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how to insert a keyframe in after effects

To insert a keyframe in After Effects, select the desired property, then click on the stopwatch icon. In After Effects, keyframes are used to animate properties over time.

By inserting a keyframe, you can set specific values for a property at different points in time, creating smooth transitions and dynamic animations. To insert a keyframe, simply select the property you want to animate, then click on the stopwatch icon.

This will enable the property to be animated, and you can adjust the value at different keyframe points to create your desired animation.

How to Master Keyframe Insertion in After Effects


Getting Started With Keyframes

When it comes to animating in After Effects, understanding keyframes is essential. Keyframes allow you to create movement and add life to your animations. In this section, we will explore the basics of inserting keyframes in After Effects, providing you with a solid foundation to bring your animations to life.

Understanding The Timeline

The timeline in After Effects is where your animation takes shape. It provides a visual representation of your composition, allowing you to manipulate and control the timing of your animation. To insert a keyframe, you need to navigate to the specific time you want to add movement.

In After Effects, the keyframe interface provides you with a comprehensive set of tools to insert and manipulate keyframes. Let’s take a closer look at the various components of the keyframe interface:

Component Description
Timeline panel This panel displays the timeline and allows you to scrub through your composition to find the desired frame where you want to insert a keyframe.
Layer properties Each layer in After Effects has different properties that can be animated. By selecting a layer and accessing its properties, you can add keyframes to control specific parameters such as position, opacity, and scale.
Keyframe button A keyframe button is represented by a small diamond icon. By clicking on this button, you can insert a keyframe at the current time indicator (CTI) position.

Once you are familiar with the timeline and keyframe interface, you can easily insert and manipulate keyframes to create stunning animations in After Effects.


By understanding the timeline and navigating the keyframe interface, you can confidently insert keyframes in After Effects and begin creating captivating animations. Experiment with different parameters and timing to bring your designs to life. In the next section, we will explore advanced techniques for refining and adjusting keyframes to achieve precise motion and effects.

How to Master Keyframe Insertion in After Effects


Inserting Keyframes

Learn how to easily insert keyframes in After Effects with this step-by-step guide. Discover the essential techniques to enhance your animations and achieve the desired visual effects.

Setting Up Your Composition

When it comes to creating visually appealing animations and effects in After Effects, keyframes play a crucial role. Keyframes serve as markers that indicate the start and end points of an animation or a change in value over time. To insert keyframes in After Effects, you need to set up your composition first. This involves creating a composition and adding the desired layers you intend to animate. Start by opening After Effects and creating a new composition by going to the “Composition” tab and selecting “New Composition.” Input the desired settings for your composition, such as the frame rate, duration, and size. Once you have set up your composition, you are ready to insert keyframes and bring your animation to life.

Using Shortcut Keys For Keyframe Insertion

After Effects provides several shortcut keys that streamline the keyframe insertion process, helping you work with speed and efficiency. These shortcut keys allow you to quickly set and manipulate keyframes, ensuring precise control over your animations. To set a keyframe at the current time, simply navigate to the desired property that you want to animate, such as position, opacity, or scale, and press the letter “P” on your keyboard. After Effects will automatically insert a keyframe at the current time, representing the initial value of the property. To move to another point in time and change the value of your property, use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate to the desired frame. Then, adjust the value of your property by manipulating the corresponding sliders or numerical input boxes. After you make the desired changes, press the letter “P” again to set a new keyframe. Using shortcut keys allows you to insert keyframes at specific points in time without interrupting your workflow. It enables you to easily create smooth and precise animations that seamlessly transition between different values and properties. In addition to the “P” key, After Effects offers various other shortcut keys that aid in keyframe manipulation. These shortcut keys include “T” for opacity, “S” for scale, and “R” for rotation, among others. Familiarize yourself with these shortcuts to enhance your workflow and save valuable time. By utilizing the power of shortcut keys, you can efficiently insert keyframes in After Effects and take full control of your animations and effects. These shortcuts enable you to streamline your workflow and unleash your creativity in a seamless manner. So, why waste time with manual processes when you can achieve stunning results with just a few key presses? Speed up your animation workflow today by leveraging the power of shortcut keys in After Effects.

Mastering Keyframe Animation

Mastering Keyframe Animation is an essential skill for creating visually appealing and dynamic motion graphics in After Effects. Keyframes serve as the foundation for animation, allowing you to control and manipulate various properties of an object or layer over time. In this section, we will explore how to insert keyframes in After Effects, as well as techniques for manipulating keyframe properties and creating smooth and seamless animations.

