I’m not reproducing this to start a debate on whether this sort of thing should be patentable. This patent shows how future Apple applications might show timelines of animatable values, and how more than one value can be changed at a time as well as controlling the shape of the graph joining two keyframes.
You can see from this drawing of an imaginary application interface, this patent applies to a media editing application that users can use to set keyframe values for clip parameters such as scale and position with editable graphs.
The example application shown in the patent looks like a version of Final Cut Pro that uses some elements from Motion, but not so many that editors are turned off. The editing temperament is somewhat different from that of motion graphic designers.
However bear in mind that this patent represents Apple’s thinking back in May 2009, in the intervening years, they may have moved on from these ideas.
The rest of this post is made up of most of the text and images from the new Apple patent