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  • Writer's pictureTony Deehan

Killer Keyframes: Mastering Keyframe Animation in Premiere Pro

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

As the world's attention span continues to decrease and even watching your favourite vlogger eat 30 hot dogs in 30 minutes doesn't hold your interest any longer, it is important for us, as video editors, to do everything in our power to keep our audience interested. One of the most powerful tools at your disposal in Adobe Premiere Pro is keyframe animation.

Keyframe animation allows you to create dynamic and visually appealing motion effects in your videos, giving them that professional touch. Whether you want to animate text, graphics, or even the movement of your footage, understanding keyframe animation is essential. Sure, static footage can look good in many instances but this is usually the case in film. For other forms of content, clients and consumers are increasingly looking for dynamic videos with movement that is appealing and interesting. So let's learn all about that today!

1. Understanding Keyframes:

Before we dive into the techniques, it's crucial to understand the concept of keyframes. Keyframes mark the beginning and end points of a change in an attribute, such as position, scale, opacity, or rotation. In other words, they are point A and B when you are trying to get from...well...point A to Point B. By setting keyframes at different points in time, you can create smooth animations between those keyframes. Premiere Pro allows you to animate virtually any attribute in your video clips.

2. Accessing the Effect Controls Panel:

To begin animating with keyframes, you'll need to access the Effect Controls panel in Premiere Pro. This panel allows you to select the attribute you want to animate and set keyframes on the timeline. To open the Effect Controls panel, click on the clip in your timeline, and then navigate to Window > Effect Controls.

3. Creating Basic Keyframe Animations:

Start by selecting the attribute you want to animate from the Effect Controls panel, such as position or scale. Of course, you can animate other attributes such as rotation, opacity and even effects that you have added such as the Crop effect and Lumetri Color, and masks. However, for now, let's stick to Position and Scale.

Once selected, you can set the initial keyframe by clicking the stopwatch icon next to the attribute. This action will create a keyframe at the current time indicator (CTI) on the timeline. Move the CTI to a different point in time and modify the attribute value. Premiere Pro will automatically create a new keyframe at that time, allowing you to create a smooth movement between the two keyframes. Repeat this process to create additional keyframes and refine your animation.

4. Fine-Tuning Keyframe Animations:

Ok that's looking pretty good but we want to take it to the next level. To fine-tune your keyframe animation, you can control the speed and velocity of the movement. By selecting a keyframe and adjusting the interpolation type, you can change the easing or acceleration of the movement. Premiere Pro offers several interpolation options like linear, bezier, and auto bezier, each providing a different flow to your animation. Experiment with these options to achieve the desired effect.

5. Utilizing Keyframe Assistant Tools:

Now who doesn't like slow, sexy movements in their animation? Oh. Nobody? Just me?

Annnywho, Premiere Pro also provides useful keyframe assistant tools to enhance your animations further. The "Ease Out" and "Ease In" options allow you to create natural transitions by adjusting the speed at the start or end of an animation. A very important tip to remember is to choose Ease Out for the first Keyframe as you are easing out of that particular keyframe; and also Ease In for the second keyframe as you are easing into it. This can sometimes cause confusion but if you remember it this way, you should have no problems. Additionally, the "Spatial Interpolation" option allows you to control how an object moves in both time and space, providing creative possibilities for complex animations.

6. Animating Text and Graphics:

Keyframe animation isn't limited to just footage movement. Premiere Pro enables you to animate text and graphics as well. By applying effects to text or graphic layers, you can animate attributes like position, scale, opacity, and rotation, adding a layer of dynamism to your titles and overlays. Use keyframes to bring your text and graphics to life and create engaging visual effects. In fact, this is one of the foundations of good titles in film. Next time you are watching you favourite film, see if you can spot the movement in the on-screen titles and notice how animation gives it a more interesting look.

7. Combining Effects and Keyframe Animation:

As I briefly mentioned above, another powerful feature of Premiere Pro is the ability to combine effects with keyframe animation. By layering effects onto a clip and animating their attributes, you can create intricate and advanced animations. Explore options like opacity, color correction, and blending modes to experiment and achieve unique visual effects.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Experiment with different attributes, keyframe positions, and timings to refine your animations. Premiere Pro's flexible keyframe animation capabilities provide endless possibilities for elevating the visual impact of your videos.


In conclusion, mastering keyframe animation in Premiere Pro is a valuable skill for video editors. Understanding the fundamentals, utilizing keyframe assistant tools, and experimenting with effects and attributes are key aspects of creating impressive animations. With the right techniques and practice, you'll be able to bring your videos to life and mesmerize your audience with professional-looking motion effects. And in no time, you will be able to create an epic animated zoom into your favourite vlogger as he desperately tries to ingest hot dog number 30!

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