Time preferences

Time preferences set how time is displayed in the project, as well as for playback and keyframing options.

Figure. Motion Preferences window showing Time pane

Time Display

These controls set how time is counted in the Motion toolbar’s timing display.

  • Display Time As: A pop-up menu containing the following two items:

    • Frames: Shows incrementing frame numbers in the timing display.

    • Timecode: Shows eight-digit timecode numbers in the timing display.

  • Frame Numbering: A pop-up menu that sets whether frame counts begin at 0 or 1.

Playback Control

  • Time View Updating: A pop-up menu that sets how the Timeline updates when you play a project. Menu items include:

    • Don’t update: Prevents the Timeline from advancing as you play. This setting improves performance.

    • Jump by pages: Sets the Timeline track area to jump forward when the playhead reaches the far right side of the Timeline.

    • Scroll continuously: Sets the Timeline to scroll behind a static playhead.

  • If Audio Sync Is Lost: Buttons that set how Motion attempts to keep audio and video playback in sync if the project is too complex to play both audio and video smoothly. There are two options:

    • Skip video frames: Plays audio continuously but skips video frames to keep up.

    • Pause audio playback: Temporarily suspends audio playback when the project cannot play smoothly.

  • Limit playback speed to project frame rate: A checkbox that, when selected, prevents the playback rate from exceeding the frame rate of the project. By default, Motion plays back your project as fast as possible based on the complexity of the effects and the processing power of your computer. When this checkbox is deselected, playback rate is limited only by your processor power; consequently, playback rate may exceed project frame rate.

  • Loop audio while scrubbing: A checkbox that, when selected, sets the audio for the frames where you drag the playhead to repeat. When this checkbox is deselected, the audio for those frames plays only once.


  • Lock keyframes in time in Keyframe Editor: A checkbox that, when selected, sets the values of keyframes in the Keyframe Editor, but prevents you from moving the keyframes forward or back in time. This helps prevent changing your animation timing as you adjust parameter values.

  • Allow sub-frame keyframing: A checkbox option that ensures smoother animations when recording during playback or when scaling a group of keyframes in the Keyframe Editor using the Transform Keyframes tool.