… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1333: Set vs. Scale to Frame Size

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

For greatest flexibility, always choose “Set to Frame Size” when scaling images.

When scaling an image, the best option is to select “Set to Frame Size.”

Topic $TipTopic

When placing an image, or video, that has a different size from the sequence, Premiere provides three different ways to scale it. But not all these choices are good ones.

When the clip frame size and sequence frame size don’t match, Premiere offers three options:

  • None. This places the image at 100% size in the timeline, regardless of the sequence frame size.
  • Scale to Frame Size. This scales the image to fit in the sequence frame, but does not change the Scale setting in the Effect Controls panel. This means that you don’t know how much the size of an image has been changed.
  • Set to Frame Size. This scales the image to fit in the sequence frame AND changes the Scale setting in the Effect Controls panel to indicate how much the image size changed.

You can create a default setting using the Default Media Scaling menu in Preferences > Media. Or you can set these individually for each clip by control-clicking the clip in the Timeline. (See screen shot.)

If you want to create “Ken Burns” style moves on stills, None is the best choice.

Otherwise, use Set to Frame Size. This fits the image into the frame and shows how much it was scaled in the Effect Controls panel.

NOTE: I can’t think of any reason to use Scale to Frame Size.


Image quality degrades if you enlarge an image much more than 100%.

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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1334: Frame Hold vs. Frame Hold Segment

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

When pausing the action, a frame hold segment provides the most flexibility.

The Frame Hold options available for each clip.

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In the past, when we needed to freeze the action, we created a stand-alone freeze frame by exporting a still, then, reimporting it and adding it to the Premiere timeline. But, there’s a much better way: Frame Hold.

A Frame Hold is attached to the source clip, rather than a separate piece of media. To create it, put the playhead on the frame you want to freeze, then control-click the clip in the timeline. Scroll about half way down to find two options:

  • Add Frame Hold
  • Insert Frame Hold Segment.

Add Frame Hold freezes the frame at the position of the playhead and replaces the rest of the clip with the freeze. This is useful when you want to create a freeze, then add a transition.

Insert Frame Hold Segment inserts a two-second freeze at the position of the playhead, then returns to the original video. This is useful when you want to pause the action – say to add a graphic – then return to the action.


You can trim the duration of the Frame Hold Segment as long as you use the yellow trimming tool. Rolling the edit point will break the sync between the two shots.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1335: Add Ease In / Ease Out to Keyframes

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

To access Ease In/Out settings, control-click a keyframe and adjust the temporal options.

Control-click a keyframe to adjust timing and movement options.

Topic $TipTopic

Motion keyframes in Adobe Premiere Pro support changing the speed of movement as you approach or leave the keyframes. Here’s how.

Control-click a keyframe in the Effect Controls panel, then choose Temporal Interpolation.

  • Linear means all speeds are constant.
  • Bezier means that speeds can vary.
  • Ease In adjusts the animation speed coming into a keyframe, slowing it down on the approach. Selecting this option also selects Bezier in this same menu.
  • Ease Out adjust the animation speed leaving a keyframe, accelerating as it leaves the keyframe. Selecting this option also selects Bezier in this same menu.

To remove the Ease In / Out settings, simply re-select Linear from this menu.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1315: Maximize Image Gray-scale

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Even without scopes, we can safely adjust images using Levels.

The Levels Histogram, with red arrows showing the edges where the black and white sliders can be dragged.

Topic $TipTopic

One of the missing features in Motion that bothers me the most is a lack of video scopes. Granted, many effects don’t require them, but, far too often, we need to know whether the images we are creating are “broadcast legal” or not.

Still, we can still maximize the quality of our images without relying on scopes using Levels.

  • Select the image you want to adjust.
  • Apply Filters > Color > Levels.
  • Display the Levels settings in Inspector > Filters.

That “humpy” thing in the gray box represents the gray-scale values of every pixel in the image to which the Levels filter is applied. Black on the left, white on the right and gray in the middle.

There are five sliders below that histogram. The three we care the most about are on top.

To maximize the gray-scale values in an image, drag the left (black) slider to the right until it just touches where the histogram ramps up. Then, drag the right slider (white) until it just touches where the histogram ramps down.

NOTE: What this does is stretch the grayscale values of the image across the full grayscale range. This tends to make images look richer with a brighter “pop” in the highlights. The KEY is to not drag the sliders into the “humpy” part. Dragging in too far causes lost detail in either the shadows or highlights.

Finally, drag the middle slider (mid-tones) until the image looks “right” to you. Most of the time, I tend to darken mid-tones.


Even without scopes, as long as the black and white sliders stay at the edge of the “humpy” part of the histogram, you’ll retain all image detail while still providing a rich, vibrant image.

I should also point out that, sometimes, you don’t want richness. For example, a foggy day has no highlights or shadows – just midtones.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1316: Change the Color of a Single Object

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Secondary color changes are a common tool to create colors that better tell our story.

Source image (top) , color-changed chalk using a secondary correction (bottom).

Topic $TipTopic

Look closely at this screen shot. What’s the difference between these two images…? Yup, the pink chalk at the top changed color. Here’s how.

A “secondary color correction” is one where a portion of the frame changes color, without affecting the rest of the image.

NOTE: Unlike chroma-key, which makes a color transparent, color replacement keeps all the image grayscale for texture and only alters the color.

