How to Create a Slideshow in Premiere Pro with Motion Array’s Free Shifter Plugins

Motion Array Premiere Pro February 22, 2019 4 min read

Today, you’re going to learn how to use Motion Array’s Free Shifter plugin for Premiere Pro to create a slideshow! Slideshows are great for travel and lifestyle videos, promotional videos, and corporate presentation projects. Let’s dive right into how to create this versatile effect! 

How To Create a Slideshow with Free Shifter Plugins 

This is super easy once you know the steps to follow, and something you can continue to use for many projects to come! 

Step 1: Get Your Media in Order 

The first thing you’ll need to do is get your photos and videos into Premiere Pro and sort what you’ll use for the slideshow.

  1. Import these into your Project Manager (you can right-click and choose import or simply drag and drop). 
  2. Create separate Bins for photos, videos, and music. 
  3. Sort your media into appropriate bins. 

Once that’s done, you’ve made a good, organized start on the project. Next, you will need to place your clips and pics on your timeline, in the order in which you want them to appear in your slideshow. There are a couple of things you should keep in mind when doing this type of edit.  

First of all, the photos you add to your timeline will be at a set length. You can change this on the go, or set the Still Image Default Duration under Preferences and Timeline in the Edit menu. 

Secondly, if you drag videos onto your timeline, the entire video file will be there. You will need to cut it down to the specific bit that you want! 

Step 2: Make Sure All Media Fills The Frame

Scrolling through your timeline, you may notice that some photos or videos have black space around them. This is because they are sized differently, or have a different aspect ratio.

You will want them to all fit nicely in the frame without any empty space around them. 

  1. Right-click on the clip you need to change and select Set Frame Size.
  2. If your photo or video is a different aspect ratio, you can adjust your Scale and Position in the Effects Control panel, until it fits the frame properly. 

Step 3: Add Some Transitions 

Transitions between clips adds professionalism from the start. Boring old cuts from one picture to another aren’t pleasing to the eye. Transitions are a seriously easy way to up the quality of your video immediately. 

This is where we will be making use of the Shifter plugins. This plugin has a variety of transition effects for you to choose from, and it’s not difficult at all to incorporate them into your edit. 

  1. Select the Free Shifter transition plugin you want to use. 
  2. Drag it onto your timeline where two clips meet. 
  3. Adjust the parameters in the Effects Control panel.

It’s that easy! If you have too many separate files on your timeline and don’t really have the time to go and do this for every transition, you can right-click on your favorite transition and choose Set Selected As Default Transition. Then select all on your timeline, hit Control or Command + D, and this will apply your default transition to every clip. 

Of course, unless you specifically want the same transition between every photo you will still have to go and add in others throughout the timeline. It will definitely save you some time, even if you do go back and add others throughout! 

Step 4: Add Some Motion Effects To Still Photos 

If your slideshow has a mix of video and photo elements, the still photos can be a little underwhelming in the presence of motion picture. There are some things you can do to spice these up a little though. 

Ken Burns Effect 

Named after a filmmaker (for his consistent use of the technique in his own films), this effect adds a nice bit of motion to a picture that would otherwise be still. It’s pretty easy to do. 

  1. Start by setting one Keyframe at the beginning of your picture, and one at the end, for both Position and Scale
  2. Play around with the Position and Scale values of the first set of keyframes.
  3. Be careful not to let any of the black backgrounds appear in the frame! 

It’s as simple as that. Once you play it back, you’ll see that your once static picture has some pretty nice movement going on now! 

You can create a zoom in effect, a zoom out, or panning (or zoom and pan together!) This helps make your photos feel more alive, and not look so static next to video content! 

If you want the same effect on all your photos, you can right-click on Motion in your Effects Control panel and copy it with Control or Command + C. Highlight the photos on your timeline, hit Control or Command + V, and the effect will be copied onto each one! Pretty cool, right? 

Gaussian Blur Background 

This effect is helpful if you don’t want to fit your original picture to the screen and lose the edges of it. You’ll get a Polaroid type effect on the photo, and a blurred background that uses the same picture and creates quite a cool look. 

  1. Disable keyframing.  
  2. Decrease photo to smaller than the frame. 
  3. Alt or Option, click and drag media onto the layer above, creating a duplicate.
  4. Select bottom clip, scale it up to be bigger than the frame.
  5. Go to Effects > Gaussian Blur.
  6. Drag it onto the bottom, larger layer. 
  7. Increase blur to the desired amount. 
  8. Check the Repeat Edge Pixels box. 

To separate the two photos a little better and make them less complicated to the eye, you can add a Polaroid white border effect. 

  1. Go to your Essential Graphics panel (or Window > Essential Graphics). 
  2. Go to Edit, and select the icon on the right that looks like a piece of paper. 
  3. Add a Rectangle
  4. This will show up in your frame and on your timeline. 
  5. Place your smaller photo on the layer above the rectangular box. 
  6. Resize the box by the corners to be only slightly larger than the photo.
  7. Change the Fill to white (or… whatever you want)! 

You may want to put some motion effects on the Polaroid only, leaving the background intact. This can be done easily too. Simply select the smaller photo and the white block, right-click and choose Nest. This gives you a bit more freedom to add effects on the background and foreground separately! 


There you have it! You’ve created a photo/video slideshow that looks and feels professional. With the Shifter plugin, you can create dynamic transitions or give the project more flair with the Ken Burns or Gaussian Blur effects. Try it in your next video project and let us know how it went!