Manipulating Keyframe Properties

Once you have inserted keyframes in After Effects, you can easily manipulate their properties to achieve the desired animation effect. Let’s take a look at some keyframe properties that you can modify:

Keyframe Property Description
Position Controls the location of an object or layer on the screen.
Opacity Adjusts the transparency of an object or layer.
Scale Alters the size of an object or layer.
Rotation Changes the orientation of an object or layer.
Color Modifies the color properties of an object or layer.

By manipulating these properties using keyframes, you can create captivating animations that bring your designs to life.

Creating Smooth And Seamless Animations

Smooth and seamless animations are vital for ensuring that your motion graphics look polished and professional. Here are some techniques to achieve this:

  1. Easy Ease: Applying Easy Ease to your keyframes allows for smooth acceleration and deceleration, resulting in more natural movement.
  2. Timing: Pay attention to the timing of your keyframes, ensuring they align with the overall rhythm and flow of your animation.
  3. Bezier Handles: Utilize the Bezier handles to control the interpolation between keyframes, enabling you to create custom curves and achieve fluid motion.
  4. Graph Editor: The Graph Editor provides a visual representation of how keyframe values change over time, allowing you to fine-tune and refine your animations.

By incorporating these techniques into your workflow, you can produce animations that are visually stunning and engaging.

Advanced Keyframe Techniques

In After Effects, keyframes play a crucial role in creating dynamic and captivating motion. While inserting a keyframe is a basic function, mastering advanced keyframe techniques can elevate your animations to a whole new level. In this section, we will explore two key techniques that will help you bring your motion graphics to life – creating dynamic motion with easing and working with the graph editor for precise control.

Creating Dynamic Motion With Easing

One way to add a touch of realism and smoothness to your animations is by incorporating easing. Easing allows you to control the acceleration or deceleration of a keyframe, giving your motion a more organic feel. Instead of linear movement, which can appear robotic, easing adds a natural flow that grabs your audience’s attention.

How does easing work? Let’s say you have a logo sliding onto the screen. Instead of a constant speed throughout the animation, you can use easing to make the logo start slow, accelerate, and then gradually slow down before coming to a stop. This gentle transition adds depth and impact to your motion.

To apply easing to a keyframe in After Effects, follow these steps:

  1. Select the layer that contains the keyframe by clicking on it.
  2. Go to the “Graph Editor” by clicking on the graph icon in the Timeline panel.
  3. With the keyframe selected, you will see a handle appear in the Graph Editor. Drag this handle to adjust the speed and smoothness of the motion curve.
  4. Play the animation to see the easing effect in action.

By experimenting with different easing techniques, such as bezier and ease in/out, you can create nuanced and captivating motion graphics.

Working With Graph Editor For Precise Control

The graph editor is a powerful tool in After Effects that allows you to have precise control over your keyframes. It enables you to manipulate the motion curves, adjust timing, and fine-tune the animation to match your creative vision.

To access the graph editor, follow these steps:

  1. Select the layer that has the keyframes you want to work with.
  2. Click on the graph icon in the Timeline panel, which will open the graph editor window.

Once you have opened the graph editor, you will see a graphical representation of the property’s value over time. By adjusting the curve handles and tangents, you can tweak the timing and motion path of your animation. This level of control allows you to create complex movements, add emphasis to specific moments, and finesse every aspect of your animation.

Whether you want to create smooth transitions between keyframes or add a more dramatic effect with sharp changes, the graph editor empowers you to achieve pixel-perfect animations.

How to Master Keyframe Insertion in After Effects


Frequently Asked Questions On How To Insert A Keyframe In After Effects

How Do I Insert A Keyframe In After Effects?

To insert a keyframe in After Effects, select the property you want to animate, click on the stopwatch icon next to it, move the playhead to the desired time, adjust the property value, and a new keyframe will be automatically created.

What Is The Purpose Of Keyframes In After Effects?

Keyframes in After Effects serve as markers that define the starting and ending points of an animation. They allow you to create smooth transitions, change property values over time, and add motion to your compositions.

Can I Delete A Keyframe In After Effects?

Yes, you can delete a keyframe in After Effects. Simply select the property with the keyframe you want to remove, click on the stopwatch icon to reveal the keyframes, and then select and delete the specific keyframe you no longer need.

How Can I Navigate Between Keyframes In After Effects?

To navigate between keyframes in After Effects, you can use the keyframe navigation buttons located at the bottom of the timeline panel. These buttons allow you to move to the adjacent keyframes or jump to the first or last keyframe in your composition.


Learning how to insert a keyframe in After Effects is an essential skill for any motion graphics artist or video editor. By mastering this technique, you can add dynamic and professional-looking animations to your projects. Remember to experiment with different keyframe types and their properties to bring your visuals to life.

So, start practicing and take your After Effects skills to the next level!