A Comprehensive Guide on How to Use Keyframes in VSDC

In video editing, keyframes are markers that define the starting, intermediate, and ending points of a transition, effect or an animation applied to a video or an element within a video. These keyframes represent where changes occur, such as changes in position, scale, rotation, opacity, color, or any other attribute that can be altered over time.

An excellent illustration of this is the dynamic color change. In VSDC, we implement a distinct algorithm, detailed further in this tutorial. However, if your interest lies more with animation or effect customization, then proceed to the instruction below.

How to Access the Key Editor

To begin working with keyframes in VSDC, the first step is to select the effect or object you want to adjust. VSDC supports keyframe settings, always indicated by '...', across a broad range of video effects, filters, transitions, and even audio effects like Amplify for volume changes and Fade in/Fade out transitions. Keyframe modifications are also available for motion effects, such as movement animation in VSDC, described in detail in our guide accompanied by a video tutorial.

How to Start Working with Keyframes

Regardless of the effect chosen, the editing window for keyframes remains consistent across all options. In this guide, we'll use the popular Zoom effect as an example to demonstrate how to start working with keyframes:

  1. Create a New Project: To begin, create a new project by selecting the Blank Project option from the startup window. Once created, you can easily drag and drop your files onto the timeline. Alternatively, if you have a pre-existing video file, use the Import Content feature.
  2. Adjust the Object’s Parameters: Left-click the necessary file on the timeline, navigate to the Properties window and select Set the same size as the parent has. This step is crucial for creating the Zoom effect since it prevents possible pixelation when zooming a small object and allows to adjust other parameters correctly.
  3. Apply Video Effects: Right-click the necessary file on the timeline and in the context menu that appears, navigate to Video effects >> Transforms >> Zoom.
  4. Open Effect Options: The applied effect will appear on the timeline. Ensure that the effect is highlighted, then move to the Properties Window located to the right of the scene. If the Properties window is not visible, right-click on the effect and select Properties….
  5. Configure Keyframing for Effects: In the Properties window, look for the parameter that allows keyframing, indicated by "…". In our example we select the Levels parameter and click on the three dots icon next to it. Note: If there is a straight line next to the "…" parameter, you can right-click on it to set specific parameter changes:
    • Constant parameter value: The parameter value you set remains unchanged throughout the duration of your media. For example, setting the zoom of a clip to 50% will maintain that level until the end, with only one keyframe.
    • Linear parameter change: The parameter changes at a constant rate over time. For instance, gradually increasing the size of a clip from 0% to 100% over 10 seconds involves setting two keyframes at the beginning and end.
    • Linear parameter change along a trajectory: The parameter change follows a specified path or trajectory, with three or more keyframes applied so that the object changes its parameters several times during its visibility on the scene.
    • Parameter change along a curve: This involves altering a parameter along a curved path, allowing for more nuanced changes between keyframes, such as smoothly zooming in or out.
    • Parameter change along a Bezier curve: A Bezier curve is a specific type of curve defined by keyframes, allowing for even more precise control over the trajectory of changes.
    • Templates: This option allows you to choose from pre-made templates for time-changing effects. Notably, there is a template for the Edit the beat effect, which we cover in a separate guide.
  6. Go to the Key Editor Window As soon as you click the three dots icon next to a parameter or select the necessary template, the Key Editor window will open beneath the Properties window. You can adjust the location of this window as per your preference.

Working with Keyframes

In the Key Editor window, you'll see a timeline representing the duration of your object where you'll need to create key points to mark when the object should change. Above the timeline, there's a tab area, allowing you to open the Key editor for multiple objects simultaneously and switch between them using these tabs. Further above, there's a toolbar for adding, editing, and deleting key points on the timeline. Finally, there's a vertical panel on the right for scaling the area where the effect's change curve is located.

Let's create a simple Zoom in and out effect with a center offset, so the object transitions to the center of the scene from a corner upon zooming in and returns to another corner at the end, similar to video reactions often seen on YouTube.

