TIMELINE: How to set a character’s initial position, without overriding the animation transforms?

I’m working on animation involving a soccer match, where the exact positioning and coordination between characters is paramount.
The characters themselves have no logic other than an animation controller.

The trouble starts as soon as you add a character to an animation track on Timeline - its transformation is automatically set to 0,0,0.

In some tutorials, the initial position is set by recoriding some curves at the timeline itself, only that this overrides the global character’s position and rotation transforms.
In principle this could be compensated for by recording more curves, but animators will realize this to be highly impractical.

Am I missing something here?

The position/rotation of characters in timeline falls under 2 different categories right now.

In edit mode, and at playmode/runtime on objects with no animator controller attached, the characters (local) position and rotation are defined by the animation track and clips offsets.

If a character has an animator controller on the animator, in playmode it will start relative to the position of the character in the scene.

We will be introducing a change soon where the behaviour will be available as an option on the animation track. I.e. the track will determine whether to use absolute or relative position.

You can set the offsets for a character in the either the clip offsets in the clip inspector, or the track offsets in the animation track inspector.

Thank you for the quick response.
I’ve been trying different combinations of setting an initial position for the character before assigning it to an animation track, adding offsets to it and to the track itself.

What worked for me was to simply put the animated character within another gameobject and use it to define the initial offset. This is not ideal but will do the trick for the task at hand.