One of the trickiest aspects of video editing is when you try to piece footage together in a seamless manner. For many video editors who are just starting out, the shot composition of their film may look astounding, however, the visual aesthetics can be easily ruined by jarring edits from one clip to the next. So, to make cutting between clips more smooth and natural, you need to pay close attention to the flow of your edit.
Needless to say, the timing and cuts between footage can not only improve the pace of your montage, but they can also help advance your storytelling by taking it to the next level. One technique that can be used to create flow is by using speed ramping, as explained by Jordan Dueck of Motion Array in the video below.
To use this technique in Premiere Pro CC, head over to your timeline, right click on the selected clip and go to Show Clip Keyframes > Time Remapping > Speed. A control line will appear that indicates its speed, which by default is set to 100%.
A few seconds before the end of your video, create a keyframe by clicking while holding the Command button on your Mac (or Control button on Windows). On the right side of the keyframe, click and drag the line upwards to increase its speed. When you playback your footage, you’ll see that just before your clip ends, the video will move from normal speed to high speed.
To make the transition between the two speeds seem more natural, click on the keyframe you’ve just created. You will see two notches – left and right. Drag the left notch to the left side of your clip, thus creating a diagonal line. This way you can adjust how long it takes for the speed to change from normal to high.
Optionally, you can choose to make the transition seem less linear and more exponential. This can be done by clicking on a keyframe located in between your transition line. Once you pick the keyframe, drag your mouse to rotate the marker, creating an S-Curve.
To complete the transition, repeat the steps outlined above on the clip you’re transitioning to by creating a keyframe a few seconds after the beginning of the clip and adjusting the settings to your liking.
To further sell the speed ramping, consider adding a simple wind woosh or riser sound effect to your transition. Having this minor audio cue helps the video flow as the additional sound effect will aurally foreshadow viewers.
Of course, it will take some time to create all these individual keyframes for each clip. Nevertheless, you will see that the extra work can certainly help your clip transitions feel more natural and intentional. Overall, speed ramping is a visually appealing, yet subtle technique that can add a sense of cohesiveness and enhance the entire flow of your edit, especially when done right.