Keyframing Video and Audio Manually

Lesson Details

Subject: Editing

Title: Keyframing Video and Audio Manually


How to manually add and adjust keyframes in FCP X.


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In our Final Cut Pro Beginner course, we looked at how to automatically create keyframes for a section of audio using the range tool. In this lesson, we’re going to look at how to manually add keyframes to both Video and Audio. Keyframes represent points in time where you want an action to start and end. Let’s take a look at manually adding keyframes to audio.

If we look at the four keyframes that the range tool creates in order to lower the audio in a clip for a particular secton, we can see that the first keyframe determines where the fade begins, the second keyframe determines how long the fade is. The third keyframe determines where the audio will start to fade back up and the last keyframe determines where the adjustment ends. The distance between the third and fourth keyframes determines the length of the fade.

The Range Tool is really great to use when you want to quickly create the four keyframes needed to lower or raise just a section of audio, but there are other instances where you might want to lower the audio and keep it there for the remainder of the clip, therefore needing only two keyframes, instead of four.

I’ll click on this audio clip in my timeline to select it, and move my playhead to the point at the end of the clip where I want to manually create an audio fade using keyframes. Now I’ll open my Inspector window and click on the Audio tab.

If I hover my mouse cursor over the far right next to the Volume parameter, a diamond shape with a plus on appears. If I click on it, a keyframe will be added to my audio clip in my timeline. Before I make any adjustments, I want to add my second keyframe to determine the length of the audio fade. I do this by moving my playhead a little bit past my first keyframe, and then by going back to my inspector and clicking on the Add Keyframe icon again.

Now I have two keyframes, and I want to lower the audio for this end section. To do this, I can click either on the volume line in my timeline an drag it down to lower it, or I can move my playhead, so that it’s parked on top of the second keyframe, and go to my inspector and drag the volume slider down.

You’ll know if you’re parked right on a keyframe if the yellow diamond is showing to the far right of the volume slider in the inspector, and as you drag the volume slider, you’ll see the volume line in your timeline clip lower as well.

I can click on either keyframe in my timeline clip and drag it to the right or left, and if I want to delete a keyframe, I right click on it and choose Delete Keyframe.

© Michael Rosenblum & Lisa Lambden 2015