The Why of My Simple Motion Effects in Video Editing

A motion effect changes the size, shape, opacity, duration, position of your video, image, text or graphic in your projects.  Motions effects are easy.  I’m not going to explain the how of motion effects.  I’m going to explain the why.

Our story for this post is We haven’t heard that word in forever .

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The first shot [:00] is Garrett shooting a basketball around in an empty gym.


There is a slow zoom.  The photographer didn’t shoot that, I did that in post.  I want to pull you into the story visually and symbolically.  I change the scale from 100% at the start of the clip to 130%.  130% of the original resolution is about the maximum I scale video.  Beyond 130% your video starts getting blurry.

The next shot [:07] is of the scoreboard.


I start the scale at 125% and create a slow zoom to 100% scale.  The speed is 75%.  The shot is blurry.  I like the way the light coming from the scoreboard blends with the silhouette shot of garret playing basketball.  The cross dissolve between the two shots is 4 seconds.

The next shot [:11] is a super tight shot of the scoreboard rotated -30 degrees.


At 130% scale and  scaled it back to 100%.  I copy and paste the motion attributes from the previous motion effect to save time.

You should think backwards when you’re creating a motion effect.  Think about what you want the effect to be at the end of the clip. Do you want to zoom in, zoom out, change the duration.  In each of these cases I think about the last frame before I decide what to do with the first frame of the clip.

The next time I do a motion effect [:27] is between George Carl’s sound bites.


I change the speed of this clip.  The real reason, the shot doesn’t last as long as I want it, so I slow down the speed to 50%.

Ok, back to Garret playing basketball and back to me with a slow zoom [:55].  I’m just trying to pull you into the story.  I don’t want it to be always so obvious I’m doing this.


Scale from 100% to 115%.  It’s subtle.  The viewer barely notices it.

Another scaling from 100% to 120% [1:31]


Another subtle scaling from 100% to 120% on this interview [1:42]


I like zooming in on moments of emotion or revelation in soundbites.

This story is video light. I didn’t have much time to work on it either.  I use what I have and get creative when needed. The reporter talks about the doctor’s office; video I don’t have.  So, I change the speed of this video to 33%.


I know where I want my shot to end, right when the camera is up close in his face.


I want the shot to start right as the camera stabilizes and the photographer is just past his light stands in the shot.  Using fit to fill it calculates 33% speed.

The next shot, same logic.


I know I want to end when the camera is in focus.  I know I want to start while the shot is still blurry.  I fit to fill for a 50% velocity.

Many times in editing I think about where the shot ends more than where the shot starts.

These a motion effects that are quick and easy.  Great to use when under a deadline and you have a 4 minutes plus story to keep the viewer engaged in.

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