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How to Make Animated Videos with Green Screen and Keyframes

Last Updated on Jun. 10, 2021 – by David Morgan
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How to Make Animated Videos with Green Screen and Keyframes

Creating an animated video allows you to depict any scenario, even if it goes against the laws of nature. The animated video style also makes the visual representation of abstract ideas possible. If you want to explain a complex topic, such as blockchain technology or the effects of insulin on glucose metabolism, an animated explainer video is a great option.

Even though this type of video is useful across various applications, many people don’t know how to make animated videos. For example, suppose you want to explain how Bitcoin works to some of your colleagues or friends. In this case, you might have a thorough understanding of the subject matter of the video you want to create but may not come from a background in video content creation.

Using the proper animation tool, you can create great animated video content and convey the right message to your audience. This guide takes an in-depth look at creating animated videos without having to spend hours learning complicated software. For best results, download Cyberlink PowerDirector, which is the program we recommend for quick and effortless animated video creation.

How to Create Animated Videos

The primary features you have to use when making animations are the keyframe and green screen functions. Below, we discuss using the green screen and keyframe features to create an animation on a custom background.

The Green Screen Tool (Chroma Key)

Green screen, or chroma keying, is among the most valuable features in editing and is rapidly becoming integral to online video creation. In animated video creation, a green screen opens up unlimited possibilities for what you can include in your content.

A green screen allows you to superimpose a subject onto a custom background. To take the subject you want to animate and place it into a new world using chroma keying, you have to follow a specific process.

Identify and isolate a single color in your footage, then make it transparent, so your custom background shows through the areas. In most cases, the color video makers isolate is green, but it can also be black, white, blue, or any other distinct color.

Using the Chroma Key Feature in CyberLink PowerDirector

CyberLink PowerDirector has a robust green screen feature that is easy to use when making animated videos.

To add a virtual background to a clip or other subject with a green screen, start by placing the media clip containing your new background on track 1 of your editing timeline. Then, place the media clip containing the green screen on track 2.

After adding your media clips to the timeline, double-click on the media clip containing the green screen, opening the Picture-in-Picture (PiP) Designer tool. Then, under the Chroma Key tab, click Enable Chroma Key.

To make your background transparent, click on the eyedropper icon on the Chroma Key tab. Next, click on your background to select the color you want to make transparent and replace it with your custom or virtual background.

If your green screen is still visible through your custom background, adjust the sliders below the color wheel to reveal your new background completely.

How Do Keyframes Work?

After replacing your subject’s green screen background with a custom scene or image, you can now bring it to life using keyframe effects. In PowerDirector, the keyframe feature is relatively easy to use, and it provides you with complete control when editing your video projects.

A keyframe is an editing tool allowing you to alter the properties of a transition or an effect over a specific timeframe. In other words, with keyframes, you can control the speed of a transition or effect, and you can choose when and where the transition or effect starts and ends.

For every effect or transition, you need at least two keyframes in your editing timeline: one that starts the effect and one that ends it. You can add as many transitions and effects as you want, depending on how complex you want your animation to be.

Using Keyframes to Control an Object’s Motion

Using PowerDirector, you can apply various keyframe effects, including zoom, rotation, image color, and image fading in or out. Keyframes also allow you to move the image within the frame.

To apply keyframe effects, add your PiP video clip or image to your editing timeline and click on Transform Keyframe in the bottom toolbar. PowerDirector will automatically add a keyframe, which you can duplicate or remove by long-clicking the keyframe icon to the right, which looks like a diamond.

Fast and Slow Zooming

To apply the zoom keyframe animation, select the point on your editing timeline where you want the image to start zooming in or out. Using the keyframe tool, set the scales of the image at the zoom starting point and endpoint. A scale change of around 10% per second is ideal for a slow zoom, but you can reposition the end-zoom keyframe or change the subject’s magnification to get the perfect effect.

Motion Tracking

With the motion tracking feature, elements such as text, images, or effects can track a moving object in your video. For example, if you have a video of athletes on a field, you can add text with their names that follow them as they move around.

To add this feature, select Motion Tracker under the tools popup menu. The motion tracker panel features a video clip viewer and motion tracker controls. Below the viewer, click on Add a Tracker. A rectangular box will appear on the video with resizing handles.

Using the handles, resize and position the tracker box around the object you want to track and click on Track to the left of the timeline. With the motion tracker controls, you can add a text element, image, video clip, or effect to track the object.

Object Rotation

Keyframe effects include object rotation to convey movement or depth. To use this feature, double-click on the timeline of the media clip or image you want to rotate, opening the PiP Designer Panel. Then, scroll down and select Rotation.

A white square will appear on your clip with a rotation circle in the bottom right corner. When you click on the circle and drag your mouse left and right, you’ll notice the object rotating.

To apply rotation as a keyframe effect, move the object to its original position, and click the keyframe icon on the right to set the starting point for the rotation. Next, move to the timeline position where you want the rotation effect to end, rotate the object to the desired orientation, and set the second keyframe.

When you play the video back, the object should rotate smoothly between the two keyframes you set. You can also use the square to control the gradual change in size and position of the object within the frame.

Start Making Animated Videos

Animated video creation is among the most versatile mediums for marketing purposes, social media posts, and entertainment. With modern tools, such as PowerDirector, you don’t need extensive editing skills to create high-quality video content.

Features such as cloud-based video to painting effects, sketch animation overlays, and customizable shape object libraries are easy to use, and they provide you with ample creative freedom. You can also combine your video content with royalty-free background music to add personality to your content.

PowerDirector also offers green screen editing with a multi-key color sampling and a high-end chroma engine. With this feature, you can replace a background of any color with your virtual or custom background quickly and easily.

The intuitive keyframe controls make dynamic motion possible by providing you with complete control over anchor points. Using keyframes, you can apply various effects between any timeline positions and at any speed. While PowerDirector offers various keyframe effects, the most significant ones include fast and slow zoom, motion tracking, and object rotation.

CyberLink PowerDirector is a robust tool for animated video creation, regardless of your skill level. You’ll find the program’s tools and features easy to use, even if you have no experience making animation videos.

To start making animated videos today, download Cyberlink PowerDirector today.

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