Most people will usually use After Effects to smooth and soften a keyframe. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Today’s tutorial shows you how to soften a keyframe in Premiere Pro.

How to soften a keyframe in Premiere Pro

One of the best tools to soften a keyframe in Premiere Pro is to use the graph editor. We delve into how to use the graph editor in Premiere Pro and how you can soften keyframes in Premiere Pro.

In video editing, keyframes are used to control the motion or properties of a clip over time. When you create a keyframe, you’re essentially marking a specific point in time and defining a certain property of the clip at that moment, such as its position, scale, or opacity.

Why would a filmmaker want to soften a keyframe?

Well, sometimes when you adjust a clip’s properties using keyframes, the resulting motion can appear abrupt or jarring. This can be especially noticeable if the clip is moving quickly or if the property change is significant.

So, to create a smoother and more natural-looking motion, you can soften the keyframes. This involves adjusting the keyframe’s “easing” or “acceleration” curve, which determines how quickly the clip transitions from one property value to the next. By adjusting the curve, you can slow down or speed up the clip’s motion at specific points, resulting in a more gradual and fluid movement.

Softening keyframes can be particularly useful in creating animations, motion graphics, and visual effects, as well as in general video editing to add more polish and professionalism to your work.

How to soften a keyframe in Premiere Pro

Here’s how to soften a keyframe in Premiere Pro; follow these steps to smooth your keyframes like a pro. 

Firstly, set your keyframes in the Effects Control Panel:

soften a keyframe in Premiere Pro | Firstly set your keyframes in the Effects Control Panel

Firstly, to begin softening your keyframes, you will need to set them. Set your keyframes, and go to the Effects Control Panel > Motion

Here you can click the Stopwatch to set a keyframe. Ensure you have set the video where you wish to set your first keyframe, move the playhead to your desired stopping point and click the Stopwatch again to set the next. 

Note: you can use the small left and right arrows to set your parameter values.

Next, set your interpolation 

Now you’ve set your keyframes; it’s time to select your interpolation (This is the process of filling unknown data between two known values). 

Right-click on the keyframe you wish to interpolate and select temporal or spatial interpolation. This depends on the effect. These are: 

  • Temporal interpolation is where it applies the selected interpolation method to changes in the motion. You can use this to decide whether the object moves or accelerates across the motion path. You can apply temporal interpolation only on a select few effects.
  • Spatial interpolation to decide if corners should be angular or rounded, and can apply it to the keyframes of a lot of effects in Premiere Pro.

Once you’ve selected either of these, you will notice a change in behaviour in your clip.

Finally, adjust the Bezier Handles

soften a keyframe in Premiere Pro | Finally adjust the Bezier Handles

Now it’s time to adjust the Bezier Handles. Bezier Handles is a tool that enables you to create a curve that’s defined by off-curve handles.

For this, it essentially helps you to adjust your keyframes more. However, these were created for computer modelling for cars and have proved popular in design and video editing software.

You can use the graph editor to tweak the keyframes. To see this, click on the small right arrow to the left of the Stopwatch. A visual representation will pop up of your graph in the right-hand side panel.

Click and select the handles to smooth and soften your keyframes in Premiere Pro. This will be pretty easy to use if you’re used to After Effects.

Additional Premiere Pro Resources

If you are looking for more tutorials, walkthroughs and troubleshooting on Adobe Premiere Pro, here are some additional posts to consider:

We hope this article on how to soften a keyframe in Premiere Pro was helpful to you. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Why not check out our other Premiere Pro tutorials.

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