Adjust position, scale, and rotation

Use the Motion effect to position, scale, or rotate a clip within the video frame. To animate clips, set keyframes for Motion properties.

By default, each clip that you add to the Timeline panel has the Motion effect applied as a fixed effect. You can view and adjust the Motion effect properties in the Effect Controls panel by clicking the triangle next to the Motion name.

You can adjust the position, scale, and rotation of a clip and Lighting Effects lights by directly manipulating handles in the Program Monitor. You can also adjust the properties using the controls in the Effect Controls panel.

Note:

Standard effects that allow direct manipulation of clips in the Program Monitor include all the Generate effects, Corner Pin, Crop, Garbage Matte, Lighting Effects, Mirror, Transform, Twirl, and more. This capability is indicated by the Transform icon  next to the effect name in the Effect Controls panel.

  1. Select a clip in the Timeline panel, and move the current-time indicator to a location of a frame within the clip. Ensure that the Uniform Scale check box of the Motion effect is deselected.

  2. Do one of the following:
    • (Lighting Effects only) Apply the Lighting Effects to the clip and then click the Transform icon next to Lighting Effects in the Effect Controls panel.

    • (Motion effect only) Click the clip in the Program Monitor or click the Transform icon next to Motion in the Effect Controls panel.

    The handles and clip anchor point appear in the Program Monitor.

  3. In the Program Monitor, do any of the following:
    • To position a clip or lighting effect, click in the clip or effect outline and drag to reposition it. Don’t drag a handle to reposition the clip or lighting effect.
    • To scale freely, drag a corner handle.
    • To scale along one dimension only, drag a side (not a corner) handle.
    • To scale proportionally, Shift-drag a corner handle.

    Note:

    When using the Motion effect to scale a clip, scaling images over 100% can make them look blocky or pixelated.

    • To rotate a clip or effect, position the pointer slightly outside any of the handles, so that the pointer changes into the Rotate icon and drag. For the Motion effect, you can also drag in a circular motion until the clip rotates the number of times you want to create multiple rotations.

    • To update only the wireframe outline of the frame, Alt-drag (Windows) or Option-drag (Mac OS) any handle. This may give faster results for clips with large dimensions or for slow systems.

    Note:

    To animate the motion, scaling, or rotation over time, set keyframes as you manipulate the clip or effect in the Program Monitor.

A few important points

  • By default, a clip appears at 100% of its original size in the center of the Program Monitor. Position, scale, and rotation values are calculated from the clip anchor point, which lies at the clip’s center by default.
  • Position, Scale, and Rotation properties are spatial in nature, so it’s easiest to adjust them directly in the Program Monitor. When you click the Transform icon next to the Motion effect in the Effect Controls panel, handles appear on the clip in the Program Monitor that let you directly manipulate the clip and adjust the Motion effect properties.

Scale assets

When you drag an asset into a sequence, by default Premiere Pro preserves its frame size and centers the asset in the program frame. Alternatively, you can automatically scale imported assets to the project’s default frame size. You can rescale the asset without distortion if its pixel aspect ratio has been interpreted correctly.

Scale assets manually

  1. Drag the asset into a sequence and select the asset.
  2. Open the Effect Controls panel.
  3. Click on the arrow next to the Motion effect to reveal the motion controls.
  4. Click on the arrow next to the Scale control within the Motion effect to reveal the Scale slider.
  5. Move the Scale slider left or right to decrease or increase the size of the frame.

Scale assets to frame size

  1. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) an asset in the timeline.

  2. Select Scale To Frame Size.

    Andrew Devis explains how the "Default Scale to Frame Size preference works in this video tutorial.

Scale assets automatically

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > General (Windows) or Premiere Pro > Preferences > General (Mac OS).
  2. Select Default Scale To Frame Size.
  3. Click OK.

Animate motion in the Program Monitor

You can create animations, insets, and split screens by manipulating a clip directly in the Program Monitor and setting keyframes for the Motion effect. By adjusting a clip’s position and scale in the Program Monitor, you reveal clips in the tracks below it and can create interesting compositions.

