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in Film and Video Glossary, Video Elements on 2023-02-07

A keyframe is a key point in a motion animation that defines the position, orientation, or other attributes of an object or camera at a specific moment in time. Keyframes form the basis of all motion animations, including those in film and video production.

In animation, keyframes specify the starting and ending points of a motion, and the computer generates the motion in between. For example, a keyframe might specify the position of an object at the start of a shot and another keyframe might specify the position of the same object at the end of the shot. The computer will then interpolate the motion between these two keyframes to create the final animation.

Keyframes are also used to control the position and movement of cameras in virtual environments. The camera operator sets keyframes for the starting and ending positions of a shot, and the computer generates the camera movement between those keyframes. This allows for precise control over the camera movement and ensures that the shot follows the desired path.

In editing, keyframes are used to control the timing and pace of visual effects, such as fades and color correction. Keyframes are set at specific points in the timeline, and the editor can adjust the parameters of the effect over time to create a desired visual effect.

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