Keyframing is the process of assigning values to parameters at specific moments in time--that is, to specific frames in an animated sequence.
The most important parameters to be keyframed are the transformations of models (objects), the camera, and lights. Thus all objects in the scene can be scaled (resized), rotated and transformed (moved) the the course of the animated sequence. The lights can be translated and rotated (if they are directional lights). The rendering camera can also be tranformed and rotated, providing the freedom of camera movement characteristic of motion pictures.
But all parameters may be keyframed and therefore animated. The surface material characteristics of an object, the color or intensity of a light, the zoom ratio of the camera, and even the geometry of objects can be keyframed. Some applications refer to the creation of keyframes for parameters other than transformations as the creation of "envelopes."
The application interpolates between the keyframes, creating the frames in between the keyframes when rendering. The control of this process of interpolation is very important in creating effective animation. Interpolation can occur in both space and time. For example, most applications will create curved path between translation keyrames where possible. But the speed of the interpolation may be curved as well, so that the change begins slowly, speeds up, and slows down into the next keyframe.
Comments are welcome
Created: Apr. 22, 1997
Revised: Apr. 22, 1997