bring static videos to life
Add professional-looking pans and zooms to statically framed 4K clips
Use 4K’s extra pixels in pan and zoom effects
it will ta ke
you will learn
How to add zooms and pans to a statically framed clip or photo.
iMovie 10.1 or higher. A 4K video clip.
Camera moves can make a statically framed video clip become much more interesting to watch.
With a zoom, you can draw viewers’ eyes to important areas in the scene. Panning can reveal new details about a location. However, a smooth zoom or evenly paced pan can be hard to perform in-camera, especially if you have a low-budget tripod that doesn’t have a fluid head. Indeed, many video recording devices such as an iPhone or GoPro lack a physical zoom button altogether.
Fortunately you can add professionallooking zooms and pans courtesy of iMovie’s Ken Burns tool. The term Ken Burns refers to a film-maker who famously featured many photographs in his documentaries. To make the static pictures look more interesting he used a rostrum camera. This is a film or video camera that points downwards at a photo mounted on a flat board. The camera is on a rig that allows the operator to move it towards the photo, creating a zoom.
Some rigs can also track left or right, creating a pan (and up or down for its vertical counterpart, a tilt). Film directors would ask their editors to add a ‘Ken Burns’ effect to a still image, so his name became synonymous with adding movements to static images.
iMovie’s Ken Burns effect enables you to choose start and end points to create a digital camera movement. You can also resize the start and end points to create a zoom in to or out from a particular area. The effect can be applied to still images or video clips. You can even incorporate a post-production zoom and pan at the same time, which is a challenge for a seasoned camera professional to get right every time on location.
A word of warning
If you zoom in too close on part of a Full HD (1080p) clip, you run the risk of making the magnified areas look fuzzy and pixelated. By shooting your footage at a much larger 4K resolution – possible on an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and an increasing number of consumer cameras – you can zoom in much closer on your subject but maintain image quality, especially if you’re exporting your project at 1080p resolution. Got an older iOS device? We shot the 4K-resolution source clip for this tutorial on a GoPro Hero 4 Silver, which costs about £279.
iMovie’s Ken Burns effect enables you to choose start and end points for a camera movement
3 Add a pan
Drag from inside the box to pan the camera; the yellow arrow indicates the direction of its movement. 4 Reverse it
Click the button with two arrows to swap the start and end points. Here, the camera would start tight and zoom out. 1 The Ken Burns effect This mode of the Cropping tool enables you to add camera movement to static clips. 2 The end point Click the End rectangle to set the movement’s final position. Drag its corner handles to zoom in the camera.