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In Premiere Elements 9 Essential Training, author Jeff Sengstack breaks down the editing workflow into bite–sized pieces, covering topics from setting up a project to exporting the final video to any format. The course also covers the basics of editing and advanced features like picture-in-picture overlays and audio and visual effects. Exercise files accompany the course.
In addition to trimming clips there are a few other fun things you can do on the Timeline. You can create still images from a single frame in your clip, change your clips' speed or duration, and make clips run backwards. Let me show you a practical application of this concept here in this particular project. Now I have a gap here between the first clip and the second clip. I can fill that gap by just adding some more tail frames from the previous clip, but I am going to pretend that there aren't any more tails frames to add. That I have used the entire clips right up to the end there and I have no more frames to add.
When you're desperate like this, then you absolutely must fill a gap like that with frames that just don't exist, you can stretch your clip. You can use frames inside this clip that are already there and stretch them out a little bit by clicking on this Time Stretch tool. It turns into a funny little cursor there. It has a little squiggly line going through it, instead of this fat one that you normally see, the Ripple Edit tool. Click on this guy and it turns into the Time Stretch tool. If I just drag this clip to the right, I am not going to add tail frames. I am just going to stretch existing frames in it and fill that gap, so there we go. Right over there, I fill that gap and now I have taken care of that little space.
What happens when you do that is you're going to slow down the motion in the clip a little bit and drop the pitch of the audio a little bit, because you've stretched it out a bit, but it's going to be so small that your viewers won't notice. I'll go back a bit so you can see what I am talking about. (Young girl: Yo!) I am sure no one would have noticed that clip had been slowed down a little bit, and that the pitch had dropped a little bit. Just to save ourselves if we have a desperate moment, we have no more frames we can use, we can use the Time Stretch tool to fill that gap. I am going to undo that edit right now. Create the gap again. There is a way to close a gap, by the way. I am going to show you a shortcut to do that.
So I am going to go back and click on the Selection tool here. I can right-click in here and close the gap, but it's kind of hard to right-click in there, because the gap is so small. So I am going to press the Plus key to expand the view a little bit. Right-click now and say Delete and Close Gap. Now I am going to press the Backslash key to view all the clips in the Timeline. I want to show you this little video that I made of my daughter Jeanine playing with out dog Sunny in this little agility course here, and I want you to think about where it would be cool to do slow motion and a freeze frame and maybe reverse motion.
And as you go through, you're going to notice a little funny audio edit here, that you won't hear the edit, but you can see that something is odd,. The clip ends here but the audio ends there and I'll explain that in a second. So let's just watch this. (Young girl: Yo!) (Young girl: Good boy!) And my dog just loves treats. "So I'll go do it again! Yay!" "Give me another treat!" So you see this little edit here. This is called an L Edit and I'll explain L and J edits in my movie making J and L audio edits later in the course, but I just put it there for your edification right now.
What I want to do I think-- If you probably went through and you went, oh gosh! It'd be kind of cool to put that point of view shot in slow motion and maybe this shot over there in slow motion as well. It'd kind of neat. So, let's just do that. Now to put something in slow motion causes the clip to actually lengthen. So you need to give it some room to lengthen because you're doubling the number of frames in there, if you, let's say, take this slow-motion down to 50%. So you need to give yourself some room to play with. So I need to select all the clips after this one and move them out of the way. So you can do that by making a marquee selection, by clicking over here to the right and dragging to select all the clips to the right of that clip, and notice they're all highlighted now and I can drag them away as a group, all the way over here, make lots of rooms.
We can fill it in later. There is this clip that I want to lengthen. I want to double this clip by reducing its speed to 50%. Well, I can take the Time Stretch tool and I can drag this guy to the right and kind of approximate doubling it and that would take care of it, right? But the audio pitch will drop accordingly. I'll show you that. So my dog's footsteps are like blunk- blunk-blunk-blunk instead of his light kind of ting-ting-ting as he goes along. So I am going to Ctrl+Z to undo that, Command+Z on a Mac. I want to use a different Time Stretch tool.
