How To Speed Ramp Interpreted Footage in Premiere Pro

Modern stylistic editing is all about playing with space and time. Slow motion footage can really draw an audience’s attention to important key moments in your story, evoke emotions, and stretch a moment into infinity – like the classic stairway shootout scene in The Untouchables (1987).

Whether you’re working in narrative film, broadcast, corporate video, or events, knowing how to utilize slow motion in post is crucial, but things tend to get a little confusing with mixed frame rates in a Premiere Pro sequence.

Here to clear some things up is my favorite bearded man from Texas, Matt WhoIsMatt Johnson, with a quick tip on how to speed ramp interpreted footage in Premiere Pro.

One of Matt’s most asked questions after posting his video Frame Rates Explained was whether or not interpreted footage could still be speed ramped in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Most DSLRs and video cameras have a high frame rate (60p) option which we can use to create a slow motion effect; however, those clips are usually encoded at 60fps meaning we have to tell Premiere Pro to interpret that to our project frame rate (say 23.976) so Premiere won’t conform that material to its 1x play speed on our timeline.

Fortunately, some cameras like the BMPCC 6K have a high frame rate (HFR) option which won’t require interpretation in post, but nonetheless it’s a pretty simple process.

Interpreting Footage

  • Right Click On Your 60P Clip
  • Select Modify/Interpret Footage
  • In the Modify Clip Panel go to Frame Rate
  • Select Assume this frame rate: Enter 23.976
  • Press OK

Now your high speed footage will play in slow motion in your Source monitor. Where things get a little confusing; however, is when you want to speed ramp your footage from normal speed to slow motion because you have to do it backwards to speed up the front half.

Speed Ramping

  • Insert Your Footage Into a Sequence
  • Click the Yellow FX Icon on Your Clip
  • Go to Time Remapping
  • Select Speed

On the timeline:

  • Expand Your Clip Height Until You Can See The White Keyframe Line
  • Locate the Moment Where You Want Your Clip Speed to Change
  • Command Click (or Control Click on a PC) to Create a Keyframe
  • A Blue Bracket Icon Appear on the Clip
  • Preceding the Keyframe, Move the White Line Up until you reach 250%
  • Click and Drag the Left Blue Bracket to Adjust The Ramp Speed to Taste

The reason for this confusion is that there are two schools of thought in speed ramping high frame rate 60p footage. You could opt to NOT interpret your footage to 23.976 then follow the same speed ramping steps and simply move the white line after the keyframe down to 40%. However, you won’t be able to preview your 60p footage in your Source window in slow motion.

There is virtually no difference in how you decide to handle speed ramping your high frame rate footage in Premiere but it is nice to be able to preview your clips at the right speed before inserting them into your timeline.

Do you have tips or tricks for Adobe Premiere Pro? Even seasoned professionals don’t know everything, and you might have a method that other people haven’t thought of before. Feel free to share in the comments below.

[source: Matt WhoIsMatt Johnson]

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