CTRL K for Setting Keyframes

Here’s one of the most useful “must memorize” keyframing shortcuts of them all: CTRL K

When the Timeline or Canvas has focus and a clip is selected, you can set keyframes for all the basic motion parameters at once by hitting CTL K. You can also use this shortcut in the Viewer.

You might also be aware that, if you only want to keyframe one motion parameter and don’t want to bother opening a clip in the Viewer and venturing into the rather unfriendly keyframing area of the motion tab, you can right-click the keyframe button (which you should never actually use) and you can then use the pop-up (see illustration at right) to choose a parameter.

Here’s where I use CTRL K all the time: for easily doing the old “Ken Burns” (or maybe the “Jack Cole Effect“) on photos right in my timeline. If I’m straight cutting from photo to photo, I just use Up or Down-Arrows to position my playhead on the first frame of a photo, select the clip and hit CTRL K.  Then I go to the last frame (or maybe earlier) by hitting Down-Arrow and then Left-Arrow (to back up to the last frame of the clip I’m working on–Down-Arrow always takes you to the first frame of the next clip). Then, I use my mouse to resize and/or reposition my photo directly in the Canvas and, since I laid a keyframe earlier, the new positioning automatically creates a new keyframe. Of course, if you are later adding transitions, you may need to reposition these keyframes in the motion tab.

I don’t worry about the fact that this command creates superfluous keyframes (i.e., rotation) because it simply won’t matter–that’s why I never bother with the pop-up window shown above.

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