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Animation transitions

Accessing different camera transition types to use

A keyframe transition controls the camera movement between the current keyframe and the previous keyframe. As you add keyframes to build your animation, you set the interpolation method for the camera between those keyframes by choosing the transition type. The following five camera transition types are available:

  • Fixed Fixed
  • Linear Linear
  • Hop Hop
  • Stepped Step
  • Hold Hold Keyframe

An animation can tell a story without changing how the camera travels but may be more effective at describing a dynamic story when different camera transition types are used. Incorporating a combination of transition types is a useful way to control the narrative of your animation. You can change the transition type in the beginning of the authoring process for your keyframes by setting the Append tool with the desired transition type, or make changes to an already compiled animation by editing the Keyframe List or interacting with the Keyframe Gallery on the Animation Timeline pane.

Camera transition types for the Append tool are set by opening the Append list in the Create group on the Animation tab. This sets the transition when creating new keyframes.

Append tool camera transitions
Select the keyframe transition type for the Append tool using the drop-down list

You can also update an existing keyframe by editing the Keyframe drop-down list.

Edit transitions in the Keyframe List

If you need to add a stationary keyframe where the camera position does not change, you add a Hold Hold Keyframe transition. This is available in the Edit group on the Animation tab.

The Animation Timeline pane and the Animation Properties pane allows for more granular refinement in a more visual format. Connecting the keyframe thumbnail images on the Keyframe Gallery are circular symbols that allow you to click and customize transitions. Additional types are listed if you want to update transitions for the camera as well as for the layer.

Access keyframe transition type options
Keyframe transition options

The different camera transition types

Fixed transition

A keyframe with a fixed transition creates a gradual and smooth change between itself and the previous keyframe. Fixed, or spline-type, curves can be described as making arcing or S-like shapes over time. For the camera, sequential keyframes with fixed transitions will provide a smooth curvature for the flight path. This is the default transition type for camera navigation.

Fixed transition
Create a smooth camera flight using a curved path with a fixed transition type.


A keyframe with a linear transition creates a straight line between itself and the previous keyframe. Linear curves are known for making zigzag or Z-like shapes over time. For the camera, sequential keyframes with linear transitions will provide an angular or jagged flight path, which is useful for a straight camera flight such as through city streets. Linear is the default transition type for layer properties. This can be useful for transitioning a layer's visibility state to simulate a fade in or fade out effect.

Linear transition
Create a straight line camera path using the linear transition type.


A keyframe with a hop transition creates an arc between itself and the previous keyframe. The camera experience along the path is a vertical jump, or bounce, between keyframes. When sequential keyframes are authored with hop transitions, the flight path with vertical arcs is well suited for a tour of key interest locations (for example, hopping from city to city).

Hop transition
Create a tour that bounces between keyframes using the hop transition type.

The height of the hop's arc between keyframes can be edited using the transition slider Adjustable hop transition slider.


A keyframe with a stepped transition creates an immediate switch between itself and the previous keyframe. This is commonly referred to as a camera cut. Keyframes with stepped transitions display locations of interest with no flight path between them. Creating a camera cut from one location to the next is like a presentation of slides showing different city downtown areas.

Stepped transition
Create a camera cut between keyframes by using the stepped transition.

The location of the camera cut between keyframes can be edited using the transition slider. You can choose to cut early or cut late between the keyframes Adjustable stepped transition slider.


A keyframe with a hold transition will keep the state of the view and all of its keyable properties stationary for the specified hold time (the default is 2 seconds). A hold can be used on any keyframe, and the length of the hold time can be important if you're using it to allow for features to finish rendering, or if there is specific text/labels to read, before moving to the next keyframe location.

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