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Lesson 7. Advanced Effects > Creating an image pan with a still image

Creating an image pan with a still image

The image pan is a popular device in many documentaries and films. An image “pan” is defined as a movement of the camera, usually from left to right, although also from top to bottom. A traditional pan would actually involve the physical movement of a camera over an image, however, in Premiere Elements you can simulate the movement of the camera with the Image Pan preset effect.

Click on the Add Media button in the task bar and navigate to your Lesson08 folder. Locate the freedomtrail.jpg image and click Open to import it into your Project window. This image is a map of the Freedom Trail, but could just as easily have been a digital photo from your image collection.

In the Media window, click on the More button and choose View > Preview Area, if the Preview Area is not already displayed. This opens the Preview Area at the top of the Media window, allowing you to identify the size of the digital image you have imported.

Click on the freedomtrail.jpg image if it is not already selected. In the Preview Area, note that this image is 960 pixels wide and 1,280 pixels high. This information is needed to know in order to create an image pan.

Still image resolution

It is important to determine the size of the still image you are using in this project. Successfully using image pan requires a basic understanding of resolution. The standard dimensions of Digital Video is 720 pixels wide by 480 pixels high. In order to create a pan or zoom effect with a still image, the resolution of the image must be larger than the video frame. For example, a typical resolution for digital still images is 960 pixels wide by 1,280 pixels high (although this number can be much higher or lower). A still image of this size gives you room to work with, as you can pan the image from left to right, or top to bottom, and reveal additional detail.

Click and drag the freedomtrail.jpg image into the beginning of your timeline. Be sure to place the clip in Video Track 1 directly before the Effects1.avi clip. When you release the mouse, all the trailing clips will shift to the right to make room for the freedomtrail.jpg image.

Click on the freedomtrail.jpg image in the Monitor window to select it. The image has been automatically scaled from top to bottom in the Monitor window. It is important to point out that although the original image was 1,280 pixels high, Premiere Elements automatically scaled the image down to 480 pixels high. The default behavior of Premiere Elements is to scale still images to fit the screen.


If you would like to change the way Premiere Elements scales still images when they are placed in the timeline, you can change the project settings. Choose Project > Project Settings > General and then uncheck the box marked Scale clips to project dimensions when adding to the timeline.

Click on the Effects button in the Task bar. If necessary, scroll up to the top of the Effects palette and then click the arrow next to the Presets folder to view the list of subfolders. Click on the arrow next to the subfolder named Vertical Image Pans, and click on the preset 960x1280 Image Pan Up. You may need to expand your Effects palette to view the preset names by clicking and dragging the handle on the bottom right corner of the Effects palette.

Drag the 960x1280 Image Pan Up preset from the Effects window onto the freedom.jpg clip in your timeline. This automatically creates a pan from the bottom of the image to the top.

To view the pan effect, click on the top of the Timeline window to make it active, then press the spacebar to play the project. Resize the Effects palette if necessary.



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