Here is the Time Stretch tool. I want to use the Time Stretch command. So you right-click in the clip to open the context menu and select Time Stretch. This is a command versus a tool. That opens up this dialog box where it says Speed, Duration, Reverse Speed, Maintain Audio Pitch. You can select a specific duration or you can say I'll just cut the speed or increase the speed. In this case, I want to cut it in half. Right now it says 100%. It's hard to see with that blue background, but I will click here to highlight it. I'll change it to 50%, half the speed, and when I do that, the duration doubles.
But the really cool thing about the Time Stretch command is that you can maintain audio pitch. It's just amazing that you can do something like this. It's really a high processor intensive tool to maintain the audio pitch. So I'll select that and it'll be little light footsteps now and we'll double the length of the clip. Watch it jump to the right. So now if I play this, it'll go in slow motion and the footsteps will be lighter sounding. Okay that's that little move. So what I want to show you now is another little trick that involves having slow motion, having a freeze frame, and then reverse motion, and we'll do it on the agility6 clip.
Let me first change over to the Selection tool and I am going to drag this guy out of the way so we can kind of work with it separately. And it looks like this. Sunny is jumping across. I am thinking I want to freeze Sunny, right about there I am thinking, and then have him go and reverse. What I need to do is split the clip, duplicate it, make the freeze frame and make things backwards. So that's where we're going to split it. So I click this Split Clip tool here in the Monitor panel. Now I'll split it. I am going to take the clip on the right and kind of get it out of the way.
I am going to take this clip on the left. I am going to duplicate it so we have it around to help us when we want to go and reverse this little portion. We're going to go forward, freeze it, and then go in reverse like that. So I am going to right-click in this clip and say Copy and then I am going to paste it on to the Timeline and it will be pasted wherever I have the Current Time Indicator. So I need to move it out of the way here so that I paste it not on top of this but away from it. So I go to Edit > Paste and there are our two clips. They are the same, going forward, again going forward.
Now I want to make a freeze frame from the last frame of this clip and the way I can get to the last frame is by pressing the Page Down shortcut key to go to the end of a clip and then to the first frame of the next one. A little confusing, but this takes me to the first frame of the next clip right after this, which happens to be no clip because there is just black after this clip, which is fine. That's by design. That's a good thing. Now I want to go back one frame, so I press the Left Arrow key and it takes me back one frame to the last frame of that clip and that's the where I want to make the freeze frame.
To make a freeze frame you click on this little icon here, this little button in the lower right-hand corner of the Monitor panel. That opens up this dialog box and asks you how long you want your freeze frame to be. Well, doesn't really make any difference how long it is because you can change the length simply by dragging it left or right to make it longer. So we'll make it relatively short here. We'll keep it down to 2 seconds so we don't consume too much space on our Timeline. Now we insert it into the movie and that will actually shove everything to the right, so we won't cover anything. It'll just move things to the right. So we'll insert it right after that clip it's at now. And now we have this two-second freeze frame.
You'll see how that works. We go from Sunny running to Sunny standing still. Pretty cool. I want to take that first clip and I want to make it much slower. So to make it slower I need to get it out of the way of this thing, so I have some room to make it slower. So I am going to drag it off to the left here far enough that I can actually make it maybe three times longer or maybe about one-third speed. So I am going to right-click on that guy. Click Time Stretch. The Time Stretch command and here it says 100%. I am going to change that to 30. I could make it 33 to make it exactly a third but we will go to something divisible by 10.
I want to maintain the audio pitch and click OK, and that makes it longer and slower. I'll play it in regular speed in the Timeline and it will play slow, here we go, and it goes and keeps on going past it. Now I am going to close this gap, right- click, Delete and Close Gap, and it goes from that slow-motion to freeze frame. Pow! Now we want to take this clip and have it going reverse. So here is this clip we had originally. I want it to be in reverse now at that same speed, starting from him on the jump and then going backwards.
So I'll right-click on it, select Time Stretch. This time I'll reverse the speed. I want to maintain audio pitch and go to 30%, so we are going to go backwards the same speed we went forwards. It makes it long again. Drag things over to the left to snap them up, and now let's see how that little three-clip thing works out. Freeze it and now we are going to go backwards. Cool! So that's how you can use the Time Stretch tool over here to stretch clips right here in the Timeline or the Time Stretch command available here in its context menu to maintain audio pitch, to also then have things go slower forward, slower backwards, and then add freeze frames.
I think this is kind of a creative tool that opens up all sorts of possibilities inside Premiere Elements.
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