The Dope Sheet gives the animator a "birds-eye-view" of everything occurring within a scene. It contains a collection of animation editors.
Classical hand-drawn animators often made a chart, showing exactly when each drawing, sound and camera move would occur, and for how long. They nicknamed this the "dope sheet". While CG foundations dramatically differ from classical hand-drawn animation, Blender's Dope Sheet inherits a similar directive.
Dope Sheet Modes¶
While the Dope Sheet Mode allow you to edit multiple actions at once, the other ones are dedicated to view and edit specific data-blocks used in different context of animation.
The Dope Sheet Editor interface is somewhat similar to the Graph Editor one, it is divided in three regions:
Here you find the menus, a first block of controls related to the editor "mode", a second one concerning the action data-blocks, and a few other tools (like the copy/paste buttons, and snapping type).
- Toggles the "Dope Sheet Summary" channel at the top of the Channels Region. This is used to give an overview of all the channels by combining all the actions into one channel.
It contains the keyframes for all visible action channels. As with the other "time" editor, the X axis represents time. The Y axis has no mean in itself, unlike with the Graph Editor, it is a "stack" of action channels.
Each one being shown as a horizontal colored strip (of a darker shade "during" the animated/keyed period). On these channel strips lay the keyframes, visualized as light gray (unselected) or yellow (selected) diamonds.
One of the key feature of this editor is that it allow you to visualize immediately which channel (i.e. F-Curve) is really affected. When the value of a given channel does not change at all between two neighboring keyframes ("long keyframes"), a gray (unselected) or yellow (selected) bar is drawn between them. Similar bars are drawn between keyframes tagged as moving hold.