames sine waves

If your goal is to exactly follow a particular path or route, then there are certainly better ways to go about it (such as using a follow path constraint, as mentioned by moonboots), but you can in fact make a perfect circle using the graph editor without any keyframes at all; using sine modifiers:

enter image description here

Here I've set a sine modifier on both the X and Y channels with Phase Offset on the X channel of $\frac{\pi}{2}$ (or 90°). The Amplitude and Phase Multiplier are only set in order to match the example from above.

The follow path constraint is easier to control when you are looking to.. well, follow a particular path (big surprise), but often you don't care too much about the exact path but more that each motion flows smoothly into the next. The graph editor gives you fine control over exactly how that happens.

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