Premiere Tutorial: Effects and Keyframes

In this tutorial, you will use titles, keyframes and effects to produce a short video about the history of Murrow Hall. You will record the narration, but all other materials are provided.

This video shows an overview of the process, but you will still need to use the written instructions below.

1. On your desktop, set up a new project folder with subfolders for “Imports” and “Exports.”

2. Open Premiere and begin a new project by going to File > New > Project. Give your project a name and make sure it is saved in your project folder.

3. This video will use narration, so the next step is to record the script. You can record the narration using a smartphone, audio recorder or different software program. It is also possible to record directly in a Premiere sequence by using the “Voice-over Record” microphone button in the options for each audio track.

Do not worry about recording the narration perfectly in one try. Make sure your narration is clear and unhurried, and repeat sentences if you stumble. It will be easy to edit out those portions later on.

Here is the script to record yourself reading:

“This is Murrow Hall at Washington State University.

It was built in 1899 as Science Hall, with laboratories for botany and veterinary science. At the time, the young campus was so short on classroom space that the president held classes in his office. The building’s rounded classrooms on the east side were designed to improve the lighting for classes using microscopes.

Today, Murrow Hall is one of three buildings in the College of Communication complex. It houses classrooms and faculty offices, along with student media organizations and Northwest Public Radio.”

4. Put all the raw material for this tutorial into the “Imports” subfolder for this project. Your Imports folder should contain your audio file (if recorded outside of Premiere) and the materials provided for this tutorial in a zip folder.

Right-click and save the following link to download the zip folder if you have not already done so:

Make sure the folder is fully unzipped with all files extracted or you will not be able to import them to Premiere. These video clips were created for the purpose of this tutorial. The three historic images come from the digital collections of WSU Libraries Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections, known as MASC. This course has been given permission to use them in this tutorial.

5. In Premiere, go to File > Import and locate the files in your project Imports folder. In the lower left panel, you should now have 10 video clips (.mp4 file format), 3 images (.jpg format) and 1 audio file that you recorded.

If you have problems with the video files…
The video files provided for this tutorial use a format that minimizes the file size. However, they may not work on some operating systems and older versions of Adobe software. If the videos do not come through correctly when you import them into Premiere, download this alternative set of files instead:

6. It can be difficult to find the right clips in Premiere once you have more than a few. You can organize your material into folders, which are called “bins” in Premiere.

  • To add a bin, go to File > New > Bin or click the folder icon below your list of clips in the lower left panel.
  • Name your new bin “Historic Images” and drag the 3 images into that bin.
  • Create two additional bins called “Murrow Exterior” and “Murrow Interior” and put all the video clips into the appropriate bin.
  • You can also create a bin for your audio, but this is not required since you only have one audio file.
”Historic Images” bin ”Murrow Exterior” bin ”Murrow Interior” bin

7. Now it’s time to begin editing! Even if you already have a Sequence showing in your timeline panel, start fresh by going to File > New > Sequence. You will use custom settings for this sequence.

  • In the Sequence Presets, click on HDV > HDV 720p24. (If you do not see this option, choose another preset that includes 720p24, such as XDCAM EX 720p24.)
  • Then, customize this further by clicking on the “Settings” tab. Change the Editing Mode to “Custom” and change the Frame Size to 960 horizontal and 540 vertical. This matches the dimensions of the imported video clips.
  • Click OK to apply the settings for your new sequence.

8. Drag your audio file with your narration onto the A1 track of your new sequence.

  • Use the razor tool to trim out any parts where you made mistakes or had to repeat a sentence.
  • Editing the audio first for a video is called the “radio edit,” especially when done for interviews. It’s always advisable to edit the audio before placing visuals.
  • Your total edited narration should ideally be 35-45 seconds long.

9. Use the technique from Tutorial 1 to set mark-in points and mark-out point for each video clip, and add the short clips (about 2-5 seconds) to the V1 track of your timeline. You will also add the three still images from the “Historic Images” bin to your timeline by dragging each file into the V1 track. Trim each photo to be about 3-4 seconds long.

Place your clips and images in this order:

  1. MurrowHallEstablishing.mp4
  2. MurrowHallExterior1.mp4
  3. MASC-ScienceHall1915.jpg
  4. MASC-aerial.jpg
  5. MASC-MurrowHall1933.jpg
  6. MurrowHallExterior2.mp4
  7. MurrowHallExterior3.mp4
  8. StudentMedia1.mp4
  9. StudentMedia2.mp4
  10. Cable8.mp4
  11. KUGR.mp4
  12. NWPublicRadio1.mp4
  13. NWPublicRadio2.mp4

10. Next, edit the length of your clips to correspond with your narration.

  • The final video clip should extend about 2 second beyond the end of your narration.
  • Each of the historic photos should be at least 3 seconds long, since effects will be added later.
  • MurrowHallExterior2 (the first video clip after the photos) should correspond with the part of the narration that says, “Today, Murrow Hall is one of three buildings…”

A useful tool for adjusting clips is the Roll Edit tool, which can be used at the point where two clips meet to adjust the length of both clips at once. The Ripple Edit tool may also be helpful if you are moving multiple clips at once. Here are links to reference pages about the roll edit and ripple edit, as well as an in-depth video about how to use them.

