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Ultimate Guide to All Things Zooming in Premiere Pro

Zoom Zoom!



If you're like most editors, you're always looking for ways to work faster and more efficiently. You'll likely spend a lot of time zooming in and out on your Adobe Premiere Pro timeline while you're video editing. Also, when I think of a zoom effect, I think of movement from keyframes like camera moves on specific clips. Plus, often you might need to zoom in on footage and reposition it to cover up something you don't want to see or focus in on a specific portion of the frame.

We'll cover all of this in this article, essentially everything you need to know about how to zoom in on Premiere Pro.

How To Zoom In On Premiere Pro

Zooming in and out of your Adobe Premiere Pro timeline can be a huge time-saver, and there are a few different ways to do it. These examples are using sequence settings and frame size of 1920x1080 with square pixels Pixel Aspect Ratio.

Option 1: The first way is to simply use the mouse scroll wheel.

Scrolling Mouse Wheel

If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can just hover over the timeline and use the scroll wheel plus the Option Key (Premiere Pro for MacOS) or the Alt Key (Premiere Pro for Windows) to zoom in and out.

Option 2: You can also use the "-" and "+" keys on your keyboard with a modifier.

Simply press "Command -" to zoom out and "Command +" to zoom in (on MacOS) and "Control -" to zoom out and "Control +" to zoom in on Adobe Premiere Pro for Windows.

Option 3: Premiere Pro gives you a handy zoom tool, signified by a Magnifying Glass icon in the Tool palette.

Premiere Pro Zoom Tool

Or you could use the keyboard shortcut "Z" to access the zoom tool. Then use it to draw a marquee around a section of the timeline to zoom in on it and have it fill your timeline view.

Zooming in the Premiere Pro Canvas (Source and Program Monitors)

Just as you can zoom in and out of your timeline, you can also zoom in and out of your source and program monitors in Premiere Pro.

You can zoom in on the actual footage, in case you need to isolate something or see something more close-up.

In both the Program Monitor (the display of the footage on your timeline) and the Source Monitor (where you play back individual clips from your project to select in and out points), select a zoom level scale from the Zoom Level drop-down menu.

Premiere Pro Select Zoom Level

Alternatively, you can right-click and go to Magnification and choose a zoom level scale. These scale settings are displayed as percentages, plus settings to go back to fit the picture into the program monitor.

adobe premiere program monitor zoomed

How to unzoom in Premiere Pro? Just do the opposite! :)

Keyframing Zooms on Clips / Applying Camera Moves in Premiere Pro

Oftentimes I need to add some motion to my clips, like a virtual camera move. There are a few ways to do this.

To simply zoom in on a clip or piece of footage, go to the effect controls in the Source Monitor by selecting a clip in the timeline or in your project and choosing its Effect Controls window (Shift-5). Then you can adjust the Scale parameter and reposition on the X and Y axes as needed. Animating the zoom and position properties is easy with keyframes if you'd like to add movement.

To Keyframe a Zoom effect using the Scale and Position parameters, place the playhead where you'd like it, add your first keyframe, then move the playhead to the out position, add your second keyframes and then adjust your scale and position.

Premiere Pro Keyframe a Zoom Effect

For a more natural zoom effect, change the keyframe interpolation by right clicking on the keyframe and choosing something other than "Linear", like Ease In or Ease Out. Move the keyframe further down the timeline to more slowly zoom in.

Premiere Pro Zoom Keyframe Interpolation

Some advanced ADOBE PREMIERE PRO zoom tips:

Use the Transform effect from Effects / Distort. Add it to your video clips and keyframe the scale and position parameters there. This effect is more like zooming in After Effects, and allows you to create motion blur for a natural-looking smooth zoom effect. Unchecking "Use Composition Shutter Angle" allows you to set your own composition shutter angle to adjust the amount of motion blur. To achieve the classic vertigo digital Dolly Zoom effect, check out this article.

Premiere Pro Transform Effect for Zooming

Alternatively, you can right click on a clip and "Replace with After Effects Composition". This will send the clip to After Effects where you can keyframe position and scale with motion blur added, plus have all of the extra power of After Effects at your disposal (3D camera, 3D movements, Depth of Field, etc). I do this very often and it's quicker than it sounds. Be sure to add motion blur to create more realism than a basic digital zoom.

