What the Hell Is a Keyframe and How one can Use It Correctly

Digital Animation is all about Keyframes. Inside After Results, you’ll discover quite a lot of these guys and figuring out one of the best ways to make use of them will assist your animations to realize the outcomes you might be aiming for.

We’ve talked earlier than about the way to enhance your abilities and craft higher animations, and offered a number of the animation curves you should utilize to get totally different animations. Apart from that, the kind of keyframe you utilize for every second, tells quite a bit concerning the outcome you’ll get.

For these starting in Animation and After Results keyframes can sound very bizarre and understanding all of them might be troublesome. The truth is, there isn’t a lot info on this system about what every one in every of them does. Additionally, the best way you apply Keyframes could be very totally different from one another, making it tougher to memorize at first.

Even for individuals who have already got some expertise with After Results, some Keyframes might be “new” since they’re all in some way “hidden” on the identical place.

That’s why we’re right here. I’m going to train you about all of the Keyframes you’ll encounter inside After Results and how every one in every of them will have an effect on your animations.

What The Hell is a Keyframe?

Keyframes are a very powerful moments of an animation. Because the title says, they’re the “Key” of all of the frames of an animation. They’re those that present a distinction within the appearing of a personality, an important change in a motion or perhaps a nice pose.

In Movement Graphics, or Digital Animation, they act the identical means — they decide what change from a earlier pose or second, and it’s the place the precise animation is finished.

Its distinction from conventional animation is that animators make the interpolation between keyframes one after the other, and they’re liable for creating the proper timing and pacing for the motion. In Digital Animation, the software program is liable for calculating and interpolating itself the animation. One of many issues we are able to management on digital animation is how this interpolation will occur.

By figuring out and making use of the proper kind of Keyframe, you possibly can obtain the total energy of automated interpolation, ensuring your animation will happen as you had in your head.

Keyframes varieties

I wish to separate the Keyframes in three classes that make it simple to grasp and visualize every one in every of them.

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Linear Keyframes are those who create a linear velocity. It implies that there is no such thing as a change in velocity throughout the motion.

Linear Keyframe


The Linear Keyframe is the default of AfterEffects. Everytime you start to animate, the primary Keyframe will at all times be Linear till you alter them to a different kind. When you have got an animation that begins and ends with a Linear Keyframe, it would act as we talked about earlier than — the animation will begin and finish with the identical velocity.

Steady Keyframe

Shortcut: Management (CMD) + Click on (on the keyframe)

The Steady Keyframe or Steady Velocity — when speaking about interpolation — works between two Keyframes, which might be Linear or of any Keyframe. What they do is so as to add a 3rd second with out altering the earlier velocity of the 2 keyframes.

For instance, if we’ve an object going from the purpose A to level B within the Scene, and we need to add a Level C, between them, the “normal” means is to have the animation beginning at level A, transferring and ending at level C, then beginning once more at Level C, transferring, and ending at level B. It may be very complicated, however the picture under will make it higher to grasp.


Once we change the Level C Keyframe to a Steady Keyframe, what it does is that now, as a substitute of getting these begins and stops within the animation, we’ve the animation starting on the Level A transferring and ending at Level B however passing by the Level C in the midst of that. As a substitute of getting Level C as a Begin/Finish level, now it’s extra like a “detour” of the motion.



The Eases Keyframes are the most attention-grabbing type of Keyframes. They’re those related to the feeling of each acceleration and weight, that are important in Movement Graphics.

There are two fundamental Eases that comes from the idea of Conventional Animation — Ease In and Ease Out. Relying in your supply of animation rules, you can too discover them as Gradual In and Gradual Out.

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Nonetheless, many of the conventional sources about these Eases can clarify it as the alternative of what they imply in After Results. Since we’re relating the Keyframes right here to Digital Animation, we’ll use the idea from Ease In and Ease Out offered in After Results.

Ease In

Shortcut: SHIFT + F9 (with the Keyframe Chosen)

Ease In implies that the motion will “come in” slowly to this Keyframe. For instance, if we set a Linear Keyframe as the primary place and them an Ease In Keyframe as the second, the animation will begin in a linear velocity and step by step decelerate till reaching the second place — Similar to our man above.

Ease Out

Shortcut: Management (CMD) + SHIFT + F9 (with the Keyframe Chosen)

The Ease Out is the alternative of the Ease In. As a substitute of getting the animation slowing down into the second place (the way it was with the Ease In Keyframe), the animation will “come out” slowly from the primary place and find yourself linear, or no matter means you set the second Keyframe to be.

You may visualize the Ease Out as acceleration and the Ease In as a slowdown motion. Regardless of if you happen to use an Ease In or Ease Out Keyframe, the subsequent or earlier Keyframe might be of any kind. You may even have an Ease Out Keyframe to an Ease In, what is going to imply an object to begin transferring slowly, getting quicker in the midst of the motion, after which decelerate till reaching the ultimate place.

Straightforward Ease

Shortcut: F9 (with the Keyframe Chosen)

The Straightforward Ease is the mixture of Ease In and Ease Out in a single single Keyframe. Typically you have got complete animations made solely with that type of Keyframes.

The Straightforward Ease implies that the animation will are available slowly to this Keyframe and likewise exit slowly from this body to the subsequent one. The animation reaches some Begin/Cease factors like within the Linear Keyframe, however with moments of acceleration and deceleration.


The Maintain Keyframes are those that in reality “holds” the motion. While you want one thing to remain static or a selected pose to take care of as it’s with out transferring, you need to use a Maintain Keyframe.

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Maintain Keyframe

Shortcut: Management (CMD) + Alt + Click on (on the keyframe)

The Maintain Keyframe image says quite a bit about it. It makes no animation to occur. It “blocks” the animation on this ingredient or character. It’s additionally very used while you need to “freeze” a selected body of a film you’ve imported, and likewise when “blocking” a personality animation.

One methodology of character animation is to begin by positioning the character poses over time to investigate the timing and spacing of the entire motion. When completed in After Results, we at all times start working with Maintain Keyframes as a substitute of the Linear or Ease ones.

Maintain In and Maintain Out

Shortcut: Management (CMD) + Alt + Click on (on the keyframe)

The Maintain In and Maintain Out are two Keyframes that pertains to the Ease In and Ease Out Keyframes I’ve talked about above. You may have an animation taking place in an Ease In Keyframe and switch it right into a Maintain Keyframe or the alternative.

It’s more often than not used to stop some bugs After Results could make when interpolating Keyframes.

A typical solution to “hold” a place while you don’t want an animation by that point is to duplicate the final Keyframe and place it additional on the timeline.

Nonetheless, After Results can misunderstand that it ought to maintain the animation, and as a substitute, he creates some bizarre interpolations that can generate animation between these two equivalent poses. The Maintain Keyframes are there that will help you forestall this from taking place and avoiding undesired actions.

Keyframes names are associated to its interpolation and most of them don’t have a selected title apart from their interpolation mode. Though I like to call them the best way I did, It’s not a proper naming conference however one which I discover simpler to grasp.

The shapes and names of the totally different Keyframes inform quite a bit about themselves. Play with them and see for your self the totally different outcomes you possibly can obtain by mixing totally different Keyframes.

Mix it with the Animation Curves. It can develop your prospects and likewise assist you to make no matter motion you need.

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