VFX Artist and Rampant Design CEO Sean Mullen shows us how to speed ramp in Adobe Premiere.

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Video Transcription

How to Speed Ramp in Adobe Premiere Video Transcription

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Hey, everybody. I’m Sean Mullen from Rampant Design and this is another episode of Ask Rampant, our weekly series where you ask the questions and we do our best to answer them. Today’s question, “How do you those speed effects in your promos?” This technique is known as speed ramping and you can see it pretty much everywhere you look. From prime time and broadcast shows to commercials, promos and music videos, speed ramping is everywhere and I’m going to show you how to do it. Let’s jump into Adobe Premiere.
All right. So jumping into Premiere we’ve got this cool little shot of a snowboarder here, and as you can see I’m scrubbing through it. This is really representative of what speeds ramps can do. A lot of times you get a shot like this, an action shot, where you’re in a sequence and your client wants something to be a little bit punchier. And it’s awesome that they shot it in slow motion, but you really want to bounce around your clip speed and that’s all speed ramping is, is you’re speeding up slowing down, you’re just dancing around the clips in real-time speed. As far as I’m aware there are two methods in Premiere that you can do … on how you can do this, how you can achieve speed ramping. There’s the key framing method and the cutting method, I personally use the cutting method, but I’m going to show you how to use key framing right now.
So the very first thing you want to do is if your timeline looks like this, in order to do the key framing, the way I’m going to show you, you’re going to want to expand this, your visual of video track one very quickly. You’re going to want to expand your visual of video track one, so go ahead and head over here to this line and pull up. And now you’ll see a visual representation of every clip, this makes it a lot easier if you’re going to do key framing. If you don’t see these lines anywhere on your clip, go ahead and right-click, go down to “Show Clip Key Frames”, “Time Remapping” and click “Speed”. And that will show what we’re going to do here.
All right. So this is the clip, it’s exciting, blah, blah, blah. But you really want to put some punch in certain areas. So let’s find some points in this shot where we want to punch it up. So let’s say we want to go from here to a little on right here, right? [00:02:00] This is the first point where I want to have some action introduced into the shots, some speed changing. Go ahead and right here, let’s zoom in just a little bit so it’s a little easier to see. Right here, right on this frame, go ahead and “Command Click”. That puts down a key frame. And now you can see right here there is an up and down arrow, so if you want to click that key frame and move it up, now as you can see, one hundred, one-eighty, two hundred. That’s speeding the clip up, anything above a hundred percent is going faster. If I were to go slower, it’ll be below a hundred percent, and of course one hundred percent would be the real-time speed, the original speed of your clip.
I want to go pretty fast, so let’s move this thing up to, I don’t know, let’s do around six hundred percent. Let’s just roll it back and see what happens. So snowboarder jumps up, cool, then, “Pechow,” nice. So you’ve done your first speed ramp slow, fast. So that right there is the basis of all speed ramping. Let’s add a little bit more punch to this. So let’s say right here, right before he takes off, we want to do slow again. So go ahead and “Command Click” right there on that frame, and then pull it back down. One hundred percent. So let’s roll it back, so you’ve got slow, or real-time, fast and then back to slow. And then of course you can get crazy again, pull it back up, do a key frame, pull it back up. Let’s do like a thousand percent here. Let’s roll it back.
So if you had music hits, if you were going to do something on the beat, you’d be very easily just put a marker right here where your music is. Put your key frame, and then do your job pulling it forward or backwards, [00:04:00] to speed up or slow down. So you can do all kinds of speed trick to adjust your footage. Now I’m going to get rid of that last one. So let’s say that’s cool and everybody’s happy, but there’s something abrupt, like your client doesn’t want it to be so abrupt going in and out of the speeds. The quickest way to get around that is to go ahead and zoom in and find these handles right here on your key frames. And if you adjust these handles and you pull them out, you’re starting to smooth out the key frames. So it’s more ramping in, and, or, ramping out on your key frames. So if we roll it back, see it. So as you can see it’s not so abrupt, so you can blend the motion instead of having such a hard hit.
Now you can always do the same effect up here. If you click your clip and you go to “Effects Controls” and you twirl down “Time Remapping”, your speed is right here. It’ll actually tell you your velocity, and you can adjust your key frames up here in this window as well. So you can extend, you can go in between key frames here, you can even add and remove key frames. If this is the way you work, this is a great way to do this, if you visualize your edits with key frames. I don’t do it this way, and it’s just personal preference. This has nothing to do with anything other than I like to work a different way. So I’m going to show you my way of speed ramping.
So we’re going back to the same clip, same exact technique, but I want to change things on how … I want to make things speed ramp a little bit of a different way. What I like to do is I find my points where I want to make the action happen, I’ll hit “Cut”, and I will, let’s say let’s make this [00:06:00] faster to get into this, to get into this clip. So after I’ve made my cut, just go ahead and click on the clip, do “Speed / Duration”, and the “Clip Speed / Duration” window will pop up. Now you can just dial it however you want, let’s say I want it to go a thousand to get into, right? Now if you don’t click “Ripple Edit, Shifting Trailing Clips”, it’s actually going to put a gap between your clips, I’ll show you. You click “Okay”, now there’s a huge gap. You’ve got this crazy fast clip, nothing, and then your regular clip. So let’s hit “Undo”.