  • Select the element containing the object whose color you want to change.
  • Apply Filters > Hue/Saturation Curves.
  • Click the gray eyedropper for Hue vs. Hue. (A blue eyedropper means it is active.) This creates three dots on the color line. The left and right dot indicate the range of the selection.
  • Drag the center dot up or down until you are happy with the color on screen. (For example, in the screen shot, both the chalk and its shadow/reflection are altered.)



Many times, these color changes will spill to other parts of the image. To prevent that, duplicate the image, remove any filters, then draw a Bezier mask loosely around the object in the top-most layer.

This is what I did for the image in the screen shot.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1317: An Example of a B-spline Mask

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The B-spline mask tool is great when you DON’T want sharp edges.

A morphing blob shape, composed of two still images of colored chalk.

Topic $TipTopic

Most of the time, when we need a mask, we’ll use the Bezier tool, because it creates very flexible, highly-precise masks. So, I wondered, when should we use the B-spline mask tool?

The B-spline tool creates “blobs,” masks which have no sharp edges. It reminded me of the Blob generator in Final Cut.

So, I set out to create my own blob and discovered the very interesting effect you see in the screen shot.


  • Add Chalk 03 to a layer
  • Apply Behaviors > Spin to rotate slowly
  • Apply Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur
  • Manually enter an Amount of 700, to make it REALLY blurry
  • Add Chalk 02 on a higher layer
  • Apply Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur
  • Manually enter an Amount of 700
  • Use the B-spline mask tool to create a blob of this upper layer, then add as much feathering as possible
  • Finally, add keyframes to different B-spline control points so that the shape of the blob animates/morphs over time



There’s lots of other effects you can add to change the look of this effect. Feel free to play as much as you want.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1320: What Does “Ganging Monitors” Do?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Ganging plays two clips in sync to help figure out the best place to place an edit.

Set ganging using the menu under the Wrench icon in the Program Monitor.

Topic $TipTopic

When you display the Wrench icon menu in either the Source or Program monitors, the first choice is “Gang Source and Program.” What does this do?

Ganging plays two clips in sync – one in the Source panel and the other in the Program Monitor – to help you figure out the best place to place an edit.

To set this up, open a clip into the Source monitor.

Then, place the playheads in both the Source panel and timeline on the frame where you want each clip to start.

Click the Wrench icon in the Program Monitor and select Gang Source & Program from the popup menu.

Now, as you drag the playhead in the timeline, the Source monitor will follow along; perfectly in sync.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1318: Interesting Ways to Flip a Transition

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Remember, wipe transitions are designed to break your story and take viewers somewhere “else.”

Flip transition settings (top) and the results (bottom).

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The Flip Over transition in Adobe Premiere has several hidden settings that can make this transition more interesting. Let me show you.

  • Select the edit point between two clips.

NOTE: Any transition needs “handles,” extra media before the In and after the Out, in order to exist.

  • Apply Effects > Video Transitions > 3D Motion > Flip Over.
  • Select the transition icon in the timeline, then open the Effect Controls panel.
  • The four small arrows (top red arrow) determine the direction of the wipe.
  • Show Actual Sources (middle red arrow) displays the video clips on either side of the selected transition.
  • Custom (bottom arrow) opens a dialog where the number of bands and the background color can be changed.

NOTE: There is no option to make the background transparent.

These options can make an overused transition look more interesting and fresh. Feel free to play.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1319: Customize a Zoom Cut

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The key to making this transition invisible is to find matching colors in the two shots.

The small white circles indicate the targets for a zoom cut.

Topic $TipTopic

A Zoom cut zooms into the middle of a clip, cuts to a second shot, then zooms back out. What you may not know is that this transition can be customized to make it even more effective.

  • Apply Effects > Video Transitions > Zoom > Cross Zoom to a transition in the timeline.

NOTE: Any transition needs “handles,” extra media before the In and after the Out, in order to exist.

  • Select the transition in the timeline.
  • Open the Effect Controls panel and check Show Actual Sources.
  • In addition to showing images of the actual timeline clips, these small thumbnails also show two white circles (indicated by red arrows in the screen shot). These white circles define the target of each zoom.
  • Drag these “zoom targets” so that they both are on top of reasonably matching colors.

Now, when you zoom, the cut will occur when both shots display similar colors, making the actual transition harder to see and, therefore, more convincing.

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1312: The Comparison Viewer Saves Time

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Comparison Viewer is very helpful when doing color grading to match shots.

The Comparison Viewer (left) with buttons displayed on bottom.

Topic $TipTopic

I discovered this tip while researching a recent PowerUP webinar covering the new features in Apple Final Cut Pro v. 10.5.

The Comparison Viewer displays two timeline images side-by-side, which can simplify color grading or other tasks where comparing two images is helpful (see screen shot).

To display the Comparison Viewer, go to Window > Show in Workspace > Comparison Viewer (Shortcut: Control + Cmd + 6).

There are two buttons at the top:

  • Timeline. This displays the last frame of the previous clip, or the first frame of the following clip relative to the position of the playhead in the timeline. Switch between views using the Previous Edit / Next Edit buttons at the bottom.
  • Saved. This saves up to 30 still frames, captured at the position of the playhead in the timeline, then displays whichever you select in the Comparison Viewer.

I find using this very helpful whenever I do color grading.