The Ken Burns Effect and So Much More

February 24, 2015 by Todor Fay Sloan | Blog, Elements 3

Ever heard of the Ken Burns effect? Burns popularized this technique in his PBS documentaries The Civil War (1990), Baseball (1994), Jazz (2001), and more. The Ken Burns effect enables a widely used technique of embedding still photographs in motion pictures, displayed with slow zooming and panning effects, and fading transitions between frames.

But how can you do it easily? Enter NewBlue Elements 3. We designed this starter collection to kickstart your compositing expertise, so you can edit like an expert, enabling you to create the Ken Burns effect and so much more.

What's in NewBlue Elements 3? You’ll find a total of 48 presets in 4 effects that simplify compositing tasks and add visual interest to your video, including plugins that decrease the number of steps required to recreate panning, cutaway, reflection and drop shadow effects. NewBlue Elements 3 is compatible with all major NLEs and integrates directly into your timeline.

Check out some of the top features that make NewBlue Elements 3 a great place to start:

Create the Ken Burns Effect With Auto Pan

Auto Pan makes it simple to emphasize your subject with a light zoom or cover a large area over time with specific panoramas. This is the Ken Burns effect in action!

Use Auto Pan to automatically zoom and pan still images or video without keyframing. You can also control beginning and end positions, as well as rotation and animation velocity. Even use the Set Up View to focus on exactly where you want to relocate your original image.

Take a look:

Magnify Your Subject with Cut Away

Use Cut Away to focus your shots on important details or subjects in your video. The effect makes it simple to amplify a region of your video using a variety of presets. Easily take control of shape, placement, border and magnification to animate pieces of your image, or enlarge your image using a shape or outline.

Check it out:

Emphasize Your Image With Drop Shadow

Select the right drop shadow, or try the Soft Blurs preset to mimic a haunting glow with Drop Shadow. Quickly add emphasis to overlapping object by offset, angle, color, or by using a variety of innovative presets. 

Like this:

Create a Pool of Water with Reflection

In a just an instant, you can create a pool of water or a glass table surface with Reflection. You can also control the original image's position, and the reflect properties including fade, opacity, wave ripple and more.

NewBlue Elements 3 is a great place to start. And for even more helping compositing plugins, take a look at the entire Elements collection here.

NewBlue Elements

Pat Sloan

San Diego, CA

A Hitchcock film buff and video software geek, Pat’s been on the NewBlueFX team for over 5 years. When he isn’t helping video editors make the most of NewBlueFX, you’ll find...