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What are keyframes in video editing?

If you are new to video editing, you are probably familiar with the term Key Frames. You may be wondering what a keyframe is. Any comprehensive video editing software or program supports keyframes. It is an essential and universal tool used for all types of video editing, including motion or animation or transfer.

In this article, we are going to give an overview of the nature of keyframes and how they relate to each other. Once you know how keyframes work and how to manipulate them in video editing, you have many more options for editing motion.

What is a keyframe?

According to the Mikozuo website, key frames are markers or anchor points that allow the editing program to know the start and end points of the animation. Before digital editing, each keyframe had to be drawn by hand. Computers now automatically transfer between two or more points of the frame key. Animations can have a wide variety of effects; These include zooming in and out, rotating the film, moving left, right, up, down or diagonally, changing the position of the clip, moving two-dimensional or three-dimensional objects, changing the transparency, changing the intensity of the filters and changing the speed values.

Usually two or more keyframes are placed in a clip timeline, and the animation editor adjusts them anywhere. This process will change the status of the clip between the first frame and the next keyframes. For example, if you want to zoom in on a clip to create a stream in the next clip, place a keyframe where you want the zoom to start and place another keyframe at the end of the clip. Then increase the magnification in the second keyframe. During playback, you will notice that zooming in over time between the first and last keyframes.

Most applications provide automatic transmissions between keyframes; But the video editor can also customize the type of transfer and dictate how the clip behaves from one keyframe to another. In the following, we will provide more details about key frames. Because keyframes are represented by visual cues and transmitted by graphs, they may look different in different applications; But their performance remains the same on all platforms.

What is the keyframe interval?

Keyframe time interval or keyframe spacing is the time between two keyframes. This time can be as long as the entire clip or as short as a fraction of a second. Keyframe spacing can affect the appearance of a transition. For example, magnifying over a longer period of time, such as two seconds, can lead to slower and longer transitions. At the same time, the magnification effect in 0.2 seconds seems faster and smoother.

Usually a shorter distance in the key frame, that is, that part of the clip is more compact; However, this will not necessarily change the quality, and in fact the final quality depends on your schedule and settings. However, long key frame intervals can lead to reduced quality; Because the animation transfer will affect a larger part of the clip; Especially if the Motion Blur feature is enabled.

Insert keyframes in video editing

Keyframe interpolation describes how you move from one keyframe to another. Keyframes are simple tools that determine which part of a clip to move; But switching between keyframes is important; Because it will determine the type of movement.

This is where the charts come into play. In fact, charts are a visual representation of the interpolation of keyframes. There are three different types of key interfaces, and most comprehensive video editing programs support all of them. In the following, we will take a look at the key types of interpolation.

Linear Interpolation

Linear interpolation

Linear interpolation is a constant and uniform motion. This means that the status of your clip moves at a constant speed from the first key frame to the second frame. For example, if you set one keyframe at the beginning of the clip and another keyframe at the end with a 50% magnification effect, the video will start zooming in from the beginning of the clip and maintain the same speed until the last keyframe with 50% zoom Reach.

Hold Interpolation

Holder interpolation

Holder Interface holds the effect value on one keyframe and then abruptly changes to the next keyframe value. Due to the presence of more than two key frames in the clip, the graph of this mode will look like a square wave and the visual results of the film will be similar to the strobe effect. Strobe effect, also known as light effect, is a popular video editing technique that adds short, intense flashes of light to parts of clips to speed up the visual rhythm or introduce an unexpected event.

The following is an example of a clip-on holder interpolation in Adobe After Effects. In the broadcast, it seems that the film suddenly becomes “bigger, smaller, bigger”; Because the magnification effect values ​​are stored and transferred from one frame to another.

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Speed ​​charts can have any kind of interpolation; But maintenance interpolation is a very common way to achieve the desired effect. The following is an example of a speed chart in the Video Star video editing program. During playback, the movie moves “Fast Slow Fast Slow”.

Linear video star interpolation

Bezier interpolation

Bezier interpolation is a combination of linear and retainer interpolation that can be customized; So with this tool you can manually adjust the type of movement between key frames.

Bezier interpolation

The following is a very standard diagram of Bezier interpolation in After Effects. The clip starts to zoom in slowly and accelerates exponentially as it reaches the next keyframe value. This creates softer and more natural effects compared to the robotic movement of linear effects and holding effects.

Take a look at the keyframe diagram below in Video Star. You can place the keyframe in the desired position and the chart lines will follow from this location of your choice. In this example, we have set the size (scale); So during playback, this made the magnification effect very smooth. Because the lines of the chart are curved, the video will not be transmitted in this mode like the holder interpolation.

Bezier interpolation in video star

Any German can be placed in Bezier interpolation diagrams; Therefore, many video editing programs provide users with preset settings, which is sometimes available for free and sometimes for a fee.

This feature allows keyframe settings to be exported as code for reuse in future projects. If you are new to chart editing, using presets and code can help. Using the presets without inserting keyframes, you will get the diagram you want.

preset preset

Keyframes are a very useful tool for video editing

Keyframes are an essential tool for any video editing that includes motion and eliminates the need for manual frame editing. With keyframes you can manipulate the animations exactly as you wish; Therefore, the transitions will achieve the desired effect when editing the clip. The range of things that can be done with keyframes is endless, and with creativity, very beautiful and special effects can be achieved.


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