Apple Final Cut Pro X: Compare Ken Burns to Keyframes [video]

Posted on by Larry

[This is an excerpt from a recent on-line video webinar: “Working With Stills in Apple Final Cut Pro X” which is available as a download in our store, or as part of our Video Training Library.]


This webinar was suggested by a newsletter reader who wanted to learn techniques for efficient ways to work with lots of photos in a project.

So, this week, we take a detailed look at working with stills inside Apple Final Cut Pro X. What you’ll discover is that the challenge with stills is not the editing, but the preparation and organization. This webinar covers:

In this webinar, join host, Larry Jordan as he illustrates everything you need to know about prepping, organizing and editing stills in Final Cut Pro X.

In this short video excerpt, compare the differences between creating moves with the Ken Burns effect to using keyframes.

Compare the Ken Burns Effect with Creating Moves Using Keyframes

TRT: 7:52 — MPEG-4 HD movie

Our website offers lots more video training in our store.

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10 Responses to Apple Final Cut Pro X: Compare Ken Burns to Keyframes [video]

  1. David Dixon says:

    And, of course, there are plugins (some even free) that do allow animation on part of a clip but WITH easing and NO “drunken” effect. Some even allow granular control such as the AMOUNT of easing. But, they are a bit more complex to configure. Thanks for showing this – it’s been an issue for me with FCP even before it was “FCPX” 🙂

  2. Brian says:

    Nice tutorial … one big difference to note is that when using the Ken Burns effect, the move effect does not start until after a transition is applied. This is problematic when a cross dissolve is applied and you want the movement to start with the transition. Keyframing will allow the movement to occur during a transition. Alex4D’s free Grow/Shrink plugin will give the benefit of Ken Burns, with the flexibility of keyframes.

    • Larry says:


      I’m not sure I agree with you. My experience is that if I set the Ken Burns effect on a clip, then add a transition such as a dissolve, the move starts at the very beginning of the clip underneath the transition.

      Thanks for the tip to the Alex4D plugin.


    • Philip Snyder says:

      Yes, Brian. I’ve found that to be the case with the Ken Burns effect, too. My workaround is to keyframe my start and end points in Transform, add the Cross Dissolve and then switch to Video Animation and move the keyframes to the start of the Cross Dissolve.

      • Philip Snyder says:

        Just re-checked and I want to clarify that the Ken Burns move starts at the center of the Cross Dissolve, not the first frame or the beginning the Cross Dissolve. So in this regard, Larry is correct: it is under the Cross Dissolve, just not at the very beginning.

  3. Jay says:

    If you wanted pause at the end of the ken burns could you not just a a still frame for what ever count you want and then do a fade?

    • Larry says:


      The Ken Burns effect will continue its move through a Hold frame, which is part of the clip, but not a still frame, which is a separate piece of media.

      However, it will be tricky to align the still frame with the move to avoid a jump cut.


    • Jay says:

      Sorry i was typing too fast, i meant to say add a Freeze frame at the end of the Ken Burns for the time you wanted and then do the fade. I have done this at times and seemed to work ok.

  4. David Dixon says:

    In addition to the Grow Shrink plugin, Alex4d’s Smooth Move is another free option, and FCPEffects has the very inexpensive Quick&Easy Ken Burns 3 which has lots of controls, but is also the only thing I’m aware of that allows multiple moves with pauses on the same still.

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