Keyframes signify the start and end points for actions in animation.
In the early days of animation, each frame of a production had to be drawn by hand. Now animators can save hours or even weeks or months of work by using digital keyframe animation to identify different elements of a graphic and choose how those elements will move or change over time. To create an action in a digital animation sequence, you first need to define the start and end points for that action. These markers are called keyframes, and they’re used as anchor points for actions in all different types of animation programs, including Adobe After Effects, Animate, and Character Animator.
Keyframe animation basics.
Imagine you want a circle to bounce like a ball across your screen or frame of video. To animate the ball moving from one position to another, set the first keyframe on your animation timeline where you want the ball to start and a new keyframe further along the timeline where you’d like it to land.
Changes you can make with keyframes.
You can trigger more than just position changes with keyframes. Each quality of an animated object that you can adjust with keyframes is called a parameter. These include things like Anchor Point, Position, Scale, Rotation, and Opacity. For movement-based changes like Position or Rotation, you can adjust the parameter values before placing your keyframes by simply clicking and dragging the object.
Types of keyframe interpolations.
The interpolation method is the manner in which you would like the action or movement to be performed. A Bezier or “easing” movement is often a good option because it mimics natural movement well. The object will ease out of the original position and ease into the final position by varying degrees depending on the look you’re going for.
- Linear interpolation: This default creates an even, almost robotic change.
- Hold interpolation: This change occurs suddenly at the next keyframe.
- Bezier or Ease interpolation: This change is based on a movement curve that you can manually adjust.