Let’s go ahead and right-click again and go to “Speed / Duration”. Let’s go ahead and just do a thousand but click “Ripple Edit”, and it’s pulled the timeline back towards you, and now you’ve got your speed ramp. All right? Then of course right here, I’m going to click again, I’m going to make a cut, and then I’m going to right-click the following clip, hit “Speed / Duration”. I’m going to do another thousand percent, roll it back. So those are two different methods. You can use the key framing, or you can use the cutting. And see all I did was, I just made an edit, fast in the beginning, normal in the middle, fast in the out.
Now if you watch my promos I’m just guilty of using speed ramping all the time and my clients have me use it all the time. I do other things with my promos to just keep the energy going. You know, we hit you with a lot of data in our promos, so just try to keep the energy going. So what I would do in this shot here, is I’ll find a place in the action where he comes to the top of his arc, so somewhere around here, make a cut. So it’s a … And then maybe right here, when he comes on his descent, make another cut. [00:08:00] So I’ll have two cuts right here. I’ll do this, “Speed”. Let’s call this, “Eight Hundred”. And this one I want it to be faster, so let’s call it, “Sixteen Hundred”. So it’s just crazy fast.
What if you want to take it a step further? We’ve done speed ramping forwards, but what about backwards? How do I ping-pong with a shot? How do I get things to go backwards? Well, I’ll show you that real quick. So let’s start off with making his jump go really fast, so right here, I always try to find exactly where I want the speed ramps to start or stop. This looks like a good frame, so again I’ll make a cut. Then I’m going to make the first clip go really fast speed. Let’s do around eight hundred. And then right there at the top of his arc right there, I’m going to speed it up one more time. I’m going to do speed. Well, let’s do another eight hundred, right? Right? So it’s like, “Phoo.”
What if for some reason you want this to go backwards instead? Instead of what we just did, right here at the … of the end of the top of the arc, you want him to go backwards this way instead of forwards. No problem, hit “Undo”. In this clip right here, those are real-time, one hundred percent clip, right-click it, and go to “Speed / Duration” and hit “Reverse”. I do this in two steps just to keep things organized, so I hit “Okay”. Now when you play it back, all of a sudden it jump cuts to the end of the shot. I’ve had a lot of people write me, “Well, that doesn’t make any sense. What happened?” That’s because the beginning of your shot is here, you’ve reversed the clip. So this is your end of your shot, this is the beginning of your shot. It’s really easy to solve this, just pull this up into another timeline, or excuse me, into another video track, and then pull it all the way over and match your frames.
So I’ll zoom in here, show you what I’m talking about. This is the last frame, this is the cut of the shot [00:10:00] before it, and this is the beginning of the reverse. So all this footage here is erroneous, so what you want to do is pull this shot backwards, like that. And then get rid of all this to match it up to your cut. So I’m going to do that, that’s forwards, and then reverse. Forwards, and then reverse. And then of course, you don’t want to go from real-time forwards to real-time backwards, that’s no fun. So let’s go ahead and right-click this one more time, “Speed / Duration”, then let’s do an eight hundred percent and make it fast again. So we go fast, “Whoosh,” slow, and then backwards fast. I’ll do the backwards thing one more time, we get so many questions about it, I’ll do it on another shot here so you can see what I’m talking about.
I’m going to go ahead and pull this down. There’s no … I don’t need to visualize anything, so I just like doing it on the clip itself. So this is a seven-twenty shot, so I’m going to make it larger real quick, so I’ll go “Scale to Frame Size”. All right. So this is a cool shot from Shutterstock, and let’s say you want to speed ramp into it and then speed ramp out of it. So let’s make a random cut right here, right-click, let’s do a “Speed / Duration”, let’s do eight hundred. All right? So, “Whoosh.” And then back to real-time. But now you want it right here, you want it to go backwards. So you make your cut, right? You right-click on it, and go to “Speed / Duration”, and you click “Reverse Speed”. And like I said before, you went from the last frame of the clip, to the first frame of the clip, backwards. So you want to go ahead and zoom out, put this on another video track and move it all the way back and lineup your clip right here. Lineup your clip right here.
So this is the exact same frame now, and then you just peel it back. And then of course you just get rid of all this other footage here. So you move [00:12:00] forward, slow motion forward, and then backwards. Of course you can right-click, add the speed. I always do reverse in two parts. I reverse it, I reposition the clip, so it lines up, and then I speed it, just how I keep things organized.
So that’s it, that’s how you speed ramp in Adobe Premiere. It’s super simple, once you learn how to do it once, you can do it a thousand times and just adjust it to taste. I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them here in the comments below. Also hit us up if you have a question that you want featured on Ask Rampant. We love hearing from everybody, so send your messages, send your emails, text us. I don’t know how you found my cell number, but, hey, it’s cool.
And make sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter, it’s chock-full of cool tutorials, free effects for editors, and amazing deals. You’ll find the link to the newsletter right down there in the description of this video, and until next time I’m Sean Mullen from Rampant Design. Thanks for watching.
Written by Sean Mullen
Sean Mullen is a three-time Emmy Award winning visual effects artist with over sixty feature film and television credits. Sean has shot and created VFX elements for network shows, feature films, private hollywood libraries and has created content for many of the major stock companies His work has touched such acclaimed Hollywood and television productions as Charmed, Ally McBeal, NCIS, Felicity, Nip/Tuck, Idle Hands, Lake Placid and Any Given Sunday. Sean was inspired by his editor friends to create the first Rampant Design Tools - elements for his friends to mix and match and drop on their timelines that would instantly add a unique look / flavor to their videos. This inspiration essentially gave birth to many of the product lines you see at Rampant today. For more information, please visit www.rampantdesigntools.com.