Working With Keyframes

What is a keyframes you ask? Keyframes are one of the tools which allow video editors and videographers to adjust or enhance anything from the tiniest miscue, to the largest effect. If you are unfamiliar with this editing wonder or haven't used it before just imagine yourself in one of these situations...Say you have a video clip of Times Square. Now, you want to take a video clips of your child's birthday party and make it fit into one of those big video screens in Time Square. Now let's say you have a video clip of your talent doing some amazing dance moves and you want spice it up a bit. You want to zoom in on their hands, pan down to their feet, and then pan up to their face and zoom out to a full body shot. You may think that these effects can't be done or you have to achieve the shots while filming your talent. Well guess what? That's right...you can make all of these dreams a reality using the keyframes function of your video editing software such as Pinnacle Studio Ultimate.


What is a Keyframe?

A keyframe defines the starting and/or ending points of any video clip, object, image, or effect added to a video clip. They are called "keyframes" because each "frame" you select is a "key" point that the editor requests a specific action to be executed upon by the editing application. Each position in time is measured in frames. A sequence of keyframes can make clips or images move across the can or add definition to the effects that your audience will see. The position of each keyframe defines the timing of the movement. Keyframes can be used for so many things. They can be used to adjust lighting, change color, create transitions, and modify effects.

Avid Studio Keyframe Tutorial

Applying Keyframes to Effects

Most video editing software programs come with a range of special effects which you can apply to your photos and videos. These same programs almost always come with the ability to keyframe their effects. Once the effect is added to your video clip you must access the effect options in order to start keyframing.

Once you have enabled keyframing, preview your clip or move to a position where you want to start adjusting the effect and set the value of the effect at that point. In most editors your next step will be to click the add button to add the keyframe to that position. You can set as many keyframes as you like and your editing software will animate the values smoothly between them. You can always edit or delete a keyframe if you do not like how it looks.

Keyframe Usage

Keyframes can be used to correct changes in exposure or color in shots. They can be used to create lighting and color effects to improve or alter a scene's original lighting. A lighting effect used in conjunction with keyframing is great for making a scary scene for your video. You can easily make it appear that a ghost is turning a light on or off. They are also great for making images follow the movement of a subject in a video clip as well. You can usually add a keyframe to any effect in your video editing software program.

Keyframes are extremely powerful tools and you can use it to create and enhance a wide range of effects. The possibilities are almost endless. If you haven't used them in the past and you currently have an intermediate to professional video editing package you are really missing out. We recommend that you get into your software, add some effects and start using keyframes ASAP! The sooner you do the more you will learn.


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