How to pan in an image (Ken Burns effect)

Ken Burns effect consist in zooming and/or panning in an image. This effect give the possibility to take maximum advantage of a single still picture. Note that this picture should be large enough.

Let’s take a big image on the internet.

We find really nice photos on flickr! Look this one I found ==> panorama (original size). It was made by Jasmin Cormier and released under creative commons license.

Now we prepare our project and load the image. Settings -> Format : 720×576, 25 fps. Then Settings -> Preferences -> Recording tab. In “Video in” set the import images duration to 10 seconds for example. My total project actually last 49 seconds due to the sound track I chose. As usual this part is up to you considering the effect you want to create. Now we load the file: File -> Load files. We choose the image and take Replace current project as insertion strategy. OK. The image is now right on the timeline with a duration of 10 seconds. Let’s give it a longer duration (50 s for example) by using the little arrow that appear at the edge of the picture in the video track. Done? If done by playing the timeline you will see only one picture that doesn’t move during 50s. Last thing: activate the Generate keyframes while tweeking button 

OK. Let’s give that some movement! To accomplish this mission we will use the camera tool and keyframing. Keyframing? Yes. It’s the operation that consist in choosing two different events at two points of the time and letting the software calculate the intermediate events by himself. Clear? No? Just follow me:

  • Go at the beginning of you project (ie time = 00.00.000). In the compositor window, activate the camera tool (Adjust camera automation)… and now the tool Info (the question mark button). In the dialogue box that appear enter these values: X:518.9438 , Y:135.6880 , Z:3.0000. This will zoom on the water-closet and make it appear at the bottom right of the screen.
  • In the timeline window use now the manual go to tool to go the instant of time 7s. Then in the camera tool dialogue box enter these values : X:497.9438 , Y:-117.3120 , Z: 2.5000. The compositor window shows now the paper.
  • Let’s do the same at the time 13s with the following values: X:-20.0562 , Y:-128.3120 , Z:2.8000.
  • Done? Now go to the beginning of your project and play the whole thing.
  • You got it.

Well this project is a bit complex to continue this tuto till the end. You know now how to use the camera tool and you are aware of what keyframing is. Almost all effects in Cinelerra are keyframable.

Additional informations: You can view the keyframes you created and the curves symbolising the camera with View –> Camera X,Y or Z. For a comfortable view click on the Fit all autos to display button. Here is an extract of my project:

Good job. Add some other effects to ameliorate the image. Why not some blurs?

You’re done.