# How can I manage multiple animations in one .blend file?

The way I currently use animations is just one long timeline. All my separate animations are lined up back to back on this single timeline. I keep the start/end frame numbers in a separate file.

This becomes a problem when I want to expand, shrink or alter an animation. Since the length of the animation changes, the start/end frames of all subsequent animations also changes. This requires me to manually parse the timeline and update my file with the new start/end frames. The file looks something like this:

0:0:6:6=SPECIAL_SETUP
7:7:22:22=ATTACK_1_FireTurret
23:23:44:44=IDLE_ANIMATION_1_Sweep
45:45:55:55=IDLE_ANIMATION_30_Stationary


Where the format is as follows:

[Start frame]:[Loop start]:[Loop end]:[End frame]=Name of animation


I would like to not do this anymore. Since it can get messy.

How can I have multiple animations, each with their own timeline, inside a single .blend file?

Alternatively, is there a way to place markers in my timeline that can be used to automatically generate a file like the above. The markers would ideally move with the frame they are attached to, not the specific frame number.

• An interesting use for timeline markers is the triggering of events/sideeffects, e.g. triggering to play a footstep sound in the frame the foot hits the ground, firing a projectile when a trigger is pulled, e.t.c... Unfortunably, such use is not supported by most exporters (e.g. timeline markers are not exported). When using multiple actions, make sure to activate 'fake users' for the actions, otherwise, actions currently not used (e.g. with 0 users) aren't saved. Also, I did a little test w/actions: It looks like the .x exporter only exports the timeline/current action. – Exilyth May 31 '13 at 1:17
• @sarahm Thanks Sarah. I also tested this with the same result. I think I will edit the question to remove the .x format, and leave it as a more general managing multiple animations in a single blend file (since no one really answered the .x part anyways). – MichaelHouse Jun 4 '13 at 23:33

If you go to the Dopesheet View you can create and name separate animations with the Action Editor pane. You can also use the main Dopesheet pane to scale your animations.

Each of these animations as it relates to the objects do have their own separate timelines within Blender and can be linked or copied to other .blend files.

Also you can press M in the timeline to add a marker. I would really recommend desisting from the approach you have been using as it's very inefficient and is prone to error.

• I would like to desist from my current method, hence the reason for asking this question :) I'll give what you've suggested a try. Thanks. – MichaelHouse May 23 '13 at 17:36
• @Byte56 please do and feel free to ask back on anything that might be strange. I would assume it will be a major change to your workflow. – iKlsR May 23 '13 at 17:37
• I've found that exporting the .x format only exports the current activity. I've removed the .x stuff from this question however, since it was diluting the question. Otherwise, this appears to work. Thanks. – MichaelHouse Jun 4 '13 at 23:38
• @iKlsR What i the use of these markers? I have just started with animation and need to use it in BGE. My problem is based on user input i need to do different animations – user5507 Oct 6 '14 at 18:30
• @user5507 docs.blender.org/manual/en/dev/animation/markers.htmlhttp://…. Also look in the related links on the side for eg blender.stackexchange.com/questions/2670/… – iKlsR Oct 6 '14 at 23:40

Your problem can be addressed quite easily by switching to a multi scene workflow inside the same blend file.

Look Development Scenes (Modeling, Texturing, Rigging and Shading, Create a pose library and action library)

Layout Scenes (Link objects from Look Development Scenes and Create groups of objects (props), Create Light Rig groups)

Animation Scenes (Set shot frame range - Instance groups from layout (props/sets in the scene)- Link character rig - Create shot specific animation - In NLA editor mix actions from Look Development and shot specific actions to create master animation - Instance Light rig group and light the scene)

Setup as many animation scenes with their own frame range

Create another scene and then in the sequence editor layout scene strips and compose your animatic.

I suggest looking into the NLA(Non-Linear Animation) editor. By making your animations into NLA strips (click the orange snowflake) you can scale an animation clips like you would scaling something in the 3d view.