Panning Across Photos in Adobe Premier Pro

One thing I wanted to do in my video portrait which was not explained in class or tutorials was how to pan across a still image while a voiceover from a film clip plays in the background. Some quick Googling and a few YouTube tutorials were very helpful; however, I still needed to translate this information into a method that would be useful in my specific video (using Adobe Premiere Version 7.0). This is what I came up with:

1. Drag and drop the video you want for the voiceover into the sequence (Video 1).

2. Drag and drop the photo you want into Video 2. It will overlay over Video 1. Adjust the size in the timeline so that the photo is shown for however long you want it to be.

3. Select the photo in the timeline. In the Source window, open up the Effect Controls by scrolling to the right and clicking the appropriately labeled tab. In the Effect Controls window, there will be a miniature timeline which corresponds to the actual timeline at the bottom of the screen. Make sure the play-head is positioned at the very “beginning” of the photo. In the Effect Controls, under Video Effects >> Motion >> Position, click on the toggle (little icon that looks like a stopwatch) in front of the word “Position.” Click on the diamond  to add a keyframe where the play-head is positioned. (If you wanted to start with a normal-sized photo and then zoom in or out, you would do the same thing where it says “Scale.” But I didn’t do that since I wanted the photo to be zoomed in the entire time.)


4. Under “Transform,” increase the scale to its maximum allowable height and width. Then, under “Motion,” increase the scale to its maximum allowable size. This will ensure that the photo is completely zoomed in for the entire duration of the clip, as opposed to showing the normal sized photo first and then zooming in.

5. To pan across, you will need to use keyframes. For one steady motion which lasts for the entirety of the photo being displayed, I found it helpful to play the video while adding a keyframe every few seconds, making sure that the keyframes were evenly spaced apart. On each keyframe, the image will move to a new location. So it is important that the keyframes are evenly spaced, so that the image pans across at a steady pace throughout its display on-screen.

6. Once you have added your keyframes, scrub the play-head back to the “beginning” of the photo (your screen should look like the above image, with the play-head on the very first keyframe). Click on “Motion” so that it is highlighted. A square with a bullseye in the center should appear on the video. Click and drag the image to where you want to begin panning.


7. Then, skip to the next keyframe. Steadily drag the photo in the window in the direction you want to pan. Repeat with each successive keyframe. It’s important that you drag the photo the same amount of distance with each keyframe, again so that the “camera” will pan across the photo at a steady rate. You can pan in any direction based on what aspects of the photo you want to highlight, but here I just panned across the row of ducks in a straight line.

8. When you reach the last keyframe in that clip, the position of the photo should be where you want to end before cutting back to whatever video clip you wanted to show next or were using as the voiceover. That’s it! It seems pretty complicated at first, but it’s actually pretty easy once you try it. The main thing is to get comfortable with how to use keyframes.



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