Thursday, May 30, 2013

PE11: Pan & Zoom Tool, More Than One Photo at a Time

INTRODUCTION

In Premiere Elements 11 workspace, the Pan & Zoom Tool is available in either Expert or Quick view under the Tools Menu which is located at the top of the interface or the Tools Tab at the bottom of the interface. The feature opens to its own workspace where it is a one photo at a time operation in which addition of "focus frames"is a fundamental part of the workflow. The initial two focus frames 1 and 2 are pre-created by the program. See Figure 1.

Figure 1. PE11 Pan and Zoom Tool Workspace. Program's pre-created Focus Frames.

For feature basics, see the Adobe Tech Note "Premiere Elements/Pan and zoom to create video-like effect" (includes a written as well as video tutorial on how to use the tool).

The panned and zoomed photo when returned to the Premiere Elements 11 workspace from the Pan and Zoom Tool workspace is characterized by a duration greater than that before the use of the tool. The feature's settings for Hold Time and Pan Time and the number of focus frames used for the effect influence the extent of the increased duration which can be considerable. The minimum number of focus frames needed to generate some sort of pan and zoom effect with this tool appears to be 2, the two pre-created ones by the feature. If the project still image default duration = 5 seconds and default settings for the tool (Hold Time = 1 second and Pan Time = 5 seconds) are used, that would translate into a minimum of about 7 seconds duration for the panned and zoomed photo back in the Premiere Elements workspace Timeline.

If total Timeline content duration is a consideration and many photos are involved, this increased duration as a consequence of the tool's workflow can be a liability in a feature that offers smooth and professional looking results. An alternative approach is applying a pan and zoom effect in the Premiere Elements workspace using keyframing of the Motion Panel's Scale (for Zoom) and Position (for Pan). The advantage of this choice is a resulting panned and zoomed photo having the same duration  before and after the keyframing to apply this effect to the photo.

However, putting aside increased photo duration for a Pan and Zoom Tool's panned and zoom photo, the question came up
Can this Pan and Zoom Tool's panned and zoomed photo (now with its increased duration) then become the source for applying this same pan and zoom effect to multiple 5 second photos on that same Timeline using a routine Copy/Paste Effects & Adjustments type of scheme?
The answer was found to be no.

ISSUE

In spite of any pros and cons for using this Pan & Zoom Tool,  "Can the Pan and Zoom Tool be used to apply the same pan and zoom effect to more than one photo at a time and, if so, how?" 

SOLUTION

Applying the same Pan and Zoom Tool's pan and zoom effect to more than one photo at a time was achieved by use of a modified Copy/Paste Effects & Adjustment scheme. In this scheme the first photo was panned and zoomed with the Pan and Zoom Tool and then used back at the Premiere Elements workspace Timeline as the source in a Copy/Paste Effects & Adjustments scheme after Time Stretch Tool was used in an all at one time procedure which set the same duration as the source for all other photos.

This modified Copy/Paste Effects & Adjustment scheme works great for 1280 x 720 and 1920 x 1080 photos with a 1080i or 720p project setting. But it is not working with SD photos taken into a 1080i project and scaled to the 1080i size or SD photos taken into a forced NTSC DV Standard or Widescreen project. The same holds true in the technique to be described involving copying of keyframes from the Pan and Zoom Tool's panned and zoomed source photo and pasting them into another photo.

HOW TO EXAMPLE

General

  •  Starting with 11 photos sitting side by side on the Premiere Elements 11 Timeline, each with a 5 second duration
  • First photo is taken into the Pan and Zoom Tool workspace where a 3 focus frame Pan and Zoom Effect is applied
  • The panned and zoomed photo now with a 13* second duration is returned to the Premiere Element 11 workspace to join the other 10 5 second duration photos that are part of this Timeline.
  • The decision is made to apply the same Pan and Zoom Effect applied to the first to all.

1.  Determine the panned and zoomed photo's duration. Right click the panned and zoomed photo on the Timeline, select Time Stretch, and, in the Time Stretch dialog, read the photo duration there. For this example, the duration read is 13* seconds. Close out of there. Select all the 10 photos each with the 5 seconds duration. Right click anywhere in the highlight, select Time Stretch, and set the duration for 13* seconds. The Time Stretch dialog's reading for this example should look like 00;00;13;00* (hours; minutes; seconds;frames) for a NTSC setup. PAL used : between the numbers. Close out of there. At this point your total Timeline content duration should be 13 x 11 = 143 seconds.

2. Next, highlight the panned and zoomed source photo, go to Edit Menu and select Copy. Next select all the duration adjusted photos (10 photos in this case), go to Edit Menu and select Paste Effects and Adjustments.

The above scheme works great, except that, for 1800 photos (each with 5 to 3 second durations), there will be a lot of extra Timeline "baggage" in the name of Pan and Zoom. Also, be aware that with Copy/Paste Effects and Adjustments, attributes (effects and such) of the original can be copied and subsequently pasted into the other photos. So, some strategy planning is required on the "when to do".

Copy/Paste Increased Specificity/Loss of More Than One Photo At A Time

If we take the "more than one at a time" factor out of the equation and focus on enhancing the specificity of the modified Copy/Paste Effects and Adjustments scheme described above, one might consider a scheme featuring copying of the Motion Panel's keyframes of the Pan and Zoom Tool's panned and zoomed photo and pasting them into into another photo.

With the 13* second Pan and Zoom Tool's panned and zoomed photo back on the Timeline from the Pan and Zoom workspace

1. Set the duration of one of the 5 second duration photos without any pan and zoom effect to 13* seconds with the Time Stretch Tool.

2. Highlight the Pan and Zoom Tool's panned and zoomed photo on the Timeline. Then go to its Applied Effects Palette/expanded Motion Panel (See Figure 2)

Figure 2. Step 2 details. One Section Expanded Motion Panel.

The click on the "Show/hide keyframe controls" icon to reveal a two section expanded Motion Panel (See Figure 3).

Figure 3. Step 2 details. Two Sections of Expanded Motion Panel.

3. In the area to the right, right click in a clear space, select Select All. Then right click that area again and select Copy.

4. Making sure to have your Timeline Indicator at the start of the photo now with the 13* second duration but without any pan and zoom effect, highlight this photo and go to its Applied Effects Palette/expanded Motion Panel and, in the area to the right of the two section view, right click in that area and select Paste.

5. I see no choice but to go to each of the other photos needing this same Pan and Zoom Effect and to repeat the Motion Panel's keyframe copy/paste technique if we go this approach in the name of specificity.

None of this is a perfect scheme, but the task is doable within limits if one is fixed on using the Pan and Zoom Tool. As a reminder, the Premiere Elements 11 choices for panning and zooming offered by Adobe include:
a. Use of the Pan and Zoom Tool, for pan and zoom within the photo
b. Use of Keyframing Scale (for Zoom) and Position (for Pan) properties for pan and zoom within the photo
c. Use of presets for pan OR zoom within the photo.
The above should apply as well to Premiere Elements 10 which also includes the Pan and Tool Tool feature. But location details may differ from those of version 11 because of the marked changes that Adobe made in the version 11 interface.

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*The Pan and Zoom Tool's panned and zoomed photo duration was used in this example as 13 seconds for convenience. The actual reading was 12 seconds and 26 frames (00;00;12;26) in an NTSC 30 frames per second system. Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 bit.