About animating effects

Although commonly used to mean “move a figure across the screen,” when used in the context of Premiere Pro, this means a change an attribute through time. In this sense, moving a clip move from one corner of the screen to another over a few seconds animates its position. Changing it from sharp to blurry over a few seconds animates its sharpness. Changing it from a shade of pink to a shade of blue over a few seconds animates its color. Here, animation means “change through time,” not “moving object". You can animate most, though not all, of the effects that come with Premiere Pro. Once an effect has been applied to a clip, you specify one or more frames of the clip as keyframes. Then, you set the values for the effect at each of the keyframes.

About keyframes

Keyframes are used to set properties for motion, effects, audio, and many properties, changing them over time. A keyframe marks the point in time where you specify a value, such as spatial position, opacity, or audio volume. Values between keyframes are interpolated. When you use keyframes to create a change over time, you typically use at least two keyframes—one for the state at the beginning of the change, and one for the new state at the end of the change.

Working with keyframes

When you use keyframes to animate the Opacity effect, you can view and edit the keyframes in either the Effect controls or a Timeline panel. Sometimes, a Timeline panel alternative can be more appropriate for quickly viewing and adjusting keyframes. The following guidelines indicate the appropriate panel for the task at hand:

  • Editing keyframes in a Timeline panel works best for effects that have a single, one-dimensional value, such as opacity or audio volume. The Effect Controls panel is used when editing keyframes of properties that have multiple, angular, or two-dimensional values, such as Levels, Rotation, or Scale, respectively.

  • In a Timeline panel, variations in keyframe values are indicated graphically, so you can see at a glance how keyframe values change over time. By default, values change between keyframes in a linear manner, but you can apply options that refine the rate of change between keyframes. For example, you can bring motion to a gradual stop. You can also change the interpolation method and use Bezier controls to fine-tune the speed and smoothness of an effect’s animation.

  • The Effect Controls panel can display the keyframes of multiple properties at once, but only for the clip selected in a Timeline panel. A Timeline panel can display the keyframes for multiple tracks or clips at once but can display the keyframes of only one property per track or clip.

  • Like a Timeline panel, the Effect Controls panel also displays keyframes graphically. Once keyframing is activated for an effect property, you can display the Value and Velocity graphs. The Value graph displays keyframes with changes in an effect’s property values. The Velocity graph displays keyframes with handles for adjusting the speed and smoothness of the value changes from keyframe to keyframe.

  • Keyframes for audio track effects can be edited only in a Timeline panel or in the Audio Mixer. Keyframes for audio clip effects are like keyframes for video clip effects; they can be edited in a Timeline panel or in the Effect Controls panel.


You can modify the panel arrangement further and choose Window > Workspace > New Workspace to save the modified configuration as your own workspace. Be sure to give your workspace a name in the New Workspace dialog box before clicking OK.

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