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This course is part of a series that looks at Documentary Editing from the point of view of 3 different editors in 3 different editing applications. For more insight on editing documentary projects, take a look at Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer and Documentary Editing with Final Cut Pro X.
- Interpreting a creative brief
- Logging interviews and other footage
- Pulling selects and presenting ideas
- Building sequences and scenes
- Creating title graphics
- Animating images
- Adjusting b-roll shots
- Tightening clip timing
- Compressing and exporting multiple files
Skill Level Intermediate
Now it's time to actually create the animations that will make our still images move. Now, there's more than one tool for doing this, After Effects is obviously very popular, and you may know how to do it already, so I'm not going to linger on all the details about keyframes. I just want to do this with a methodology that really fits with our workflow on this project. For more details on these methods, you can always look at the Essential Training title on Adobe Premiere Pro. Here is the spot in our sequence where this is actually going to happen, but I don't want to build it here. I want to make a new sequence just to build these animations, and I think you'll understand why after you see how I'm going to do it.
So let's go ahead and make a new sequence, matching in parameters to the one we're already working with. That's our settings, and we make our new sequence. I've been very careful about staying organized in this project, and now that there is more than one sequence, I think it's a very good idea to name them, so we'll call this animate stills, just kind of a functional sequence to work on, and then we'll rename our real sequence Farm to Table, and of course we'll want to get a New Bin for our sequences.
Now that the preliminary work is done, let's go ahead and bring our two images down onto this new timeline, and we're just going to take our time animating here and then bring it into a regular sequence when we're ready. There's our treated images, already imported from before. And we have BD. I'm going to extend it and give him a nice long time here. 20 seconds is more than I could ever need, 15 is still more than I could ever need, but that's going to work fine for right now, and then the market shot, and we'll extend it to about the same length.
If you remember, we want to sort of program a tilt or pedestal move on BD. We want them to go from his shirt up to his face, so we end the shot on his face. So open this up and into the Effects Controls. Now, I put this on a separate sequence for a reason. What I want to do in both of these moves is do the full extent of the move and get the speed right here in this sequence. Basically what I'm trying to do is make more movement than I need, essentially make a video clip that I can then edit into and out of, trim as I see fit.
A lot of problems that people have with these moves on stills is the starting and stopping, so my solution to that is to just create handles, make that move go longer than I need it, and then I can just cut into exactly where I want it. So let's program our motion, and I'm going to start way down the bottom, and I'm going to end up on BD's face. Before I actually go up and down, I want to see if I want to reduce this scale at all, so I'll play with the scale a little bit just mostly for the end framing.
I want BD to end in close up, but maybe not 100% close up, something like that, so I wind up at 88%, but the judgment was all visual. When I do these moves, I often like to start the keyframing at the end, so I'll proceed right to the end of the shot. I'm not too concerned about being at the very edge, because I can always move that keyframe. And the first thing I'm going to program in is my end state, and I'm actually going to go, in this case, beyond the framing I want and animate all the way to the top of the image.
That way if I have to dissolve or have a transition, it's going to be there for me. And we keyframe, and we move back to the beginning. I make my motion creating a keyframe, and I tried to keep the right to left out of there, but I can always fix that over here as well, and let's just take a first glance at the speed, because honestly that's all I care about right now is the speed.
That speed is going to work for me. I think that's just fine, and realize, I'm not going to be using a lot of this part. I'm going to cut in somewhere around here and then cut out and just have this little bit of a vertical move on BD. So the last thing I'm going to do is regardless of where these keyframes landed, I'm going to pull them to the extremes. So what I have is a move that goes end to end and is programmed at the speed that I want it to go. The process on this one is going to be very similar except we have to get zoom involved, as well as position.
My goals are a little different here, too, because with these types of zooms I like it to be very, very subtle. So again, I'm working on the speed, but I'm going to try to get this speed to where it's almost not noticeable. I think that little bit of floating, zooming in and floating can be kind of nice. Process is very much the same, of course eventually we're going to get keyframes going on both scale and position. Again, I'm going to frame for the tightest that I want, and I'm either visually referring or mentally referring to the work I did in Photoshop with those frames, and that was about my tightest position.
We need both Position and Scale working, and then we can drag back to the beginning, rescale and reposition. And I like to check that I like the framing at both ends. I think we went a little too far there. I think I'd like to start the framing with this woman on the edge of the frame. Let's see what our speed and move looks like.
That's very much the idea, but it's actually a little too fast for me. I want it to be slower and more subtle than that. I've used up my full 15 seconds, but that's fine, I can just extend this and then move those keyframes further away, maintaining the same move in style and position, but just slowing it down. Yeah, that's pretty much what I had in mind. So the purpose of this sequence is just to animate these--or I should say pre-animate them--just to create the motion with enough room on either side that I can edit them in.
So let's go ahead and edit them in. It's going to be mostly a function of copy, paste and then trim. If I copy the clip from here, and then I want to switch over to our real sequence, where I'm going to paste it. It is important that I position the playhead about where it's going to go, although that's going to need some adjustment, but I also want it to land on Video 3, so I want to make sure that only Video 3 is targeted when I do my paste. Okay, we see we have more than enough here, but there's one other important thing, which is I want to end right around when BD's face is in frame, so right around there is where I want to end, so I'll trim back to there.
And then I can match that with the end of the clip, and I can trim the other end to match there. Now, I might need a little more adjustment, let's see. (video playing) We're not getting super smooth playback without a render, but I think this is close. I want to land about there. Now, I want to show you why these handles pay off, because now, if I remove the old version, and I bring this down into that space, look how easy it is to make a transition here.
If I reapply that default transition, and I play it back, you see that these are already mixing nicely. I don't have any of that ragged start/stop that you sometimes have with these photos. The other beauty of the way I've made these photos is they basically act like clips now. If I decide to use this in a different spot or decide that it needs to be a little longer, I know that I have that motion programmed exactly where I want it. Now that I've got this animated still in position, all I have to do is a similar copy and paste for this first still to add the zoom.
You can do that on your own because it's easy, and I want you to remember that the way we've built this, we're not stuck with anything. We can continue to make adjustments just like we would to a normal clip.