When you animate a clip’s position, the clip’s motion is represented by a motion path in the Program Monitor. Small white Xs represent keyframed positions, dotted lines represent positions at interpolated frames, and the circular clip anchor point symbol represents a spot in the clip, its center by default, at the current frame. The spacing between dots indicates the speed between keyframes: wide spacing shows fast motion, while tightly spaced dots show slower motion.


Clip in Program Monitor showing a motion path
Clip in Program Monitor showing a motion path with fast motion (left) compared to slow motion (right)

Note:

To quickly apply Motion effect changes to a sequence clip, you can click the image in the Program Monitor and begin manipulation (without first clicking the Transform icon next to the Motion effect in the Effect Controls panel). If you adjust the position of the image, you can further refine its movement by using the Bezier keyframes.

Animate a clip in the Program Monitor

When the Motion effect is selected in the Effect Controls panel, you can manipulate a clip in the Program Monitor. Create an animation by setting keyframes for one or more of the Motion effect’s properties (for example, Position).

  1. Select a clip in the Timeline panel.

  2. Do one of the following:
    • Select the Motion effect in the Effect Controls panel.

    • Click the image in the Program Monitor.

    • Click the Transform icon next to Motion in the Effect Controls panel.

    Handles appear around the clip’s perimeter in the Program Monitor.

    Note:

    If you don’t see the clip handles, change the Zoom Level in the Program Monitor to a smaller percentage so that the gray work area around the video frame appears.

  3. Move the current-time indicator to the frame where you want to start the animation—any frame between the clip’s current In point to its Out point.
  4. In the Effect Controls panel, expand the Motion effect and click the Toggle Animation button next to each property you want to define. A Keyframe icon appears at the current-time indicator for that property.
  5. In the Program Monitor, change the keyframe value by positioning the pointer near any of the clip’s eight square handles to use any of the following pointer tools:
    • The selection pointer to set the position value.

    • The rotate pointer to set the rotation value.

    • The scale pointer to set the scale value.

    Note:

    If clip handles disappear, reselect the Motion effect in the Effect Controls panel.

  6. Move the current-time indicator in either the timeline or the Effect Controls panel to the time at which you want to define a new value for the property (and thereby a new keyframe).

  7. Manipulate the clip in the Program Monitor to set a new value for each property for which you set keyframes in step 3. A new Keyframe icon appears in the Effect Controls panel at the current-time indicator.
  8. Repeat steps 5 and 6 as needed.

    Note:

    When you animate a clip, it can be useful to reduce the Program Monitor’s magnification level. This way, you can see more of the pasteboard area outside the visible area of the screen and can use it to position the clip off screen.

  9. In the Effect Controls panel, drag the Bezier handle for a Position, Scale, Rotation, or Anti-flicker Filter property keyframe to control the acceleration of change for that property.

Change Position keyframes in a motion path

You can change the value of a Position keyframe, and thereby adjust your motion path, simply by dragging the Position keyframe (indicated by a white X) in the Program Monitor.

  1. Select a clip that has Motion effect keyframes.
  2. In the Effect Controls panel, click the Transform icon next to Motion. The clip’s motion path appears in the Program Monitor.
  3. Do any of the following:
    • To move an existing keyframe, drag the keyframe handle in the Program Monitor.

    • To create a new position keyframe, set the current-time indicator between existing keyframes and drag the clip in the Program Monitor to the desired location. A new keyframe appears in the Effect Controls panel, the Program Monitor, and in the clip in the Timeline panel.

    Note:

    This procedure changes the position value at a keyframe. To change the timing of keyframes, move Keyframe icons in the Effect Controls panel.

Move a clip along a curve

You can move a clip along a curve using Bezier handles in the Program Monitor.

  1. Select a clip in the Timeline panel.

  2. Move the current-time indicator in either the Timeline panel or the Effect Controls panel to the time where you want to start the animation—any frame between the clip’s current In point and its Out point.

