1 Reply Latest reply on May 9, 2013 12:54 AM by Steven L. Gotz

    Keyframe challenge: a test of two methods of using keyframes

    Guy Burns Level 1

      This is an extension of a previous thread of mine dealing with keyframes. Threads get a bit messy after a while, so I'm going to summarise the previous thread, and offer a challenge. The thread dealt with my suggestion of a "Set Keyframes" button, and most respondents thought it a dubious idea. That's fine – but no one could back up their arguments with concrete reasons why such a button would be undesirable. All seemed keen to keep with their existing workflow. That's fine too. The only reason I posted was to gain a bit more understanding about keyframes. I couldn't see the problem with such a button – and still don't.


      So, I issue a challenge and a way to back up your arguments against a "Set Keyframes" button.




      I have set up a simple animation in Premiere using a square. The animations are called Square Animation 01 and Square Animation 02 and can be downloaded in a zip file here (140 kB). A detailed description of how I set up the animations is contained in a PDF within the zip file. The animation is described below and uses the three parameters of Motion (Position, Scale, Rotation).  Time is indicated as T00-02, meaning from 0 to 2 seconds.


      •           T00-02:           Square in centre of frame.
      •           T02-04:           Scale to 50% in situ.
      •           T04-06:           Move left.
      •           T06-08:           Move right.
      •           T08-10:           Leave in place and rotate 45º.
      •           T10-12:           Lock in place.
      •           T12-14:           Snap to original at 12 seconds and lock.


      Square Animation 1 uses the technique that seems to be favoured by all the people who responded to my last post, whereas Square Animation 2 simulates the use of a "Set Keyframes" button. In my case, the former took me about 10 minutes to set up and get working; I had to look ahead at each waypoint and work out how to lock in the present state. The latter took me about 3 minutes, and all I did was go to each waypoint, set up the square, then lock-in by setting all keyframes. The only slight difficulty was with the snap change at 0.12.


      I'd like to know what experienced users think of the two methods. Open the files; run them to see what they do; check out the keyframe setup; then delete the keyframes for both animations and set up the animation yourself using both methods.


      I'm not trying to prove anything here. I want to gain an in-depth understanding of keyframes, and the best way for me to learn is by engaging with experienced users and asking for their feedback. Once I start using Premiere, I expect to be using keyframes a lot, so I want a thorough understanding of it. If you see anything that could be problematic with the "Set Keyframes" method, I want to know. But please be concrete. Talk about actual, specific examples, preferably using the animations I have provided.

        • 1. Re: Keyframe challenge: a test of two methods of using keyframes
          Steven L. Gotz Level 5

          I don't have time to deal with it this evening. It is time for bed. However, you have designed a  set of tasks that are not pertinent to the issue. Squares are not the problem. Curves are the problem.


          If I moved a picture in picture across the screen using sharp right angles, you would scream that it was not organic looking. And you would be right. Bezier curves are tough enough with two keyframes let alone three or more.


          Design a task where the square (or rectangle in this case) moves from the lower left hand corner to the lower right hand corner passing through the top middle. And do it with three keyframes. Then try it with more than three. I think the technical term for that is "oops".  You will immediately want to delete the extra keyframe.




          Then for a second project, take the square from the middle left to the middle right in the shape of a sine wave using the minimum number of keyframe. Nice and easy. How many did it take to go down then up then back down? I can't provide a picture without giving away the answer.


          Others may comment, but I think you might be asking the wrong questions. I think it is great that you are asking but until you get one of those damn wobbles and find yourself erasing all the keyframes and starting over, you won't quite grok it all. Your best bet is to practice with the keyframes. Learn them. They are your friend. Then, if you still think they should all turn on automatically, we can discuss what it means to look organic and how the lengths of the handles change the bezier curves and the difference between continuous and other types of curves.


          Just don't use straight lines - who does that? Oh, sure, sometimes.


          Oh, then start using keyframes temporally as well as spacially. Then it gets interesting. Ease in and Ease out. Anything in between is in the way. Use my first example moving up the hill slower and slower as though getting tired, then pick up speed faster and faster as you slide down the hill. Don't forget to pause at the top of the hill. That's organic.


          Let me know what you think of my answer. If you don't like it, please tell me why. And if you have questions, feel free to ask. I have a day job so please don't expect immediate answers.