Adding, navigating, and setting keyframes

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To animate a property is to change its value over time. In Premiere Pro, effect properties can be animated by assigning keyframes to them.

A keyframe marks the point in time where you specify a value, such as spatial position, opacity, or audio volume. To create a change in a property over time, you set at least two keyframes—one keyframe for the value at the beginning of the change, and another keyframe for the value at the end of the change. Premiere Pro then creates a gradual change in values between keyframes, called interpolation.

You can work with keyframes either In the Timeline or in the Effect Controls panel.

Add, select, and delete keyframes

Add keyframes

You can add keyframes in the Timeline or the Effect Controls panel at the current time. Use the Toggle Animation button in the Effect Controls panel to activate the keyframing process.

Note:

To create keyframes in a track or on a clip, it is not necessary to enable keyframe display.

Keyframe controls in Effect Controls panel

A. Toggle animation button B. Add/Remove keyframe button 

  1. In a Timeline panel, select the clip that contains the effect you want to animate.
  2. If you want to add and adjust keyframes in a Timeline panel, make keyframes visible for the video or audio track.

    If the keyframes are not visible by default, click the Wrench icon in the Timeline panel, and select Show Video Keyframes.

    Note:

    If you are adding keyframes to a Fixed effect (Motion, Opacity, or Volume) in a Timeline panel, you can skip step 3.

  3. In the Effect Controls panel, click the triangle to expand the effect that you want to add keyframes to, and then click the Toggle Animation icon to activate keyframes for an effect property.

  4. Do one of the following to display the effect property’s graph:
    • (Effect Controls panel) Click the triangle to expand the effect property and display its Value and Velocity graphs.

    • (Timeline panel) Choose the effect property from the effect menu next to the clip or track name.

  5. Move the playhead to the point in time where you want to add a keyframe.

  6. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Add/Remove Keyframe button in the Effect Controls panel and then adjust the effect property’s value.

    • Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) a keyframe graph using the Selection or Pen tool, and then adjust the effect property’s value. You can add a keyframe anywhere on a graph using the Selection or Pen tool. It’s not necessary to position the current-time indicator.

    Note:

    To add keyframes, it is not necessary to use a modifier key with the Pen tool. However, the modifier key is needed with the Selection tool.

    • (Effect Controls panel only) Adjust the controls for an effect’s property. This automatically creates a keyframe at the current time.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 as needed to add keyframes and adjust the effect property.
    Note:

    Use the keyframe navigator arrow    in the Effect Controls panel to navigate to an existing keyframe if you want to make further adjustments. It’s also a good technique for setting up keyframes for other effects.

Select keyframes

If you want to modify or copy a keyframe, first select it in a Timeline panel. Unselected keyframes appear hollow; selected keyframes appear solid. You don’t need to select segments between keyframes because you can drag segments directly. Also, segments automatically adjust when you change the keyframes that define their end points.

  1. Do any of the following:
    • To select a keyframe, use the Selection tool or the Pen tool to click the Keyframe icon in the Timeline panel.
    • To select multiple keyframes, Shift-click with the Selection tool or the Pen tool to select multiple contiguous or noncontiguous keyframes in a Timeline panel.
    Note:

    When you position the Selection or Pen tool over a keyframe, the pointer appears with a Keyframe icon .

    • To select multiple keyframes by dragging in the Timeline panel, use the Pen tool to draw a marquee selection box around the keyframes. Shift-drag to add more keyframes to an existing selection.
    Note:

    In the Effect Controls panel, you can also use the Selection tool to drag and select multiple keyframes.

    • To select all keyframes for a property in the Effect Controls panel, click the layer property name. For example, click Position to select all the Position keyframes for a layer.

Delete keyframes

If you no longer need a keyframe, you can easily delete it from an effect property in either the Effect Controls or a Timeline panel. You can remove all keyframes at once or deactivate keyframes for the effect property. In the Effect Controls, when you deactivate keyframes with the Toggle Animation button, existing keyframes are deleted and no new keyframes can be created until you reactivate keyframes.

  1. Make sure that the effect property’s graphs are visible in the Effect Controls panel or Timeline panel.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Select one or more keyframes and choose Edit > Clear. You can also press Delete.

