Adjust video effects using keyframes

You place keyframes at specific points in a clip to change parameter values at those points.

For example, if you want a clip in your project to fade to black, you set two opacity keyframes at two different times: one with the value of 100 (fully visible) and a second with the value of 0 (fully transparent). Final Cut Pro interpolates the values between 100 and 0, creating a smooth fade to black.

You can set keyframes in the Timeline or in the Video inspector. To see keyframes in the Timeline, you need to display the Video Animation Editor for the clip.

Additional keyframing controls appear with the Final Cut Pro built-in effects. See Work with built-in effects.

For information about keyframes for audio clips, see Adjust audio effects using keyframes.

Add keyframes

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Select a clip in the Timeline, and choose Clip > Show Video Animation (or press Control-V).

    • Control-click a clip in the Timeline, and choose Show Video Animation from the shortcut menu.

    Each effect in the Video Animation Editor has a separate area for adding keyframes.

    Video Animation Editor

    Some effects have more than one parameter and allow you to add keyframes to individual parameters separately. They appear in the Video Animation Editor with a triangle next to the effect’s name or in the Video inspector as additional parameter controls.

  2. Select the effect for which you want to add keyframes in either the Video Animation Editor or the Effects section of the Video inspector.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To see expanded parameters in the Video Animation Editor: Click the triangle to choose an individual parameter from the pop-up menu, or choose All to add keyframes for all parameters.

    • To see expanded parameters in the Video inspector: Click Show when you position the pointer over the effect.

  4. Do one of the following for each effect:

    • In the Video Animation Editor: Option-click (or press Option-K) at a point on the horizontal effect control where you want to add the keyframe.

      Keyframes for the parameter you chose appear as white diamonds, while keyframes for other effect parameters appear gray.

      Video Animation Editor showing active and inactive keyframes

      When you choose to view all parameters in the Video Animation Editor, keyframes appear as white diamonds for all parameters. Double diamonds indicate you added a keyframe for more than one parameter at that point.

      Video Animation Editor showing keyframes for multiple parameters at same point
    • In the Video inspector: Position the playhead in the Timeline at the point where you want to add a keyframe, and click the Keyframe button (or press Option-K).

      Once you add a keyframe, the Keyframe button changes to yellow, indicating that the playhead currently sits on this keyframe.

      Keyframe button in Video inspector

      When you move the playhead in the Timeline, arrows appear next to the Keyframe button in the Video inspector to indicate which side of the playhead has keyframes. To go to the previous keyframe, click the left arrow or press Option-Semicolon (;). To go to the next keyframe, click the right arrow or press Option-Apostrophe (’).

      Next and previous arrows next to Keyframe button in Video inspector
  5. Add keyframes as needed.

    Tip: After you’ve added one keyframe, you can add another automatically by moving the playhead in the Timeline and then adjusting the effect parameter value in the Video inspector.

Add keyframes automatically across a selected area

If an effect appears in the Video Animation Editor with a disclosure button, you can use either the Select or Range Selection tool to add keyframes automatically across a selected area.

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Select a clip in the Timeline, and choose Clip > Show Video Animation (or press Control-V).

    • Control-click a clip, and choose Show Video Animation from the shortcut menu.

  2. Select an effect, and click the disclosure button to expand it in the Video Animation Editor.

    Disclosure button for effect in Video Animation Editor
  3. In the Timeline, choose either Select or Range Selection from the Tools pop-up menu in the toolbar (or press A for Select, or R for Range Selection).

  4. Drag across the area in the Video Animation Editor where you want to adjust the effect.

    Tip: To deselect the range, click anywhere on the Timeline background.

    Range being selected with Range Selection tool
  5. Adjust the effect within the range by dragging the effect’s horizontal control up or down.

    Horizontal control within range being dragged to adjust effect

    Keyframes are automatically created along the adjustment points within the range.

    Keyframes shown added to Video Animation Editor

Adjust keyframes in the Video Animation Editor

You can move keyframes left or right in the Video Animation Editor. If an effect appears with a disclosure button, you can expand the effect view and move keyframes up or down to change the parameter value.

  1. Select a keyframe.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To change its position in time, drag a keyframe left or right.

      As you drag, the timecode value appears.

      Keyframe being dragged in Video Animation Editor
    • If an effect appears with a disclosure button, click the button (or double-click the effect) to expand it.

      Disclosure button for effect in Video Animation Editor

      With the effect expanded, you can drag the keyframe up or down to change the effect’s parameter value.

      Keyframe being dragged in Video Animation Editor to change parameter value

      To add another keyframe, Option-click (or press Option-K) at a point on the effect control where you want to add the keyframe. To add a keyframe and change the effect’s parameter value at the same time, Option-click while dragging the effect control up or down.

If an effect appears with a disclosure button in the Video Animation Editor, you can also fade video effects in or out, or change the shape of the effect curve between keyframes.

Adjust keyframes in the Video inspector

For many effects, you adjust the parameter value of individual keyframes using the Video inspector.

When you move the playhead in the Timeline, arrows appear next to the Keyframe button in the Video inspector to indicate which side of the playhead has keyframes. To go to the previous keyframe, click the left arrow or press Option-Semicolon (;). To go to the next keyframe, click the right arrow or press Option-Apostrophe (’).

Next and previous arrows next to Keyframe button in Video inspector
  1. Select a keyframe or position the playhead on a keyframe, and adjust the parameter value in the Video inspector.

  2. To change the value at the next keyframe, go to the next keyframe and adjust the value again.

Delete keyframes

Do one of the following:

View only one effect at a time in the Video Animation Editor

You can collapse the Video Animation Editor to view only one effect at a time. This can be useful if you have multiple effects applied to a clip and want to preserve screen space.

  1. Choose Clip > Solo Animation (or press Control-Shift-V).

  2. In the Video Animation Editor, click the triangle next to the displayed effect’s name to choose an effect from the pop-up menu.

Note: When Solo Animation is turned on, you can’t delete effects from the Video Animation Editor.

To turn off Solo Animation, choose Clip > Solo Animation (or press Control-Shift-V).

Hide video animation for a clip

Do one of the following:

  • Select the clip in the Timeline, and choose Clip > Hide Video Animation (or press Control-V).

  • Click the close button in the upper-left corner of the Video Animation Editor.

  • Control-click the clip in the Timeline, and choose Hide Video Animation from the shortcut menu.