Keyframing overview

Keyframing is the process of assigning different parameter values to an object at specific points in time to animate some aspect of the object. Although behaviors are ideal for quickly adding complex motion or effects to an object, keyframes provide additional precision, ensuring that a specific event happens at the exact frame you choose. For example, if you want to time a movement or effect to match a musical beat or a word in the soundtrack, a keyframe is the best tool for the job.

Example of objects changing position over time

When you set more than one keyframe for a parameter, Motion interpolates the in-between frames, generating a smooth change over time. For example, if you want a title to change from green to blue over time, you can set two keyframes at two points in time. The first keyframe defines the text’s color as green, and the second keyframe sets the color to blue. Motion makes the frames between those points change smoothly from green to blue.

Motion lets you keyframe color values, position, rotation, opacity, and almost every other parameter in the application—for both image layers and effects objects (cameras, lights, behaviors, filters, and so on). For example, keyframes allow you to animate static filters and modify behaviors, resulting in complex, precisely timed animations.

There are two basic ways to add keyframes to your project. And you can edit keyframes in several areas of the Motion workspace: in the Inspector, HUD, Timeline track area, and Keyframe Editor.