    • Navigate the current-time indicator to the keyframe and click the Add/Remove Keyframe button.

    • (Effect Controls panel only) To delete all keyframes for an effect property, click the Toggle Animation button to the left of the name of the effect or property. When prompted to confirm your decision, click OK.

    Note:

    When you deactivate the Toggle Animation button, keyframes for that property are permanently removed and the value of that property becomes the value at the current time. You cannot restore deleted keyframes by reactivating the Toggle Animation button. If you accidentally delete keyframes, choose Edit > Undo.

View keyframes and graphs

The Effect Controls panel and Timeline panels let you adjust the timing and values of keyframes, but they work in different ways. The Effect Controls panel displays all effect properties, keyframes, and interpolation methods at once. Clips in a Timeline panel show only one effect property at a time. In the Effect Controls panel, you have complete control over keyframe values. In a Timeline panel, you have limited control. For example, you can’t change values that use x and y coordinates, such as Position, in a Timeline. However, you can make keyframe adjustments without moving to the Effect Controls panel.

The graphs in the Timeline and Effect Controls panels display the values of each keyframe and the interpolated values between keyframes. When the graph of an effect property is level, the value of the property is unchanged between keyframes. When the graph goes up or down, the value of a property increases or decreases between keyframes. You can affect the speed and smoothness of the property changes from one keyframe to the next. Just change the interpolation method and adjust Bezier curves.

View keyframes in the Effect Controls panel

If you’ve added keyframes to a sequence clip, you can view them in the Effect Controls panel. Any effect containing keyframed properties displays Summary Keyframe icons when the effect is collapsed. Summary keyframes appear across from the effect heading and correspond to all the individual property keyframes contained in the effect. You cannot manipulate summary keyframes; they appear for reference only.

  1. Select a clip in a Timeline panel.
  2. If necessary, click the Show/Hide Timeline View button in the Effect Controls panel to show the effects timeline. If necessary, widen the Effect Controls panel to make the Show/Hide Timeline View button visible.

  3. In the Effect Controls panel, click the triangle to the left of the effect name to expand the effect you want to view. The keyframes display in the Effect Controls timeline.
  4. (Optional) To view the Value and Velocity graphs of an effect property, click the triangle next to the Toggle Animation icon.

View keyframes and properties in a Timeline panel

If you’ve added keyframes to animate an effect, you can view them and their properties in a Timeline panel. For video and audio effects, a Timeline panel can display the keyframes specific to each clip. For audio effects, a Timeline panel can also display the keyframes for an entire track. Each clip or track can display a different property. However, you can display the keyframes for only one property at a time within an individual clip or track.

The segments connecting keyframes form a graph that indicates changes in keyframe values along the duration of the clip or track. Adjusting keyframes and segments changes the shape of the graph.

  1. (Optional) If the track is collapsed, click the triangle to the left of the track name to expand it.
  2. For a video track, click the Show Keyframes button , and choose any of the following from the menu:

    Show Keyframes

    Displays the graph and keyframes of any video effect applied to clips in the track. An effect menu appears next to the clip name so you can choose the effect you want to view.

    Show Opacity Handles

    Displays the graph and keyframes of the Opacity effect for each clips in the track.

    Hide Keyframes

    Hides the graphs and keyframes for all clips in the track.

  3. For an audio track, click the Show Keyframes button , and choose any of the following from the menu:

    Show Clip Keyframes

    Displays the graph and keyframes of any audio effect applied to clips in the track. An effect menu appears next to the clip name so you can choose the effect you want to view.

    Show Clip Volume

    Displays the graph and keyframes of the Volume effect for each clips in the track.

    Show Track Keyframes

    Displays the graph and keyframes of any audio effect applied to the entire track. An effect menu appears at the beginning of the track so you can choose the effect you want to view.

    Show Track Volume

    Displays the graph and keyframes of the Volume effect applied to the entire track.

    Hide Keyframes

    Hides the graphs and keyframes for all clips in the track.

