How To Create A Slideshow In Premiere Pro With Motion Array's Shifter Plugins

How To Create A Slideshow with Motion Array's Shifter Plugins from Motion Array on Vimeo.


Hi Guys! Jordan with Motion Array and today I’m going to be showing you how you can use our Shifter transition plugins to create your own slideshows in Premiere Pro! So let’s dive right into it!

How To Create A Slideshow with Motion Array's Shifter Plugins In Adobe Premiere Pro

This text has been transcribed from the video for optimal reading

So here in my project manager I have a series of photos and videos.  Thankfully adding photos and videos to your project manager in premiere is as simple as clicking and dragging them in from your computer.  Once they’re here, the first step is to actually place these onto my timeline in the order that I want. I already have gone through and selected which ones go where, but in the event that the order isn’t particularly important to me, I can just highlight all of them in my project manager, and then click and drag them into my timeline.  Nice.

But you might notice something,  the videos in question will all be added in their entirety, and if you want to shorten those to just the sections you’d like, you can do so very quickly and easily. But you should notice that all my photos will be exactly the same length in time. Believe it or not you can choose what length these are right out of the gate when you drag and drop them by going to edit, preferences, and then go down to timeline.  Here you can see that there’s an option for still image default duration. Right now for me it’s set to 5 seconds, but for you it might be something different. If you have a specific time that you want all of your photos to last for, you can set that duration here. It could be 5 seconds, or 10, or 3, the choice is up to you. Just to show you as an example, I’m going to change my duration here to 3 seconds. Once you’ve changed it, the next time you click and drag any photos into premiere, you’ll see that they will last for the new duration.

Okay, so now we’ll go back to my original selection where we have all of our media on the timeline in the order that I want.  Now we want to make it into a nice looking slideshow. To make it look presentable, there’s a couple things that I want to achieve.  First, I want all my media to fill the entire range of the frame without leaving any black sections able to be seen. This is caused by photos and videos of different aspect ratios and sizes being on the same timeline.  Thankfully there’s some quick and easy ways to figure this out. There’s a tool called set frame size that you can access by right clicking and selecting here. If your video is too large, like this one here. Selecting set frame size will bring it to the proper size to fit the frame.  The same is true if your photo or video is too small. But if your photo or video is of a different aspect ratio, then it will only bring it to the proper size to fit either the width or height, but not necessarily both, potentially still leaving your image or video with black space around it.  So to start off with, an idea would be to highlight everything by either clicking and dragging over everything or by hitting control or command and a to select everything. Then right click on any selected clip and go to set to frame size. Then, take 1 of your photos that isn’t working as a reference, and if any adjustments need to be made, adjust your position and scale in the effects control panel until till the black sections are gone.  Then if any photos or videos are experiencing the same problem and are in the same aspect ratio, then select the motion section in effect controls, and either hit control or command and c, or right click and copy. Then select all your other photos in question and then hit control or command V. And now all of your photos should have the same size and position attributes. Pretty neat right?

So now that all our photos and videos have been properly adjusted to fill the frame, we can add some simple effects to make our slideshow feel more like a slideshow.  Right now if I just press play, I can see that it just pops from one to the next to the next. What I’m going to be doing is adding some simple transitions to make everything flow a little bit nicer.  

What I have here in my folder is a plugin pack from motion array called shifter, and if you want to know more about these in particular, we have a video you can check out here. The link is in the description below.

So we’re going to be using these plugins to make our photos and videos move from one to the next with a little more style and flare.  To add a transition, all you have to do is drag and drop it over the cut between you two pieces of media. And for example when I drag and drop this bounce transition, we can see that it come into place with it’s own unique animation, and we can make personalized changes to it by clicking it and going to the effects control panel and changing around some parameters.  Now you can continue this process for all of the cuts between your footage. But in the event that you have such a large number of photos and videos that the task feels daunting, I have a quick and simple solution for you. Choose your favourite transition, and then right click it in your effects panel, and choose “set selected as default transition”. This will do exactly what it indicates and set it to be your default transition, but what exactly does that mean?  Well now when you highlight all your media by clicking and dragging or by hitting control or command a, and then hit control or comman D. You actually apply your default transition to all of the clips that you’ve selected! And just like before with picture duration, if you wanted to choose the length of time that all transitions lasts for as a group, it’s as easy as going back to edit, preferences, timeline, and increasing or decreasing the amount of time that each transition lasts for.  If yours is set to frames by default, you might want to change it to seconds if that’s easier for you to think about.

But the great part about this now is that if you wanted to change everything, say set a new duration or even change the transition that’s applied to all your clips, all you have to do is set a new transition, highlight everything again, and apply it again with control or command D.  Easy as that. And from here if you want to go in and add different transitions at different places, you can totally do so. But at least all of them have a transition applied now in the event that you just need to have a simple transition for each one.

