After Effects keyframes are the most important features you need to know about when you are animating layers, there are so many keyframe variation and types that it might be a bit confusing when you start learning how to animate. I believe that mastering the After Effects keyframes in combination with graph editor is what define a professional motion designer artist vs amateur animator. After going through this article you should able to understand better how keyframe works and determine which keyframe is needed for your animation.

Let’s take a quick look at the various keyframes types that After Effects has.

Keyframe types

linear keyframe  Linear – Has constant incoming and outgoing velocities
bezier keyframe  Bezier or Continuous – Incoming and/or outgoing velocity set manually
auto bezier keyframe  Auto Bezier – Automatically Smooth incoming and outgoing velocities.
hold keyframe  Hold – Has no velocity. Values stay the same until the next keyframe

Combination Keyframes – Keyframes can be combined so that they have different incoming and outgoing values.
Here are some examples:

easy ease out keyframe Easy-Ease-Out Keyframe – Has constant incoming velocity, slower outgoing velocity.
Easy-Ease-In Keyframe Easy-Ease-In Keyframe – Has slower incoming velocity, constant outgoing velocity.
hold keyframe Linear In/Hold Out – Has constant incoming velocity, outgoing hold value.


Linear Keyframe

The default after effects keyframe make objects/layers travel at a constant speed from beginning to end, represented below.

ae-linear-keyframe linear-graph-editor linear


Keyframe Easy ease / Shortcut F9  (Easy ease selected keyframes)
One of the most used After Effect keyframe, it allows your animation to look a bit more organic,
Start slow, go fast in middle and slow down at the end of the animation.

Easy-ease


Keyframe Easy ease in (Shift+F9)
“Easy ease in” start the animation fast then slow down toward the end

easy-ease-in-animation


Keyframe Easy ease out (Ctrl+Shift+F9)
“Easy ease out” start the animation slow then go fast toward the end

easy-ease-out-animation

To get a good understanding of how the line curve work in the AE Graph editor I recommend watching both video below.

While you are learning about keyframe I suggest checking the best keyframe shortcuts for After Affects.

Have other questions about keyframe in After Effects? Please post your comments below. Thanks!