Video Editing terms


A frame in which a parameter of an effect or transition is set.

What is a keyframe in video editing?

A keyframe in video editing is a frame used to indicate the start or end of a change in a video. It is a fundamental concept in both traditional animation and computer animation, where it serves as a guide for the motion of an object or the parameters of an effect within the scene. Keyframes define the points of major change, while the frames in between are automatically created by the software, a process known as tweening or interpolation.

In the context of video editing, keyframes are used to control properties such as position, scale, rotation, and opacity. For example, if you want an object in your video to move from one side of the screen to the other, you would set keyframes at the start and end points of the movement. The video editing software then calculates and creates the frames in between, creating a smooth transition. Keyframes thus provide precise control over the timing and speed of changes in a video, making them an essential tool in the creation of complex animations and effects.

How to use keyframes in video editing?

Keyframes in video editing are used to change the parameters of an effect or a transition over time. They are essentially markers set at specific points in a video clip that can be used to alter various aspects such as opacity, position, scale, etc. at different times. For instance, you can set a keyframe at the beginning of a clip to mark the starting point of an effect and another at the end to mark the final state of the effect. The video editing software will then automatically interpolate the changes between these two points.

To use keyframes, you first need to select the clip you want to modify in your timeline. Then, navigate to the effect controls panel and choose the parameter you want to change. Click on the stopwatch icon next to the parameter to create the first keyframe. Move the playhead to the point where you want the change to end and adjust the parameter to your desired value to create the second keyframe. The software will then create a smooth transition between these two keyframes. You can add more keyframes to create more complex effects.

What is the purpose of keyframes in video editing?

Keyframes in video editing serve a crucial role in controlling the changes or movements in a video over time. They are essentially markers set at specific points in the timeline to indicate where changes, such as motion, effects, or other alterations, should begin or end. These changes could include anything from position and scale to opacity and volume adjustments.

By defining these start and end points, keyframes allow for smooth transitions and animations, creating a more dynamic and engaging video. They provide the editor with a high level of control over the video's progression, enabling them to create complex visual effects and precise timing. Without keyframes, it would be challenging to achieve the level of detail and precision required in professional video editing.

How to add keyframes in video editing software?

Adding keyframes in video editing software is a straightforward process, although the exact steps may vary slightly depending on the specific software you are using. Generally, you would first open your video project in the software and navigate to the timeline where you want to add a keyframe. You would then select the clip or effect you want to modify with the keyframe.

Once you've selected the clip or effect, look for the keyframe button in the software's interface. This is often represented by a diamond or a stopwatch icon. Clicking this button will add a keyframe at the current point in the timeline. You can then adjust the properties of the keyframe, such as its position, scale, or opacity, to create the desired effect. Repeat this process to add additional keyframes and create more complex animations or effects.

< Back to Video Editing glossary

Tella — Screen recording for creators

Tella — Screen recording for creators