Coming into a class relying heavily on video editing, I was a tad nervous. But UAB IT supplied me with all the items I could possibly need to succeed in my classes.

At UAB, all students get an Adobe Creative Cloud for free. If you’re not familiar with Creative Cloud, it holds some of their key software in it such as Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro.

Premiere Pro is Adobe’s video editing software for content creators. Launching Premiere Pro brings users to the front page, where they can start a new project or open a previous one. First-time users, or pros who need a refresher, can visit the tutorial tab for quick sessions on basic functions in the software.

When I began my media production class in the fall 2021, our first assignment was to create a story with still images and sounds. There could be no dialogue — the photos had to speak for themselves. We spent weeks dissecting what a story was and what made it interesting. We all spent a large chunk of class viewing Premiere Pro.

There are quirks about Premiere Pro. When starting a new project, you need to find a place for your project to be saved. After you set up your autosave options, you need to import any media for the project. It is also very important to create folders for images, video clips, songs, and sound effects in the area where all your media is being stored in Premiere Pro.

Whatever media is uploaded needs to all come from a similar place. If you upload an audio clip from the external hard drive but have your video clips saved in the downloads document of your computer it will be frustrating the next time you open up the save file to find missing or corrupted files.

After you upload all the media you need comes my favorite part. Assembling the clips to how you want to tell the story. When working on the first project, we were introduced to the Ken Burns effect, made popular by the documentary filmmaker’s unique style. The effect is simple — add pans and zooms to still images in order to give them life. An object sitting on a screen is not as interesting as one that is moving on the screen. Premiere Pro gives you the tools in the first tab to achieve this goal.

 How to create the “Ken Burns effect”:

  1. Insert your items into the timeline. Premiere Pro and Photoshop have something in common, they both work in layers. There are three layers for audio, and three more for visuals. Whatever is stacked in the top layer will be the most visual out of all of them. You can add different effects but there are some standards.
  2. Select the image in your timeline, from there the effect tab will open and there will be multiple things pop up. For a Ken Burns Effect, all you need to focus on is the three options position, rotation, and scale.
  3. Next to each option is a stopwatch; that turns on the keyframes. Place the play head at the beginning of where you want your effect to start. Add a keyframe and then move the play head to where the effect should end and add a second keyframe. From there you can adjust how you want your images to appear.

Of course, using this type of effect can become monotonous if you are not careful. You can add multiple keyframes within the image to add zooms, rotations, and pans to make cuts interesting.