11. Now it’s time to add effects to the historic images. Click on the clip for the first image in your timeline (MASC-ScienceHall1915) and also place the playhead over that image so it appears in the top right preview panel.

  • In the top left panel, click on the tab for “Effect Controls” and click the triangle next to “Motion” to expand the options.
  • For the Scale property, adjust the number so the image fills the entire video panel without empty black space on the sides.

12. Next, click on the third image in your timeline (MASC-MurrowHall1933), with the playhead placed over the clip so it’s visible in the top right preview panel.

  • As you did before, adjust the Scale property in the Effect Controls panel so the image fills the full width of the video.
  • Move the playhead to the very first frame of this image. (The arrow keys on your keyboard are helpful for navigating frame-by-frame.)
  • In the Effect Controls panel, click on the stopwatch icon next to Position. This is the “Toggle Animation” button, and it allows you to change a clip’s properties over the duration of the clip, such as zooming in.
  • When you click the Toggle Animation button, a little diamond will appear in the right portion of the Effect Controls panel. This is a keyframe, meaning it signals the beginning or end of some animation.
  • Note the keyframe navigation tools that appear in the Position row. This looks like a diamond with a triangle on either side. Clicking the diamond will add or remove keyframes. The triangle arrows navigate from one keyframe to another.
  • Change the second number listed after Position so the very bottom of the photo is showing in the preview on the right.
  • Move the playhead to the very last frame of the clip. In the Effect Controls panel, click the diamond located between two arrows to add a new keyframe. Change the second number listed after Position so now the top of the image shows the top of Murrow Hall.
  • Play through the clip on your timeline. If the keyframes are applied correctly, the image will now move upward through the duration of the clip.

13. Click on the MASC-aerial image in your timeline. You will use keyframes so the image zooms in on Murrow Hall.

  • First, adjust the Scale so the image fills the full video frame.
  • Move the playhead to the first frame of the image and click the Toggle Animation stopwatch icons for both Position and Scale. A keyframe will appear in each row.
  • Move the playhead toward the end of the clip, about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way through. Click the Add/Remove Keyframe diamonds for both Scale and Position so each row has two keyframes showing.
  • Adjust the Scale so the image is zoomed in about twice as much as before.
  • Adjust the Position so Murrow Hall is centered in the frame. (Murrow Hall is the building to the right of the clocktower, slightly behind the turret of Thompson Hall.)
  • Play through the clip on your timeline. If the keyframes are applied correctly, the image will now zoom in and slightly to the right so Murrow Hall is centered at the end.
  • This image is not very high-resolution, so it’s OK if it looks somewhat blurry.

14. Now, you’ll add a color effect to one of the video clips.

  • In the lower left panel where your clips are listed, click on the Effects tab.
  • Go to Video Effects > Color Correction > Color Balance (HLS), and drag this effect onto the first video clip following the images on your timeline (MurrowHallExterior2).
  • In the Effect Controls panel in the top left, you’ll now see options for Color Balance appear below the default effects.
  • Move the playhead to the first frame of the clip, the click the stopwatch icon next to Saturation to add a keyframe. Then, move the playhead to about 1-2 seconds into the clip and add a second Saturation keyframe.
  • Use the keyframe navigation arrows to return to the first keyframe at the beginning of the clip. Change the Saturation to -100 so the video become grayscale.
  • Play through the clip on your timeline. If the keyframes are applied correctly, the video clip will start out grayscale and quickly become full color.

15. Next, one last adjustment to rotate a video clip.

  • Click on the last video clip on your timeline (NWPublicRadio2) and move the playhead so it’s displaying in the top right panel.
  • This clip would look better if the door was straight instead of crooked. In the Effect Controls panel, adjust the Rotation property to make it more symmetrical.
  • You will also need to adjust the Scale property slightly so there isn’t blank space showing around the edges.

16. Now you’ll add a few transitions between clips.

  • In the lower left panel, go to the Effects tab and expand the options for Video Transitions.
  • Use a “Cross Dissolve” transition between the second video clip (MurrowHallExterior1) and the first historic image (MASC-ScienceHall1915)
  • Use a “Dip to White” transition on the end of the third historic image (MASC-MurrowHall1933)
  • Use a “Slide” transition for at least one transition between interior video clips.
  • Use a “Dip to Black” transition at the end of the final video clip in your sequence (NWPublicRadio2)

17. Finally, add credits at the end of your video.

  • Open the title editing window from File > New > Title.
  • The credits should say: “Historic photos courtesy of WSU Libraries MASC” and “Editing by Firstname Lastname”
  • You can put both parts of the credits together, or separate them on different title cards.
  • Place your title at the very end of your video. Choose any transition for the beginning and end of the credits.

18. Your video is fully edited! Export the final version by going to File > Export > Media and click the checkbox for “Match Sequence Settings.” Make sure to save the completed video file in the “Exports” folder for your project.