Modifying Keyframes in the Timeline

When keyframes are visible in the Timeline, you can change their positions in time by dragging them horizontally in the track. This does not modify the keyframe’s parameter value, it just changes the position in time when the keyframe occurs.

To move a keyframe in the Timeline
  1. Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button in the Timeline.

    Any keyframes in the project become visible.

  2. Identify the object where the keyframe is located.

  3. Drag the keyframe to the left or right to move it forward or backward in time.

Although moving a keyframe in time does not change the parameter’s value, it can have a significant effect on the nature of the animation. For example, if you have two keyframes that animate an object from the top of the screen to the bottom over five seconds, moving one of the keyframes forces the animation to occur more slowly (if you drag them farther apart) or more quickly (if you drag them closer together).

When there are multiple keyframe values set in the same frame, you can choose any value to edit individually, though the values are represented by a single keyframe marker in the Timeline.

To edit a keyframe value already present in the Timeline
  1. Control-click the keyframe.

    A shortcut menu appears. The first items in the list are the keyframe values for any keyframes on that frame.

    Figure. Timeline tab showing keyframe shortcut menu.
  2. Choose the keyframe value you wish to edit.

    Figure. Timeline tab showing keyframe value field.
  3. Type a new value into the value field, then press Return.

    Note: To exit an active value field without making any changes, press Esc.

Aligning Keyframes with Other Objects

One of the main advantages of manipulating keyframes in the Timeline is the ability to line up a keyframe with another important time marker. For example, you may want to align a filter keyframe applied to one object with an object in another track.

To align a keyframe to another object
  1. Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button in the Timeline.

    Any keyframes in the project become visible.

  2. Identify the keyframe you want to move.

    Note: Control-clicking a keyframe in the Timeline displays a shortcut menu containing the parameter name and value for each keyframe. If more than one keyframe is at the same point in time, the shortcut menu lists all of them.

  3. Drag the keyframe until it lines up with the edge of the object.

    If you press the Shift key while you drag, the keyframe snaps to the edges of other objects.

    Figure. Timeline tab showing a keyframe snapping to the edge of an object.

    You can use this same technique to align keyframes from one object to keyframes in another object. In this way, you can arrange two objects to both fade in or blur into focus at exactly the same frame. It doesn’t matter whether the objects are in the same group or not.

To align keyframes of multiple objects
  1. Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button in the Timeline.

    Any keyframes in the project become visible.

  2. Identify the keyframe you want to move.

  3. Find the object containing the parallel action.

  4. Drag the keyframe in the first object until it lines up with the corresponding keyframe in the second object.

    Figure. Timeline tab showing a keyframe on one layer being aligned to a keyframe on another layer.

Aligning Keyframes to Markers

Other objects in your Timeline can also serve as guides for where to move your keyframes. For example, you may have a music cue or line of narration where you want a particular effect to end or change.

One great way to do this is to use time markers. Simply identify the important frame with a marker and drag the keyframe until it lines up with the marker. Markers create snap points, so pressing Shift while you drag a keyframe makes it snap to markers. To learn more about setting markers, see Adding Markers.

To align a keyframe with a marker
  1. Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button in the Timeline.

    Any keyframes in the project become visible.

  2. Identify the keyframe you want to move and drag it to the marker.

  3. Press the Shift key while you drag to enable snapping.

    The keyframe snaps to the marker.

Deleting Keyframes in the Timeline

If you ever need to remove a keyframe, or clear all keyframes from a particular object, you can delete keyframes using the shortcut menu in the Timeline.

To delete a keyframe in the Timeline
  1. Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button in the Timeline.

    Any keyframes in the project become visible.

  2. Control-click the keyframe you want to delete, then choose Delete Keyframes from the shortcut menu.

To delete all keyframes from an object
  1. Click the Show/Hide Keyframes button in the Timeline.

    Any keyframes in the project become visible.

  2. Control-click any keyframe for the object you want to clear, then choose Delete All Keyframes from the shortcut menu.

    For more precise control of effects using keyframes, you can use the Keyframe Editor. Any keyframe in the Timeline can be viewed in the Keyframe Editor using the shortcut menu.

To view a keyframe in the Keyframe Editor
  • Control-click the keyframe in the Timeline, then choose Show in Keyframe Editor from the shortcut menu.

    The Keyframe Editor is brought to the front and the keyframe (and the rest of that parameter) is highlighted in the graph.

Trimming Keyframed Effects

When the duration of an effect such as a filter or behavior in the Timeline is changed, keyframes applied to that object are scaled accordingly. This means that an effect keyframed to change over time speeds up or slows down if the object it is applied to is shortened or lengthened.

Figure. Timeline tab showing keyframes moving as a layer is resized.

Changing the duration of an object does not modify keyframes applied to attributes in the Properties or Object tab in the Inspector. Keyframes appear in the area underneath the object bar if you choose to show keyframes in the Timeline.

You can also speed up or slow down a keyframed effect by resizing the effect bar in the Timeline.

Figure. Timeline tab showing keyframes stretching as a layer is trimmed.

You can prevent this automatic resizing by pressing Command while resizing an effect object. This changes the overall duration of the effect, but does not alter the speed at which the effect changes as determined by the keyframes.

Figure Timeline tab showing a layer being trimmed without affecting keyframes.

Pressing Command while you resize an object with effects applied trims the object without trimming the effects. This works the same way as trimming a group without modifying the durations of the component elements.

Figure. Timeline tab showing a clip being trimmed while keyframes are unaffected.