Like the Ken Burns effect, but for panning & zooming over movie clips
October 6, 2017 7:32 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a movie-editing app that will let me do things similar to the Ken Burns effect, but applied to movie clips rather than still photos. For example, if I have a clip that shows a person walking from the left to the right of the frame, I'd to be able to extract a cropped shot (lower resolution) in which the person stays centered.

Another example: let's say have a clip of a person talking. I'd like to be able to zoom in on their face as the clip proceeds.

I realize I will need to give up resolution to do this. That's fine. (Ideally I'd be able to save the edited clip in whatever rectangular proportions it ends up with, rather than having to upscale it to a standard format.)

I need something that runs on the Mac or iPad. I'd prefer a simple app that lets me edit and save clips, rather than an app that forces me to create a movie project every time I want to do something, the way iMovie does. But I'll take what I can get. If iMovie lets me do this, that'd be great to know.

By way of background, I'd like to do this in preparation for creating animated gifs from the movies. I know I could get the same effect by editing the individual frames of the gif, but that would be very tedious and cumbersome. I guess if there's a gif-making tool with this capability, that would be great too.
posted by Winnie the Proust to Technology (5 answers total)
I haven’t checked iMovie, but you can do Ken Burns on video clips in Final Cut Pro. I’d assume a newish version of iMovie would do it too. In Final Cut it’s under the crop button in the main viewer.
posted by chococat at 7:48 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure if iMovie can do this but I don't think so. Unfortunately there are are very few simple video editing applications that give you more options than cut, trim, dissolve and cheesy effects. You have iMovie at one end of the spectrum and Premiere Pro at the other end and not much in between. Its very easy to do this in Premiere but getting over the learning curve is a lot of investment just to do some simple edits. There are many programs for editing graphics that have a feature set in between MS paint and Photoshop not so much for video.
posted by jmsta at 10:21 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]

It looks like Adobe has re-released Premiere Elements it was discontinued a while back. It may have what you are looking for.
posted by jmsta at 10:47 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]

iMovie does have this feature. It's pretty simple, and suffers from iMovies too-simple handling of clips, but it'll do the trick. Thank you.

The pointer to Premiere elements was helpful as well. If I decide to spend some money rather than going with what I already have, I'll give it a deeper look.

I'd still be interested in other suggestions of apps that do things like this, or other simple effects.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 12:22 PM on October 7

A bit more info:

iMovie supports panning and zooming, but you can specify keyframes within a clip. It creates the effect from the start of the clip to the end of the clip. To simulate keyframes you have to split up your clip into separate clips.

Another option is Movavi, which is available for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. It supports pan and zoom effects with keyframes, at least in the Macintosh version, as described here. I haven't tried it yet, but it's good to know that it's an option.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 6:44 AM on October 10

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