Borrow a few notes from AfterEffects

• Add duration setting for items in timeline.

• Add draggable visibility handles at start and stop of items in timeline to set when the item is active. (In Hype-speak, a block can represent an object, a grouped objects or an animation in an alternate timeline - essentially an encapsulated animation - editable in its own world similar to a Hype symbol).

• To edit an item, click on it in the timeline, or on its block within the track, or click on the object when it is active on the stage. If it is not currently active on stage, it does not block the selection of items in lower tracks.

• To reposition an item (or multiple items) in time, drag its block in the timeline

• The length in time of an animated object can be shortened from the start or end - content outside of the draggable start and stop points is hidden. A still image (which simply repeats for each frame) can be lengthened or shortened without restriction.

(Note: In AE you can save the entire composition and then drag that into another composition as a single track item. In this form, a composition represents a scene, a series of compositions within a parent timeline/master composition represents an entire animation, plus any items that span scenes are simply laid into the parent composition as normal items in a track.)

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Thanks! One key difference is that AE or Motion take the approach of items more-or-less being hidden by default; that is they have [what I presume you refer to as a “block”] a finite life. Hype takes the approach that items are alive by default, which is more sensible for web pages. I’m not entirely satisfied with how Hype shows visibility in its timeline given that there are advantages to AE’s model, so I may rethink a bit in the future to allow for better in/out manipulation and mass-animation-modify tools.

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In terms of productivity, not having to insert opacity keyframes can be a huge pain. By adding default invisible before / invisible after capability makes things much easier. As it is, all we have is an opacity keyframe, plus you end up having to use the timeline to select underlying items. It’s not that it can’t be done or that it undermines the logic of objects on a web page. Frankly, with layered sites, making entire layers vanish or appear in response to a mouse action is common. The content is there all along, but you can’t interact with it.

What I’m talking about is not having to click on the eye manually, but being able to set a control for that.

Hype 3.5 has a display: visible/hidden option:

While the keyframe approach to this is a little clunky, I believe it addresses your concerns of underneath selection and interactivity, as well as being shown in the UI.