Using stills in Premiere

Image of premiere / editing stills

Using stills in your video can help viewers understand more about you topic. Stills may include things like maps, graphics, esp documentary, but may also include photographs 

To start, set up your sequence with video in mind. If you drag your still in first, you won’t have the proper sequence settings. You can drop in a good clip with audio and video then delete it or set up your own sequence by going to File > New > Sequence and choosing a Digital SLR 1080HD

Next, examine your stills – each of them has a size that you can view in the bin under the video info column. Keep this in mind as you need to scale them. 

By right clicking each clip. you can either set it to frame size or scale to frame size. These are different. Scale to frame size will resample your image. This has the benefit of reducing strain on your computer but will reduce quality if you continue to scale. Set to frame size will not resample, but rather reset in the effect controls panel. This has the benefit of maintaining quality, even if you scale the image again but does use more power. 

Once you set the frame sizes, you can either set these to fit your 1920 x 1080 frame or add color matte behind. Use the new item button in the bin to add a color matte and change its color. 

Your stills edit the same as regular clips – simply change clip duration with right click and ripple edit.

By default, Premiere sets still duration at 5 seconds. To change this go to Premiere > Preferences > Timeline. 

Once your still are placed, you can use effect controls to change scale, position and rotation to create video like effect. 

If you have a vertical photo or a graphic that isn’t working quite right, check out our video on using images and vertical video.

Table of Contents:
00:12 – Stills – images, maps, graphics
00:27 – Set up sequence with video in mind
00:59 – Rename sequence
01:08 – Size of still images
02:19 – Resizing stills
02:45 – Manually sizing images
03:13 – Scaling with Effect Controls
03:29 – Use a color matte behind images
04:40 – Double click to view thumbnails
04:46 – Trim or expand clips
05:06 – Still duration
05:47 – Adding movement with effect controls
06:04 – Scale
07:06 – Position