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In this chapter we're going to explore working with still images such as photographs, and there's a couple of key preferences you need to be aware of before you start importing photographs or pictures into Adobe Premiere Pro. To find your preferences on a Macintosh, you'll look underneath the Premiere Pro setting, and there's your Preference setting, and if you're a Windows machine, that would normally be under the Edit menu. At the very bottom, you would see Preferences. Once inside, they are exactly the same between systems.
So we're going to go to Preferences and select General, and there's two things we're going to look at. The first is Still Image Default Duration. Now by default, it's 150 frames, so if you're cutting at 30 frames a second-- which is pretty much the standard--you get 5 seconds of a still image when you bring in any of your photographs. Now don't panic, if you need 6 seconds or 4 seconds, because it's a photograph or a still image, you can make it as long or as short as you need once it's in your project.
The advantage of changing this is that if you know you're going to be needing your images to be, say, 10 seconds long in every instance, go ahead and change that to 300, and you won't have to do as much manipulation once you're inside the application. Another thing to keep in mind is that some people are shooting 24 frames per second, for instance, on their DSLR cameras, so in this case it won't be a 5-second clip, it'll be a little bit over 6 seconds. We're going to leave that at the Default.
The other thing I want you to look at is this check box right here, which is Default scale to frame size. Now this can be a really good thing or a really dangerous thing. By default, it's left unchecked, and that's how I like to keep it. Now if you check Default scale to frame size, whenever you import a still image or even a piece of video, if it's larger than your sequence setting, Adobe Premiere Pro is going to actually down sample it. So if you have a very large image, say 5000x3000 pixels, and you check Default scale to frame size and bring it in, it's going to down sample that to fit into your sequence's size, and in this case it's 1280x720, or 720p as it normally referred to.
Now that's a good thing if you don't plan to do any moves on your image, but if you plan to zoom in or blow it up a little bit to crop it or do any kind of a pan or scan on it, you're going to actually lose resolution. So by leaving it unchecked, you'll have this nice large image, and you can zoom in without losing any detail or any resolution. So we're going to stick with the default, and I'm going to click Okay. You can actually click Cancel if you want, since we haven't made any changes, and let's go back to importing our photographs.
Now we did look at importing in an earlier chapter, but we're going to expand a little bit upon it now. Of course, you can import using the Import command, but the media browser is much more robust, and it's going to allow you to do something pretty special when importing still images. So I'm going to switch over to the Media Browser, and I'm going to press the Tilde key in the upper left-hand corner of my keyboard, just to make this full screen. It's easier for you to see when watching this movie, and you may even want to do it yourself so you can actually see all the images.
If for some reason you have switched over to List view, make sure you click on the Thumbnail view so you can actually see a representation or a thumbnail of all of your media. Now that's the problem is I'm seeing all of my media. I'm seeing not just my pictures, but I'm seeing all my camera footage, I'm seeing all my graphics, I'm seeing my audio file, I just want to see my photographs, and all of my photographs are JPEGs. So I go to the upper right-hand corner of my media browser and actually filter what I'm looking at. So in this case, I'm going to filter and just look at JPEG files.
Now some of you may be using both JPEGs and TIFFs. You can actually select and check and look at multiple types of images and just filter so you can see say TIFF files, JPEG files, and maybe even Photoshop files. But for now let's just go to JPEGs. I'm going to select all of these for now, and I can simply do that by pressing Command+A on a Macintosh or Ctrl+A on a Windows machine. Once they're selected, I'll right-click, select Import, and these files would be brought into my Project pane, and there you see all of my images, and if I look at their duration, they're all 5 seconds long, and they've maintained their original size, which is great because we're going to be doing some moves on these in a later movie.
Now it's your choice whether you leave this as a list view or as an icon view. I generally like to work in my Project pane in an icon view or a thumbnail view because it's much easier to work with still images. But I do want to point out if there is a reason that you want to work in List view, because of the way you like to sort it, you can go here to this dropdown menu, and you can select Thumbnails, and now in List view you'll actually see a little image. And if it's too small, go ahead to the Mountain slider at the bottom, and you can make them bigger.
