Tip #1695: The Hidden Video Animation Editor

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1695: The Hidden Video Animation Editor

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

This is a faster way to change keyframe timing.

The Video Animation Editor bar, showing the Transform keyframe controls menu.

Topic $TipTopic

Attached, but hidden, to each clip in the Final Cut timeline is the Video Animation Editor. This “bar” provides anther way to adjust effect parameters, or change timing using keyframes.

The Video Animation Editor appears above the clip. To make it appear, select one or more clips in the timeline, then type Control + V or choose Clip > Show Video Animation. (See screen shot.)

  • Click the check boxes on the left to turn an effect on or off (they are on by default).
  • Click the small down-pointing arrow to select a specific parameter to adjust (red arrow).
  • Double-click the box on the right side (not shown) to expand the setting vertically to make adjustments easier to make.

NOTE: This expansion box appears for Opacity, but not most other effects.

The dotted line that appears is used to set, adjust or remove keyframes for that parameter.

  • To create a keyframe: Option-click the line
  • To move a keyframe for timing, drag horizontally.
  • To adjust a keyframe setting, drag vertically.

NOTE: Once you start dragging, Final Cut constrains movement. For example, once you start dragging horizontally, FCP will only allow horizontal movement until you let go of the mouse. This prevents unintended changes to settings when all you wanted to do was change the time, or vice-versa.

  • To convert a keyframe from a corner to a curve, Control-click it and select from the menu.
  • To delete a keyframe, Control-click it and select from the menu.

NOTE: As you add effects to a clip, they are also added to the Video Animation Editor.


You can also add keyframes using the Inspector and they will appear in the Video Animation Editor. This bar is faster than the Inspector to change keyframe timing, but the Inspector is easier to change settings.

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