With that done, I want to show you how to add a little bit more style to otherwise underwhelming photos with 2 simple tricks.  You might notice that your videos will look pretty good at this point in time. They’re pretty engaging depending on what’s going on in the frame.  But photos are just static, and can be a little less captivating in the presence of motion pictures. So a simple solution can be to add 1 of 2 effects.  The first is called a Ken Burns effect, which comes from the filmmaker of the same name. He used this technique to give more impact to images used in documentary films throughout his career, and so the name was taken after him.  Basically it’s when you keyframe either size, position, or both to create motion using a still image. To do this, simply go to the beginning frame of a photo and set two keyframes, one for position, and one for scale. Then go to the end frame and do the same.  At this point you should see no difference, but the catch is that now we go back to the starting frame, and change either our position or scale or both to be different. You can zoom in a bit, and shift around the framing, preferably without allowing any of the black background to appear back in the frame.  Now when you play your clip, you can see that the photo actually moves around within the frame and has a more dynamic feel to it. It’s pretty simple. Using this basic technique, you can give a bit of added flare to your photos to make them feel more alive. And again, you can make each of these unique and different, growing shrinking, going up, down, left, right, but if you’re in a hurry you can just select the motion section here and copy it with control or command C, or by right clicking and selecting copy.  Then if you highlight all of the different photos within your timeline, and hit ctrl or command V, you’ll apply this same movement to all of your photos! Saving you a LOT of time!

If this is good enough for you, than congratulations! But I want to show you my personal favourite technique to make your photos stand out EVEN more!  The biggest critique of the ken burns effect can be that you lose parts of the image being shown, and can’t see it in its entirety a lot of the time. But this doesn’t have to be the case.  We’re going to actually decrease the size of a photo here so that it in fact is smaller than the size of the frame on all edges. This gives us the ability to now see the image as the photographer originally intended.  But it feels off. There’s emptiness in the background, so we’re going to work to fix that. Simply hold alt on a pc, or option on a Mac, and click and drag your media to the next layer up. This will duplicate it and leave an identical copy below.  Next we’re going to do 2 things. We’re going to select the bottom clip and go up to effects control, and scale it up so that it takes up the full frame and then some. So now you should see that we have a stylistic version of the photo, seeing it in it’s entirety but also having no missing space.  But we’re not done yet. It’s a little distracting, so we’re going to be going to our effects panel and searching for gaussian blur. Drag and drop it onto the bottom scaled up layer and increase the blurriness to a desirable amount. You may also want to check the box for repeat edge pixels. 

The end result is that we have a really stylistic effect where we get the impression of the image filling the frame, and we’re able to see it in its entirety, it’s a win win situation.  But lastly we’re going to add one last piece. Because the colors are so similar between these two photos, despite blurriness, we’re going to add one more piece to separate them. We’re going to create the impression of a polaroid photo by adding a white border to the smaller photo. To do so, simply go to your essential graphics panel. If you can’t find it, just go to window, essential graphics. Once here, locate the edit section, and then select the icon that looks like a piece of paper. This will give you options of what you would like to add, and we’re going to add a rectangle.  A new media box will appear above your other clips on your timeline, and a small box should be present. Place your smaller photo above this box, and then click and drag the box and resize it on the corners here so that it’s just a bit larger than the original image. We’re creating an artificial border for the image. Once done, we’re going to make sure that the color of the rectangle is white. Go down to the fill option, and if it’s not white, select it and choose white. Or if you prefer a different color, feel free to do so, but we’re replicating a polaroid photo, which has a white border.  

Once we’ve done this, we can see that our final result is pretty desirable!  It looks great! And we can now take it to the next level by selecting both the smaller photo and it’s boarder, right click, and nest, calling it whatever we want.  Now if we were to keyframe parameters like size, position, and even rotation, we can add movement to this photo while still making it look pretty awesome! And if you’re in the mood to take it even further, throw in a drop shadow to make it stand out even more!  For even more style, we actually have a plugin effect called longshadow! It’s a bit different from your traditional drop shadow effect, and if you’re using Motion Array’s shifter plugins already, then you have access to this one too! Check it out! They’re all at no additional cost to any existing paid membership to motion array!

But guys at the end of the day, this is our final effect, a photo/video slideshow that looks and feels professional, and is super simple to create!

Well, that concludes this tutorial. I hope you found it helpful, if you did, please give us a thumbs up and if you’d like to see more tutorials please go ahead and subscribe because we’re making new ones all the time.  I hope you guys found it helpful.  If you did, we’ve got lots of other Premiere Pro tutorialsAfter Effects tutorials and filmmaking tutorials!

Thanks for watching and see you in the next video.

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