Premiere Pro Send to After Effects for Zoom Effect

These are just a few of the ways you can zoom in and out in Premiere Pro. By learning these shortcuts, you can save yourself a lot of time in the editing process.

Some third parties offer a Zoom Blur transition in Premiere Pro that's worth mentioning. It is a transition you can place between clips and it will animate the look of a zoom between the clips, complete with a motion blur effect. Some zoom blur transitions will even allow you to choose the focal point of the center of the blur.

You can zoom in to full screen on any panel in Premiere Pro, like the Project Panel, by using the Shit + ~ key command.

Adobe Premiere Pro Ken Burns Effect

A popular type of zooming animation is what is called the Ken Burns Effect, a slow panning and zooming effect popularized by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, who features a lot of animated still images in his films. There are plenty of third-party Ken Burns Effects, I particularly like Pan and Zoom from FxFactory. Of course this type of animation works on video footage, as well.

You can find a Premiere Pro tutorial on the Ken Burns effect, but it's pretty simple to implement . . . simply find a start point in your footage and add a keyframe for the scale and position parameters. Then move to where you'd like the animation to end and add keyframes to the scale and position parameters. Make slight adjustments and make sure you ease in and out of those keyframes, and you've got a nice, smooth Ken Burns animation.

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If you haven't made the decision to purchase Premiere Pro or Adobe Creative Cloud, I highly recommend the software for becoming the best video editor you can be!

How Do You Crop Video in Premiere Pro?

To created a cropped video, simple add the Crop Effect from Video Effects / Transform / Crop. You can then adjust the crop amount on the video clip by adjusting the sliders on all sides in the effects control panel. You can make final sizing adjustments in the video clip's Scale and Position parameters.

Read all about Cropping in Premiere Pro here.

What About Premiere Rush?

Premiere Rush CC offers a quick and easy way to zoom in on your footage.

Simply select the area you want to zoom in on and press the "Z" key on your keyboard. This will temporarily zoom in on that area, making it easier to edit.

To return to the original view, press the "Z" key again.

For a Premiere Rush zoom in timeline -

Click on the "Timeline" tab at the top of the screen.

Zoom in on the timeline by using your mouse or trackpad to scroll up on the timeline.

Zooming in Premiere Pro Frequently Asked Questions

How is a still image zoomed in on Premiere Pro?

Zooming in on a still image in Premiere Pro involves using the magnification controls to increase the size of the image. The magnification controls are located in the lower-left corner of the program window.

What is the difference between zooming and the Ken Burns effect in Premiere Pro?

Zooming enlarges a clip while the Ken Burns effect creates a panning and zooming effect over time.

How do you zoom in on a clip in Premiere Pro?

To zoom in on a clip in Premiere Pro, use the mouse scroll wheel or the zoom slider in the bottom right corner of the timeline.

What is Pan and Scan in Premiere Pro?

A technique used to improve the viewing quality of a widescreen film on a standard television. The technique crops the top and bottom of the image to match the proportions of the standard television screen.

How Do I Create a Scrolling Image in Premiere Pro?

Scrolling images are a great way to add visual interest to your videos. In Premiere Pro, you can create a scrolling image by using the Slideshow effect.

To create a scrolling image, first add an image to your project. Then, apply the Slideshow effect to the image. In the Slideshow effect, set the "Type" to "Scroll."

Next, set the "Speed" and "Scroll Direction" properties. The "Speed" property controls how fast the image scrolls, and the "Scroll Direction" property controls which direction the image scrolls.

Finally, preview your video and make any necessary adjustments.

How Do I Zoom In on an Audio Track in Premiere Pro?

To zoom in on audio tracks in Premiere, use the key command Ctrl+ += (Windows) or Command+ += (Mac). (Control Plus Symbol or Command Plus Symbol). This will zoom the audio waveforms in the timeline. You can also use the scroll wheel on your mouse to manually adjust the magnification of your track with the Option modifier (Mac), or Alt modifier (Windows).

All of the above commands zoom in on audio and video tracks on the Premiere timeline.

You can also create a custom key command for zooming in and out of audio tracks by going to Premiere Pro > Keyboard.