  3. Click the triangle next to the Motion control in the Effects Controls panel.
  4. Click the Toggle Animation button next to the Position control to set the first keyframe.
  5. Drag the current-time indicator in either the Timeline panel or the Effect Controls panel to the frame where you want to end the animation.

  6. In the Program Monitor, drag the clip to the location where you want the clip at the end of its movement.

    A motion path appears in the Program Monitor connecting the start and end points of the clip’s motion. Small Bezier handles appear near either end of this motion path.

  7. Drag either or both of the Bezier handles in any direction to create curves in the motion path.
  8. In the Effect Controls panel, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) a Position keyframe.
  9. Select a type of acceleration from either the Temporal Interpolation or the Spatial Interpolation menu.
  10. Drag the current-time indicator to the first keyframe and press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac OS) to preview the motion of the clip.

Adjust or animate clip anchor points

By default, a clip anchor point is set at the exact center of a clip. You can change the position of a clip in relation to its frame or motion path, however, by moving the clip anchor point. Further, you can change the location of the clip anchor point over time, allowing the clip to move in relation to its frame or motion path. Animating the clip anchor point can be used, for example, to create an image-panning effect.

  1. In the Timeline panel, place the current-time indicator at the beginning of a clip.

  2. Click on the clip in the Program Monitor.

    The clip anchor point becomes visible at the center of the clip.

  3. Select the Effect Controls tab, and, if necessary, click the triangle next to the Motion heading to open the Motion controls.
  4. Drag the anchor point horizontal control to the left (decreasing the number value) to offset the anchor point to the left of the clip, or drag it to the right (increasing the number value) to offset it to the right.
  5. Drag the anchor point vertical control to the left (decreasing the number value) to offset the anchor point toward the top of the clip, or to the right (increasing the number value) to offset it toward the bottom.
  6. Click the Add/Remove Keyframe button to set the keyframe.
  7. (Optional) To change the location of the clip anchor point over time, move the current-time indicator in the Effect Controls panel or in the Timeline panel to a different point in time. Change the horizontal and vertical anchor controls to new values.

    Another keyframe marks the location of the clip anchor point at the selected frame.

  8. (Optional) To set the rate of the change in the anchor point location, drag the handles in the anchor point Velocity graph.

Adjust anchor points in the Program Monitor

Note:

This feature is applicable only for the built-in Motion effect and not for other effects that have an anchor point.

You can move the anchor point of the Motion effect directly in the Program Monitor.

  1. Open the Motion Controls in the Effect Controls panel and select the Anchor Point property.
  2. Move the cursor over the anchor point or drag it, the shape of the cursor changes to .

When you drag the anchor point in the Program Monitor, the anchor point gets relocated in the Program Monitor while the frame remains still. This is achieved by simultaneously updating both the Anchor Point and Position parameters.

Note:

This behavior is similar to the Pan Behind (Anchor Point) tool in After Effects.

Use modifier keys

To update only the Anchor Point parameter and not the Position parameter, press the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) key and move the cursor over the anchor point, the cursor changes to . Then, drag the anchor point in the Program Monitor. This has the effect of dragging the frame while the anchor point stays in place.

To enable snapping, press the Ctrl key and start dragging the anchor point. A box is drawn over the target. The anchor point then snaps to the side handles or center point of the frame when in close proximity.

A few important points

  • To preserve the ability to drag the position of the clip when the Program Monitor is very small, the anchor point crosshairs are hidden. Note that it's the size of the Motion Direct Manipulation frame in pixels on screen that matters.
  • To achieve a finer control over the anchor point location, use the Anchor Point property in the Effect Controls panel. Any changes to the anchor point in the Program Monitor are updated in the Effect Controls panel and conversely.
  • When changing the anchor point through the parameter in the Effect Controls panel, it's the frame that moves in the Program Monitor while the anchor point actually stays in the same place on the screen.

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