Editing motion paths accurately

Hi there

Can anybody recommend a method for editing motion paths which does not rely on click-drag?

I find it a very inaccurate, haphazard and long-winded way of editing - can anybody recommend a method which is more predictable and quick?

For example, using coordinates or adjusting using keyboard.

Any suggestions, tips or tricks for motion path editing welcomed!!


6 Replies
Luke Mosse

I've found one possible time saver.

You can create two rectangles which are the correct distance apart, and
then create a motion path from one to the other. Lining up the rectangles
is easier than moving the object into empty space. Once you've done this,
the motion path is saved and is accessible via the triggers.

You can then reference the motion path to other objects without using the

Daniel Sposato (Philly)

I often use the arrow keys to adjust the positions of the motion path, especially when dealing with straight line paths. Once your motion path is selected, you can use the arrow keys while holding down either the "ctrl" or "shift" key (or both) in order to adjust the animation:

  • ctrl + arrow keys - moves the animation 1px at a time (both points of the animation)
  • shift + arrow keys - moves transparent end of animation 8px at a time
  • ctrl + shift + arrow keys - moves transparent end of animation 1px at a time
Eric Benson

This is how I do it.


  1. Make a copy of the object or image.
  2. Move the copied image to the correct position
  3. Create a motion path for the copied image
  4. Note the X and Y starting position of the copied image. 
  5. Create a motion path for the original image.
  6. Add the noted x and y coordinance from the copied image's motion path and add it to the destination position. 
  7. Delete the copied image.

If you need to move it along more than one path, Follow the steps above again. But make the now motion path have the same starting position as the ending position of the first path. I find it helpful to keep a log of the path positions as I go. 

An example of how I use this. I currently have a 7-page document. stitch together jpg images of the pages into a grouped object. Then I use this technique to move the document to the desired position as the narrator talks. 

Hope this helps!

Ashley Terwilliger

Neat idea, Eric - thanks for sharing here! Sounds similar to another method I'd heard before where you use temporary objects and set the grid setting to snap to objects, and that way it'll keep the path to the destination you choose. Also, use the Shift key while dragging out the motion path is another good tip!