Fake Dolly Zoom & Cinematic Movements in Adobe Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro - 5 cinematic camera movements like pan & zoom and fake dolly
Premiere Pro - 5 cinematic camera movements like pan & zoom and fake dolly

If you want to add some cinematic movement like the fake dolly zoom to your footage this video will show you spice up your edit.

Pan Around Your Footage

Add a subtle movement to your footage by animating the position value of your clip in the Effect Controls (Effects Controls > Motion > Position). Add a keyframe at the beginning of your clip. Then add another keyframe at the end, but move your clip over just a little bit to the left or the right. Make sure the actual footage is bigger than the sequence dimensions otherwise you will end up with black areas because there is not enough visible content. This will add a very appealing subtle movement to your static footage as if you did a smooth pan in camera on a tripod.

Cinematic Zoom (Pan & Zoom)

Here as well, make sure your actual footage occupies more real estate than the sequence. It’s a similar technique as the previous one, but his time you will be animating the scale value. Hit the stopwatch for the scale value (Effect Controls > Motion > Scale). You can add the previous technique to this, by adding a subtle movement with the position value. As if the camera operator did move toward a certain point in view, like a building for instance. This is often referred to as the popular ‘Pan & Zoom‘ effect.

Rotate & Zoom

The next effect is also very similar. This time we will just add a subtle rotation. So start off by adding some movement with the scale value. Keyframe from 100 to around 110 in the scale value (Effect Controls > Motion > Scale) by hitting the stopwatch. Once you highlight ‘Motion‘ in the Effect Controls you will see handles in the program monitor which you can click and drag. Since you hit the stopwatch the keyframe will be added automatically at the current time where the playhead is sitting. Now after you did add keyframes at the beginning and end of your clip, just add a subtle rotation by hitting the stopwatch on the rotation value right below the scale value (which activates the keyframe recording).

Fake Tracking Shot

This one is very similar to the first technique ‘Pan&Zoom‘. You are just adding some movement to the footage with the position value. The only difference is, you are “follow” a moving subject within the footage rather than moving towards a static object. Again hit the ‘Motion‘ Button (to activate the handles) and activate the keyframe recording by clicking the position value (Effects Controls > Motion > Position). Add keyframes at the beginning and end of your clip. Adjust the position of your footage as if the camera was following the moving subject.

Fake Dolly Zoom

This is very similar to the ‘Rotate&Zoom‘ effect. But instead of adjusting the rotate value, we will add an effect to the footage to get the Fake Dolly Zoom. Go to effects and select ‘Basic 3D‘. Apply it to your clip. Add a scale movement to the footage as in the previous techniques. This time accentuate it a little more to emphasize the ‘dolly‘ style movement. Now with the Basic 3D Effect add keyframes to the ’tilt’ value. Start with 0 to -10. It will depend on the footage so feel free to play around with this value. You might as well end up with -5 or -15.

With these techniques, you can spice up static shots and add convincing cinematic movement to your footage. These effects are actually just iterations of very common effects like Pan & Zoom (in camera) and the popular Ken Burns Effects (in-camera and later in post), which was invented by camera operator Ken Burns when showing photographs in films & documentaries. Many resources refer to these 2 effects as being similar, but by definition, Ken Burns is being applied to static pictures.


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