bring static videos to life

Add pro­fes­sional-look­ing pans and zooms to stat­i­cally framed 4K clips

Mac Format - - APPLE SKILLS - Ge­orge Cairns

Use 4K’s ex­tra pix­els in pan and zoom ef­fects

it will ta ke

10 min­utes

you will learn

How to add zooms and pans to a stat­i­cally framed clip or photo.

You’ll need

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.

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