You might change the speed of a clip for technical reasons or for artistic impact. A Fit to Fill edit is just one way to change clip playback speed.
Slow motion is one of the most often used effects in video production. It can be an effective way to add drama or to give the viewer more time to study or savor a moment. We’re going to review fixed speed changes, the time-remapping feature, and some other options that let you make clip playback speed.
Changing the speed/duration of a clip
Although it’s more common to slow clips down, speeding up clips is a useful effect as well. The Speed/Duration command can change the playback speed for a clip in two very different ways. You can set the duration of a clip to match a certain time or you can set the playback speed as a percentage.
For example, if you set a clip to play at 50% speed, it will play back at half speed.
25% would be one quarter speed. Adobe Premiere Pro allows you to set playback speeds up to two decimal places, so you could have 27.13% if you want.
Let’s explore this technique.
- In the Project panel, load the sequence 02 Speed/Duration.
- Right-click the Eagle_Walk clip, and choose Speed/Duration from the context menu. Alternatively, you can select the clip in the Timeline and choose Clip > Speed/Duration.
- You now have several options to control how the clips play back. Consider these choices:
- Leave Duration and Speed ganged together (the chain icon between them). This means changing one updates the other.
- Click the link icon so that it shows a broken link. Now if you enter a new speed, the duration won’t update. If the Timeline clip is longer than the contents after you change the clip speed (by making it play faster), Adobe Premiere Pro inserts empty frames to keep the duration you set.
- Once the clips are unganged, you can also change duration without changing speed. If there’s another clip immediately after this one on the Timeline, shortening a clip will leave a gap. By default, if you make the clip longer than the space available, the speed change will have no effect. That’s because the clip can’t move the next clip to make room for the new duration when you change these settings. If you select the Ripple Edit, Shifting Trailing Clips option, you’ll enable the clip to make space for itself.
- To play a clip backward, select the Reverse Speed option. You’ll see a negative symbol next to the new speed displayed in the sequence.
- If you’re changing the speed of a clip that has audio, consider selecting the Maintain Audio Pitch check box. This will keep the clip’s original pitch at the new speed. With this option disabled, the pitch will naturally go up or down. This option is really effective for small speed changes; dramatic resampling can produce unnatural results.
Play the clip in the Timeline. Render the clip by pressing Enter to see smooth playback. Notice that the clip is now 10 seconds long. That’s because you slowed the clip to 50%: Half playback speed means twice the original length.
Notice that with Speed and Duration unlinked, the duration remains five seconds.
Notice that the clip plays at 50% speed, but the last five seconds have automatically been trimmed to keep the clip at its original duration.
Occasionally you’ll need to reverse time. You can do this in the same Clip Speed/Duration dialog box.