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Add a Still Image to the Sequence

  • star.jpg ACA Objective 2.5
  • star.jpg ACA Objective 3.1

You just recorded a voiceover at the end of the sequence, but the video track is currently empty. To provide a visual background for the voiceover, you’ll add a photograph of a bus and also add a title that reflects the voiceover and animates into the scene for additional visual interest and emphasis.

Create a title to superimpose over the image

Create a new title using the text of the script. It will appear over the image of a bus that you’ll add soon. Because you’ve created several titles by now, this should be a familiar task:

  1. Name the title bus time.
  2. Paste the title text into the title, and format it to fit within the Safe Title margins.
  3. Use the Title window tools and settings to format the text for readability.

When you’re done (Figure 4.7), close the Title window so that you can prepare the image that will display under the title.

Figure 4.7

Figure 4.7 Preparing the bus time title

Add a still image

You can add a still image to a sequence the same way you’ve added video, audio, and titles: by dragging it from the Project panel or a bin into the Timeline panel. As with most photos, the aspect ratio of the image is different from the 16:9 video frame. Fortunately, it’s easy for you to resize and reposition the image anywhere in the frame.

  1. Drag the file bus.jpg to the end of the sequence in the Timeline panel.

    The still image comes in using the Still Image Default Duration specified in the General panel of the Preferences dialog box in Premiere Pro, so you’ll need to adjust the duration.

  2. Drag the Out point of the bus image to make its duration match the voiceover audio.
  3. In the Program Monitor, double-click the bus image. Handles should appear on a bounding box around the image.
  4. Drag a handle to resize the image so that it fills the frame without any black bars on the sides (Figure 4.8).

    Figure 4.8

    Figure 4.8 Handles for resizing a still image in the Program Monitor

If you don’t see bounding box handles and you see only the middle of the bus, the image is probably much bigger than the frame and its handles are probably outside the frame. This is normal because digital camera images usually contain many more pixels than even an HD video frame. To fix this, go to the Program Monitor and choose a low magnification such as 25% or 10% so that you can see the area outside the frame. This should make the clip handles visible. Now you can drag a handle to fit the image in the frame.

Some digital cameras record frames with a 3:2 aspect ratio; others record frames with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Images with those aspect ratios will need to be recomposed to fill a 16:9 HD video frame without black bars on the sides. A few cameras let you select a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Set up the title to crawl left and hold

Now it’s time to add the title over the bus image.

  1. In the Project panel, find the bus time title you created and drag it to the Timeline panel into a track above the bus image.
  2. Adjust the title’s In point so that it starts a couple of seconds after the bus image, and drag its Out point to end when the voiceover and bus image end.
  3. Double-click the title to open it.
  4. Choose Title > Roll/Crawl Options. Select the Crawl Left and Start Offscreen options, enter 150 in the Preroll option (Figure 4.9), and click OK.

    Figure 4.9

    Figure 4.9 The Roll/Crawl Options dialog box

    The options you see in the Roll/Crawl Options dialog box operate as follows:

    • The Crawl Left option animates the title from right to left
    • The Start Offscreen option positions the title beyond the right edge of the frame so that the crawl brings it into the frame
    • The 150-frame postroll finishes the crawl 150 frames before the end of the title duration so that it holds for 5 seconds (5 times 30 frames per second).

Play back the sequence and see if your results match the example in the tutorial video; make any adjustments as needed.

Blur the background at a specific time

Although the title works, it’s hard to read over the visually busy bus photo. You’ll fix this problem by blurring the bus photo. You can apply video effects to still images.

  1. Find the Fast Blur video effect by searching for it or choosing it from the Video Effects > Blur and Sharpen group. Drag Fast Blur from the Effect Controls panel and drop it on the bus.jpg image in the Timeline panel (Figure 4.10).

    Figure 4.10

    Figure 4.10 Applying Fast Blur to the bus image

  2. Move the playhead to the time when the title is about to come to a stop.
  3. In the Effect Controls panel, make sure the bus.jpg tab is active, and expand the Camera Blur options.
  4. Immediately to the left of the Blurriness option, click the Toggle Animation stopwatch so that it’s blue.
  5. In the Blurriness option, type 100 and press Enter or Return (Figure 4.11). You can apply a little more or less blurriness if you like (the value can go above 100).

    Figure 4.11

    Figure 4.11 Adjusting the Blurriness value

    Notice that the Add Keyframe button becomes selected, because changing a value when the Toggle Animation stopwatch is on automatically adds a keyframe at the playhead.

  6. Move the playhead to the beginning of the bus.jpg image. In the Effect ­Controls panel, set Blurriness to 0.

Play back this part of the sequence. The title should slide in from the right as the bus image becomes blurry, and the title should stop and hold in the middle of the frame 5 seconds before the bus image ends.

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