24.9.2014 - 5 minutes read


Part of what I’d like to achieve with this website is to make your work more efficient and I believe that using shortcuts is a great way how to cut a lot of time. Trust on me on this. It doesn’t really matter what software you use I have the main hotkeys setup in all the packages I use. And I recommend you at least try them for a week. 

  • Play animation/stop animation SHIFT + C
  • Next Frame SHIFT + X
  • Previous Frame SHIFT + Z
  • Next Key X
  • Previous Key Z
  • Go to Start of the time range SHIFT + Q
  • Go to End of the time range SHIFT + W
  • Delete SHIFT + E
  • Go to Next take (custom script) SHIFT + 1
  • Go to Previous take (custom script) SHIFT + 2
  • Export (custom script) SHIFT + 3

Here is a guide on how to change the hotkeys in following software packages:

  • Motionbuilder
  • 1. Go to C:\Program Files\Autodesk\MotionBuilder 2012 (64-bit)\bin\config\Keyboard
  • 2. Choose the file corresponding with your keyboard settings
  • 3. Locate the corresponding commands
  • 4. Instead of SHIFT type in SHFT


  • 3DS Max
  • 1. Download these to make everything working properly
  • 2. Use Customize user interface inside 3ds max to assign the new hotkeys


  • Maya
  • Use Maya built in Hotkey editor
  • Here you need to do a little basic scripting, not a big deal though. Why? Because when using the pre made „next and previous key/frame“ while playing the animation maya doesn’t stop the playback, so you first have to stop the playback and then go to next frame and I find it pretty handy to combine these two simple scripts into one.First stops the animation and the second goes to the next/previous frame/key.

As this process might seem a bit complicated to to you for the first time, let me guide you through it.

Find the Hotkey editorHotkeyEditor1

Clear out all the hotkeys that are currently assigned to what we need (notice maya recognizes small a big letters, clear everything before you start because you might get weird errors if you don’t do it.)

  • 1. Enter the hotkey
  • 2. Hit Find
  • 3. Select the hotkey
  • 4. Remove it
  • 5. Repeat for all hotkeys we need (small and big letters, both for pressing and releasing (options under first rectangle on picture))



Now go to the correct category and create new Commands (you can check out how the original commands look like, the only thing we do now is to add „evalEcho(„play -state off“);“ in front of them to make the playback stop).


Choose a name (I go with NextFrameCUSTOM, NextKeyCUSTOM, etc.) and in the command box copy the following commands so you get something like this:


(Commands without the Next Frame, Next Key etc., confirm creating the command by hitting „Accept“ then hit „New“ again to continue creating new commands.)


NOTE: I have just noticed that the symbol “ has some issues with my website, if you copy the commands from below it won’t work properly, please copy the commands from here instead. Thanks.

  • Next Frame
  • evalEcho(„play -state off“);
  • nextOrPreviousFrame „next“;



  • Next Key
  • evalEcho(„play -state off“);
  • currentTime -edit `findKeyframe -timeSlider -which next`;


  • Previous Frame
  • evalEcho(„play -state off“);
  • nextOrPreviousFrame „previous“;


  • Previous Key
  • evalEcho(„play -state off“);
  • currentTime -edit `findKeyframe -timeSlider -which previous`;


  • Beginning of time range
  • evalEcho(„play -state off“);
  • playButtonStart;


  • End of time range
  • evalEcho(„play -state off“);
  • playButtonEnd;


  • Playing (original „PlaybackToggle“ works fine here)
  • togglePlayback;

Now we have the commands created, one last thing before its ready – assign the hotkeys. Select the command in the middle. The Type in the key (remember small and big letters matter) and hit assign. Newly assigned hotkey will appear in the „Current Hotkeys“ box.



Once you are done just save and enjoy.

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