In this week's Media Composer 101 tutorial, we're going to look at an effect that is used in just about every documentary, and that is the Ken Burns Effect, or a Pan and Zoom effect. The effect comes standard inside of Media Composer, and is quite simple to use!
Working with still images is something that editors do all the time. If you only need that image to be the size of your frame, then in most cases, you can just import, and you're off to the races. Even if you need to do a slight zoom in on the image, then you can easily do it with the 3D Warp Tool. But, what if you have an image that's 6000×4000 pixels, and you want to zoom in on different parts of the image as part of an overall animation, such as a map from a war reenactment. Most people think you need to head third-party for a pan and zoom effect. Not true. Media Composer subscription ships with a pan and zoom effect called, appropriately enough, Avid Pan and Zoom, and it is the tool that you're going to use to create the “Ken Burns” effect, basically giving you the ability to pan and zoom on larger images, right in your timeline, without having to export to a third party compositing application like After Effects. One of the great features of the effect is that it is a “green dot” effect, meaning it’s realtime, so simply animate, hit play and you’re all set to go. Keep in mind that the effect is a basic pan and zoom tool, and there are third-party companies out there like Boris FX that have pan and zoom effects as part of their plug-in packages, but the one included with Media Composer is good enough to get you up and running, and you can take a look at what other bells and whistles the third party companies have, after your client has left the edit suite happy!
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