  1. Set the object size to 40% for the initial point. Select it on the curve and enter the value in the Point field on the toolbar.
  2. Move the cursor to the position where the object should maintain the same Zoom value before changing. Double-click on the curve at this position to create a point and set the value for this point to 40%.
  3. Move the cursor again, double-click on the curve, and assign a value of 100% to mark that at this position, the frame should grow from 40% to 100%.
  4. Add another point with a value of 100%, indicating when the object should remain at this size.
  5. Add one more point marking when the object will decrease again to 40%.
  6. Set the value to 40% for the final point as well.

We now have a curve with a total of 6 points. You can enable project preview using the red button on the toolbar to see how the object changes over time. Next, let's change the center values so the object moves out from and back into the corner:

  1. Select the Zoom effect on the timeline and navigate back to the Properties window. Find the Center X/Y parameter and click on the three-dot icon next to either of them; the editor will adjust the parameters automatically.
  2. In the Key Editor window, click on the third icon Parameters in the tools section above the timeline and choose Levels from the dropdown menu. This will display the curve of that parameter with its key points, making it easier to adjust the center curve.
  3. Create the key points on this new horizontal curve placing them just below the previous ones.
  4. Place the red playhead cursor on the first point at the beginning of the curve and select the point, then move the object's center to the top-right corner of the scene, adjusting its position. Repeat this for the second and third points on the curve. Don’t forget to move the red playhead cursor each time to check the position of the object at each point.

    A quick tip: You can copy the Point value represented on the upper toolbar to keep the position of the object precisely as at the previous point.

  5. Position the cursor on the fourth point when the object's size is still 100% and should begin to change to 40%, and move the object's center to the top-left corner. Set the same position for the object for the fifth and sixth points. The effect is ready!

Tools Available for Editing Keyframes

Now that we have created a simple effect using keyframes, let's explore all the tools available in the Key Editor window so you can enhance your effect or control it as needed:

  • Copy points: Allows you to copy all points set on a curve.
  • Paste points: Allows you to paste previously copied key points onto a new curve.
  • Parameters: Displays the curve of another effect parameter in the background, which is useful for comparison.
  • Preview: Launches a preview of the project in a separate window with selected quality.
  • Play: Starts the project preview on the scene.
  • Path properties: Allows you to change point properties for Parameter change along a curve and Parameter change along a Bezier curve options. For example, you can make a selected point an intermediate point on the curve or the last point of the trajectory. Additional options become available only when selecting Parameter change along a curve, enabling you to calculate parameters for your selected point based on past or upcoming points to smooth the transition.
  • Lock point transition to the left edge: This option keeps the distance between key points on the curve when changing the duration of the effect on the timeline, altering only values between the last and the penultimate points on the curve.
  • Scale point positions: Allows you to evenly change the distance between key points on the curve when adjusting the duration of the effect on the timeline to maintain the original composition.
  • Lock point transition to the right edge: This option keeps the distance between key points on the curve when changing the duration of the effect on the timeline, altering only values between the first and second points on the curve.
  • Insert point: Adds a key point at the cursor's position on the curve.
  • Remove: Removes a selected key point or all points on the curve.
  • Show time/frame: Displays time or frame values on the timeline.
  • Point: Shows the current temporal location of a key point and allows its values to be set in percentages.
  • Templates: Offers a selection of pre-set templates for changing object values.


Using keyframes offers a vast canvas to unfold and bring all your creative ideas to life. We've provided a general overview of how it works, but imagine the possibilities if you apply different offsets, create combinations, and synchronize everything—achieving truly incredible visuals!

Take a look at combined effects like the Shake Transition, the Smoke Trail Effect, or Transitions Using Bezier Curves — and these are just a few examples. We wish you success and are always delighted to assist you on our social networks on Facebook, YouTube, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..