I’m Ready for My Close-Up

By Bob Bolson

Using Video Action RT to Pan/Zoom on Stills

At the moment, a very popular effect in video production is a pan/zoom on a still image. This effect allows what could potentially be a static part of your project to become very eye-catching. So, how do you do it?

First, drag your image onto the timeline.

Next, enter the Video Effects interface either by hitting the FX button on the toolbar or by right clicking on the clip and choosing Video Effects.

Under Available Filters, double-click on RT Perspective.

Enable key framing by clicking on the Key Frames box. Now you can begin to manipulate the appearance of the image. First you must decide how you want the image to look initially. As an example, set the following values:

Image Size: X=1.245 Y=1.245

Image Rotation: X=0 Y=0 Z=21

Image Position: X=0 Y=0 Z=0

Then, to execute a pan or a zoom, slide the key frame cursor to a point near the end of the percentage ruler (80% is usually a good place*). Now, zoom or pan to the desired position on the clip using the Position and Image Size controls. Holding shift while using the Image Size control will keep the aspect of the image. If you are feeling really creative, give the movement a slight rotation by changing the Z-axis readings under the Rotation control at the second key frame. Somewhere between (-/+)10 and (-/+)22 is usually an effective amount of rotation. (Right-clicking on the rotation sphere will produce change only along the Z-axis.) Set the second key frame values as:

Image Size: X=2.605 Y=2.605

Image Rotation: X=0 Y=0 Z=-11.5

Image Position: X=.215 Y=-.48 Z=0

*The reason you probably won’t want to set the key frame cursor all the way to the end of the percentage ruler is because you will normally want the clip to "settle" before it ends. When the movement goes until the end of the clip, it does not give the clip closure.

Hit Play to preview your work. If you are happy, hit OK to return to the Video Effects interface. If you think you would like to use the effect again, save it. To do this, click the Save FX Macro button.

Give the effect a file name (and a title and description if desired) and save it as and *.flt file.

When you load this effect for future clips, minor adjustments will have to be made in both Image Size and Image Position values, but the basic integrity of the effect will remain in place.

Now hit OK on the Video Effects interface and return to the timeline.

This effect will be sure to add plenty of visual appeal to your next project. Enjoy!


You can find out more information about Video Action Pro at http://www.dps.com.