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I'm trying to make an animation in which my object first drops on a surface by using rigid body physics but later rotates towards the camera driven with manual keyframe animation.

I know there is a "animation" button in the rigid body settings. However activating it seemed to completely remove the earlier physics-driven animation from my object.

Is there a way to first animate with rigid body and the continue the animation manually via keyframes?

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You can use the Rigid Body Tools panel available from the toolshelf. Just setup your objects as normal, select the one you want to manually animate after the simulation and hit Bake To Keyframes.
(In this example, I have a cube as the active object with its mass set to brick and the plane as a passive object)

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A dialog will popup, select the start and end frames and optionally the frame step and hit OK.

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Once this is done you should see the rigid body simulation keyframes for the object appear in the timeline from the start and end frame you specified. You can then select the object and manually animate from thereon and even tweak the baked keyframes if you want.

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In the Properties window, under the Physics tab, animate the Dynamic setting in the Rigid Body panel. This setting controls if the "Rigid Body actively participates to the simulation".

Rigid body panel

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