How to Add Keyframes in DaVinci Resolve: Step-By-Step Guide
Last UpdatedSeptember 30, 2023
Learning how to add keyframes in DaVinci Resolve is like giving yourself a video editing superpower. Keyframes are used for animations, effects, transitions, audio tweaks, and many other things.
In this article, I’ll show you exactly how to add keyframes, change keyframes, and how to remove keyframes in DaVinci Resolve. I’ll also provide a bunch of pictures so you can easily follow along. Let’s get into it!
What Are Keyframes Used For in DaVinci Resolve?
Keyframes are like markers that tell the software when and how to change something in your video or audio. For example, you can use them to make a picture move across the screen or to gradually make a scene brighter.
Keyframes mark specific points on a timeline where a change begins or ends. Here are some common uses of keyframes in DaVinci Resolve:
- Motion Control: You can animate an object's position, scale, or rotation over time.
- Color Grading: Parameters like brightness, contrast, and color can be adjusted dynamically throughout a clip. This is especially useful when you're looking to maintain the same look across different scenes and can complement the use of LUTs for a consistent style.
- Audio Manipulation: Volume levels, panning, and other audio attributes can be altered over the course of playback.
- Special Effects: Keyframes help in controlling various special effects parameters, like the intensity of a blur.
- Transitions: Customized transitions between clips can be created by altering properties like opacity or crop settings.
- Text and Titles: Parameters like size, location, and even the text itself can change over time.
- Speed Changes: Variable speed changes in a clip can be managed using keyframes.
- Zoom and Pan: Creating a Ken Burns effect where the camera appears to zoom into or pan across a still image.
As you might have noticed, keyframes are how most audio and video effects are built in DaVinci. Keyframes are a great concept to nail before you move into more advanced editing using Fusion effects.
How to Add Keyframes in DaVinci Resolve
To add keyframes in DaVinci Resolve:
1. Import Media
- Import your video, audio, and image assets into DaVinci Resolve as normal and drag onto the timeline.
- Navigate to the Edit page in DaVinci Resolve.
- Under the preview window, click the dropdown and make sure the Transform controls are enabled for on-screen adjustments like position, scale, and rotation. This will make it easier to understand what’s going on later.
- Now, open the Inspector panel by clicking ‘Inspector’ in the top right above the preview window and switch to the Video tab.
2. Set Start Keyframe
- Move the playhead to the point on the timeline where you want the animation to start.
- Use the on-screen controls to position, scale, or rotate your element for the starting point.
- In the Inspector, click the diamond-shaped icon next to the transform parameter(s) you wish to animate. The icon will turn red/orange, signaling that a keyframe has been set. In my case, I’ve set keyframes for Zoom and Position.
3. Set End Keyframe
- Move the playhead to where you want the animation to end.
- Adjust the on-screen controls for the ending position, scale, rotation, or whatever effect you’re using. You can choose to enter the coordinates manually or you can click and drag.
- Pro tip: If you hold the shift key when dragging, your item will stick to the X or Y axis.
- A red line will appear on the preview screen, illustrating the path of the animation.
- Optionally, you can add more keyframes along this path for complex animations, but we’ll stick to a simple start and finish keyframe for this tutorial.
4. Adjust Animation Curve
- To select which keyframe to edit, remember to move the playhead to the relevant keyframe you want to edit. You can also click the arrows beside the keyframe diamond, or click the animation points of the preview window.
- Right-click on the keyframe diamond icon.
- Select either Ease In, Ease Out, or Linear to control the animation’s pacing. Ease In/Out will give your animation a smoother start and finish respectively, rather than an abrupt action.
5. Preview and Navigate
- Play back the timeline to preview your animation.
- Use the diamond-shaped keyframe icons in the Inspector or directly on the preview screen to quickly navigate to specific keyframes for further adjustments.
How to Remove Keyframes in DaVinci Resolve
1. Select and Remove
- Right-click the desired keyframe in the preview screen and select ‘Delete Keyframe’
2. Batch Removal
- To remove keyframe effects entirely, click the circular arrow next to the keyframe diamonds in the Inspector panel.
3. Confirm and Review
- Scrub through the timeline or play it back to ensure that the keyframe removal has achieved the desired effect.
How to Change Keyframes Values in DaVinci Resolve
1. Select Keyframe
- Click on the specific keyframe icon in the preview screen to select it. Alternatively, use the arrow keys beside the keyframe diamond in the Inspector to navigate between keyframes.
2. Make Adjustments
- With the keyframe selected, alter the parameters. The adjustments will automatically be updated on the selected keyframe.
3. Modify Timing
- To change the timing of the keyframe, simply click and drag the keyframe diamond icon along the timeline to your new desired time.
4. Copy/Paste Keyframes
- To duplicate keyframes, you can select them and use the copy (Ctrl+C) and paste (Ctrl+V) commands. This is useful for repeating identical movements or effects.
5. Update Animation Curve
- If you want to change how the animation flows between keyframes, right-click on the keyframe diamond icon, and select the desired curve type (Ease In, Ease Out, or Linear).
6. Confirm Changes
- After making all your adjustments, review the timeline to ensure the keyframes now behave as you intend.
Whether you're adding custom text effects, creating a custom title, or adding transitions, mastering the use of keyframes in DaVinci Resolve opens up new creative possibilities for your video projects.
From the basics of adding and removing keyframes to fine-tuning them for more complex animations, you now have the tools to bring your vision to life! Happy editing!
Anthony Gallo is the cofounder of ContentCreator.com and lead educator in the online course 14 Day Filmmaker, that has taught over 100,000 aspiring creators how to shoot & edit professional video content with PRO and SMARTPHONE cameras.
Having created content in a variety of industries including commercial advertising, weddings, music videos, and hundreds of youtube videos, Anthony has amassed over 50 million views online and is constantly looking for new and engaging ways to create content and help others master this amazing craft.