When it comes to handheld shooting and the associated visual aesthetics, many people tend to believe that there’s nothing fancy nor spectacular referring to this particular style of shooting. Nevertheless, there are still ways to create more dynamic-looking shots in post-production and spice up your footage with ease.
In the following tutorial, seasoned video editor Kyler Holland shows off how to create slick-looking handheld camera moves inside of Premiere Pro CC, all through the use of basic transform tools such as position, scale, and rotation.
Before tackling this creative video editing technique, however, it’s important to note that depending on how much animating you plan to do with your footage, the processing will require a decent amount of both CPU and GPU resources. That being said, consider reducing your playback quality to properly view your timeline without dropping frames.
Needless to say, the first step of the process is to shoot your footage handheld. As you’re filming, make sure to use wide lenses to give you room in post-production to crop in on the image. Also, keep in mind that this effect will work best when you’re filming an avidly moving subject such as the dancer featured in the video above.
Now, with your footage shot, import the clips into Premiere Pro CC. Then in the Effects panel, search for the Transform tool and drag it over your video.
As Holand explains, you’ll need the effect to animate your footage and follow the direction of your subject’s motions. To start off, use the Transform tool to increase the scale of your clip to around 150%. This will give you enough space on all sides to reframe the image accordingly.
Afterward, select the appropriate tool to follow your talent’s motions and animate the video by following the move. In the tutorial, Holland begins by tweaking the shot to move upwards as the dancer pushes her hands up in the air.
To do so, you’ll need to scrub through the timeline to the point just before the action commences. Then, you’ll have to create a position keyframe and move forward to the next point by following the subject’s movements.
To smoothen out the animation, select all the keyframes from the Transform effect. Then right-click on any of the selected points, go to Time Interpolation, and choose Bezier.
On most occasions, this extra step will smooth out the motion and make it even more appealing to watch. Lastly, as a final touch, adjust the Shutter Angle by experimenting with the values to your taste and don’t forget to uncheck Use Composition’s Shutter Angle.
As Kyler Holland points out, you can achieve the best results as long as you follow the above steps closely making sure that your shot moves along with your subject. By doing so, you can create a more active camera movement that mimics the motions present in the frame – as opposed to simple handheld footage that ideally follows your subject around.