Draw attention to the details in action video sequences with time remapping in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Woman at edge of swimming pool holding a tablet computer showing underwater footage of a swimmer

What you'll need

This sample file is an Adobe Stock asset you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase a license on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file. Any reference to the athlete in the example is for demonstration purposes only and is not intended to refer to any actual organization, products, services, or creative work.

Starting in the Editing workspace, place your clip in a sequence and zoom in slightly on the clip in the Timeline panel. Hold Command/Control and press the plus key a few times to increase the height of the V track. For best results, your footage should be shot at a high frame rate. 

Adobe Premiere Pro shows underwater footage of a swimmer in the Program Monitor and corresponding clip in the Timeline panel

Right-click the clip and choose Show Clip Keyframes > Time Remapping > Speed. Move your mouse pointer to the horizontal line in the middle of the clip until the large black arrow changes to a black arrowhead with a small vertical double-arrow next to it.    

Timeline panel shows Time Remapping menu command and mouse pointer appearing as a black arrowhead

Drag the line downward slightly. A tooltip shows the percentage change. After you release the mouse, the clip length extends because decreasing the clip’s speed increases its overall running time.    

Timeline panel shows mouse pointer dragging down the time remapping control in the clip

Press Command/Control so the pointer turns white with a plus sign next to it. Click to add a time remapping keyframe. Drag the line down on the right side of the keyframe to make the action suddenly slow down.

Timeline panel shows a time remapping keyframe added to a clip indicating an abrupt speed change

Drag both keyframe handles apart to generate a more gradual ramping down to the slower speed. Move the Bezier handle to smooth the speed adjustment. Click in between the keyframe handles (pointer shows a horizontal double-arrow) to move the ramp range elsewhere in the clip. Play the sequence. At dramatic reductions in speed (10% and lower), the slowed action looks noticeably choppy.

Timeline panel shows a gradual speed change in a clip and a Bézier curve between the keyframe handles

Right-click the clip and choose Time Interpolation > Optical Flow. From the main menu, choose Sequence > Render In to Out or Render Selection, whatever is appropriate for your sequence.

After the rendering process completes — this could take some time — the slowed clip will play back much more smoothly.

Optical Flow command is selected after right-clicking the clip, and a render command is selected from the Sequence menu

Play around with speed ramping. Add a second Time Remapping keyframe so you can ramp down even more or bring the clip back up to normal speed. 

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