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Keyframing is the process Premiere Elements uses for creating animations. Keyframing can be used to create motion paths over a photo, as we're going to here. It can be used to set an effect to change over time, or it can be used with a 3D effect to make your clip appear to rotate in space. Or it can be used with the audio too. In this session, we're going to look at the basic principles of keyframing, because once you understand the basics, you're going to see all kinds of applications for this amazing tool. Now we have just a basic photo on our timeline here, and I'm going to create a motion path over it.
Now of course, I could use the Premiere Elements Pan & Zoom tool, which is on the Action bar. If you click on the Tools button, you can see--if I scroll down--Pan & Zoom. But I wanted to do it manually so I can demonstrate how keyframing works. So I select the clip on the timeline and then I go to the Applied Effects button here on the right side of the interface, which opens the Applied Effects panel. Now, this would show any effects I've added to the clip. In this particular case, I haven't added any effects to the clip, so I see the two default properties that are a part of every video or still photo: Motion and Opacity.
Opacity has to do with the transparency of the clip. We are going to work with Motion, which deals with position, scale, and rotation, the elements of creating a motion path. To get to the keyframe control area, I click on this little stopwatch in the upper-right of the panel. And you notice we have a mini-timeline representing the duration of the clip, in this case a still photo. It also has a CTI playhead in it, and when I move you'll notice that playhead on the timeline moves in sync with it. Let's move it to the beginning of our clip. Now, until I turn on animation, any changes I make to the clip, in terms of positions, scale, and rotation, are going to apply to the whole clip.
So if I were to change the scale here to 65%--now I did that just by clicking on the number here and manually typing in and then clicking off--you see that it's 65% the entire way through the clip. Once I turn on toggle animation, which I can do by clicking on this little stop- watch in the upper-right of the panel, we get keyframes. Keyframes are these little diamond things. They represent the current settings for position, scale, and rotation. I'll move the CTI playhead down to the end here, and I am going to raise Scale up to 100%.
I could do that either by moving the slider or by clicking and dragging across the numbers here, or by simply clicking on the numbers, and I'll type 100%. So I'm zooming in. I'm going from 65% to 100%. When I click off now we're zoomed in on the farmer. I could change position the same way, either by typing it numerically or clicking and dragging over these numbers. But instead, I'm going to it the more intuitive way. I just click on the monitor and drag the clip into position. And you see that as we've changed these settings for scale and position, new keyframes have automatically been created at the position of the CTI.
And if I play this clip through--I'm going to just drag the playhead to the beginning of the clip and press the spacebar to play the clip through-- you will see motion path going from the initial position of the keyframes to the second position of the keyframes. That's the basic principle behind keyframing. You create these little keyframes, represented by diamonds, that represent the setting for any effect or level in the program.
And when you create two or more, the program will create the animation between them. Now keyframes are very, very malleable. You can create as many as you'd like. You can move them. I'm just going to drag from the timeline up to them to select them. And I can move them closer together to make my animation happen more quickly. I can of course click on them and delete them also. Keyframes are not limited to motion paths, however; they can be applied to any affect. In fact, if I go out here to the Adjustments panel, you will see that I also have a stopwatch, and when I click on that, it opens up a keyframing area for my adjustments.
So I could make my color adjustments change over time. I could make any of the adjustments in the Adjustment panel, from lighting to temperature to color, change over time as setting up keyframes. So keyframes are a very important principle, and there are many, many applications of them in Premiere Elements. In fact, you'll also find that keyframing works the same way in programs like Premiere Pro, After Effects, Final Cut, even Sony Vegas. With it you can create all kinds of cool video and even audio effects and animations.
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