  4. (Optional) Use the Zoom In control to magnify the clip so that the effect menu appears at the top of the track. You can also drag the boundaries above and below the track name to increase the track height.
  5. (Optional) Drag the boundaries of a track header to change the height of a track. For a video track, drag the top of the track. For an audio track, drag the bottom of the track. To resize all expanded tracks, hold down the Shift key while dragging.
  6. (Optional) If you chose Show Keyframes, Show Clip Keyframes, or Show Track Keyframes in steps 2 and 3, click the effect menu. Then choose the effect that contains keyframes.
  7. Place the pointer directly over a keyframe to view its property in a tool tip.

The tool tip displays the keyframe location, as well as the property and options you set for it in the Effect Controls panel. Use this information for making precise keyframe placements. You can quickly note the value you’ve set for a keyframe. You can also quickly compare the location and change in value of two or more keyframes.

Set keyframe display for a Timeline panel

You can specify the types of keyframes shown in the tracks of the Timeline. You can also specify whether keyframes are shown at all, by default. For example, you can choose to have keyframes hidden by default, so that you cannot set or change them accidentally when trying to edit a clip.

  1. Select Edit > Preferences > > General (Windows), or Premiere Pro > Preferences > General (Mac OS).
  2. Click the triangle in the New Timeline Audio Tracks field to open the menu, and select one of the options.
  3. Click the triangle in the New Timeline Video Tracks field to open the menu, and select one of the options.

Move the current-time indicator to a keyframe

Both the Effect Controls and a Timeline panels have keyframe navigators, which have left and right arrows to move the current-time indicator from one keyframe to the next. In a Timeline panel, the keyframe navigator is enabled after you activate keyframes for an effect property.

  1. Do any of the following:
    • In the Timeline or Effect Controls panel, click a keyframe navigator arrow. The left-pointing arrow moves the current-time indicator to the previous keyframe. The right-pointing arrow moves the current-time indicator to the next keyframe.

    • (Effect Controls panel only) Shift-drag the current-time indicator to snap to a keyframe.

Modify keyframe values

Edit keyframe graphs in the Effect Controls panel

Once you activate keyframing for an effect’s property, you can display the effect’s Value and Velocity graphs. Value graphs provide information about the value of nonspatial keyframes (such as the Scale property of the Motion effect) at any point in time. They also display and let you adjust the interpolation between keyframes. You can use the Velocity graph to fine-tune the rate of change between keyframes.

  1. In a Timeline panel, select a clip containing an effect containing keyframes you want to adjust.
  2. In the Effect Controls panel, click the triangle to expand the controls for the effect.
  3. Click the triangle next to a property’s name to display its Value and Velocity graphs.
    Note:

    If no keyframes have been added, the graphs appear as flat lines.

  4. (Optional) To better view a graph, hover the Selection or Pen tool over the boundary line below a graph. When the pointer turns into a segment pointer , drag to increase the height of the graph area.
  5. Use the Selection or Pen tool to drag a keyframe up or down on the Value graph, changing the effect property’s value.
    Note:

    In a Value or Velocity graph, you cannot move a keyframe left or right to change its current time. Instead, drag a keyframe marker above the graph using the Selection or Pen tool.

Edit keyframe graphs from a Timeline panel

  1. Make sure a Timeline panel has at least one clip containing one or more effects with keyframes. Select this clip and select the Effect Controls panel.
  2. Make sure that the keyframes for the clip or track are visible in a Timeline panel.
  3. In the Effect Controls panel, click the triangle next to the control you want to adjust to expose its Value and Velocity graphs.
  4. In the effect menu that appears after the name of the clip or track, select the property you want to adjust. If you can’t see the effect menu, try increasing the magnification of a Timeline panel.
  5. Use the Selection or Pen tool to do one of the following:
    • If you want to edit multiple or nonadjacent keyframes, select those keyframes.

    • Position the Selection or Pen tool over a keyframe or keyframe segment. The Selection or Pen tool changes to the keyframe pointer or keyframe segment pointer .

  6. Do any combination of the following:
    • Drag a keyframe or segment up or down to change the value. As you drag, a tool tip indicates the current value. If no keyframes are present, dragging adjusts the value for the entire clip or track.

    • Drag a keyframe left or right to change the time location of the keyframe. As you drag, a tool tip indicates the current time. If you move a keyframe onto another keyframe, the new keyframe replaces the old one.

    The Value and Velocity graphs in the Effect Controls panel will show changes made to keyframes in a Timeline panel.

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