So again, the versatility of Adobe Premiere Pro allows you to work in any view that you're most comfortable with. I'm going to go ahead and press the Tilde key and return to my original layout. I'm going to load the first image into my Source panel by simply double-clicking it, and there we have the gentleman with the wind turbines in the background. And if I drag, and I drop this into my timeline, it's going to be the default duration of 5 seconds. I can change that before I bring it into the timeline, or I can change it once I drag it in just like any other clip.
So I'll drag it into the timeline, and wow, all I'm seeing is the brim of his hat. Not quite the shot I was expecting. Well, I actually really was expecting this because remember this image was brought in full resolution, which was over 5,000 pixels. As a matter of fact, if we scroll over here, I can see specifically the size of this image, it's 5000x5000 pixels, and my sequence is 1280x720. That's why I'm only seeing part of his head.
So what I want to do is I want to scale this down, and I can do this one of two ways. If I want to do it very quickly, I can simply right-click on any image down here, and I'm going to go ahead and hit the Plus key a few times just so we can really see what I'm working on, and I'm going to right-click, and there's an option here to Scale to frame size, and when I click it, it will automatically shrink the image so I see the entire photograph within my frame. Now because it's a square image, a different aspect ratio than the 16x9 of television, I have black bars on either side.
Now perhaps you want that. Perhaps you need to see the whole image or maybe you want to reframe the image, in which case you need to either scale it up from what we see now or scale it down in the Effects Control panel. Now some of you probably have question marks over your head, because you're going: scale it up, scale it down, what's the difference? There actually is a very big difference. Because I chose to scale this to the sequence, when I go over to my Effects Control panel, and I look to scale it up and I need to do that in the Motion tab.
It says my scale is 100%, it down sampled my image, so if I blow it up at this point, by just grabbing this virtual slider and blowing it up--and if you don't want to work with this virtual slider-- just go ahead and hit the disclosure triangle and you have this great little slider that you can work here. But there's my wall. Can't make it more than 100%. It's trying to keep me honest, so I'm going to go ahead and blow it up. I've scaled it down, I've blown it up, I've lost resolution. So this is not necessarily the best workflow if you know that your images don't quite fit within the aspect ratio of television.
So let's go ahead and undo what we just did. I can click on this Reset button. Takes it back down to 100%, and then I'm going to go over here, right-click and I'm going to un-check Scale to frame size. Now you'll notice something very interesting. Take a look at the Scale Setting under the Effects Control panel. My picture gets bigger, but this is still 100%, and at first, that can be very confusing. But what it's doing is it's now looking at 100% of its original size, which is 5000x5000 pixels, and if I grab this slider and shrink it, we can see that it does update. And I'm going to make this pretty small, there we go.
I can just adjust it perfectly within the frame, so it's now 25% of its original size. So the end result looks the same, but the second way of doing things actually maintains the resolution of the original image, so in your final movie the picture will be sharper. So we've scaled it, and it fits, but I really don't like the framing. I mean, it's the right size, but I think these are little too close to the bottom. And as a matter of fact, on some television sets there is something called overscan, his chin might even be cut off, so I want to reposition this, and again, this is something I would do in the Motion tab. And if you look down here, this is a bunch of options, not only for scale, but there's also position, and I can go ahead and play with these. And you see I can move them left and right. Let me go ahead and undo that because left and right is not what I want to do.
I can also move it up and down, and this is nice, but it's kind of clumsy. I'm not really a math kind of person. I'm what you see is what you get, so I want to be able to grab the image and reposition it actually in my program monitor, and that's very easy to do if you click on this little icon here to activate the motion tab. Take a look at what just appeared here. We now have a bounding box and a little center frame, and if I click anywhere on here, I can actually move it around in my Program Monitor and frame it exactly the way I want.
So that's a lot easier and a lot faster than trying to play with numbers. If I click it again, it will deactivate, and now I can't accidentally move it, so this is a very quick way to scale and position a photograph in Adobe Premiere Pro.
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