Keyframing (or "keying") is the process of animating values over time. Traditional hand-drawn animation is generally created using keyframes — an animator draws the extreme (or critical) poses at the appropriate frames, creating "snapshots" of movement at specific moments. Keyframes are the cornerstone of convincing animation. The drawings determine what a figure looks like at specific moments in time, the frames chosen for the keyframes determine the timing and weight of a figure, and the number of keyframes can reflect the complexity of the movement.
As in traditional animation, a keyframe in Softimage is also a "snapshot" of a movement at a given frame, and is just as important in setting the tone and timing of an animation. However, unlike traditional animation, Softimage handles the in-betweening process by using interpolation, which computes the intermediate values between the keyframes.