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What is Time Remapping in Premiere and how to do it?

Learn everything about time-remapping in Premiere and how to make speed ramps. This article will be all about how to manipulate time in Premiere Pro and how to change clip speed so you will have all the information to start time remapping in Premiere.

What is time remapping in Premiere Pro?

Time remapping in Premiere Pro is a creative and popular video editing technique that you can use for any kind of video to give it an optical flow. Time remapping is simply the process of changing or remapping the speed of a clip. You can speed up or slow down your footage creatively to make a smooth transition from one video clip to the other. Or when the music has a speed change in more beats per minute you can speed up certain parts of your video. By doing this the visuals will match the sounds in a better way.

You can also use time remapping in Premiere when you need to shorten your video clip but don’t want to cut it. By speeding up the video clip, or just a part of it, you can keep all your clips and make the video shorter.

Is there an easy way to do time remapping in Premiere Pro?

There are different ways to perform time remapping in Premiere Pro. If you are here looking for an easy way to perform time remapping in Premiere Pro you can do the following. First, cut your video clip into three sections. Second, you keep the first and last sections at normal speed and increase the speed for the middle section.

To do this select the razor tool (or press C) next to your timeline. Cut the clip where you want to make the sections. Select the selection tool or press V. Right-click the middle section and select “speed/duration”. Enter the percentage in the “speed” field you want your clip to speed up or slow down. Play with this amount to get the right adjustment you think will look best. The downside with this “easy” method is that the speed change is too instant and can be jerky. So even though this is the quickest way to create a speed ramp I recommend following the 3 steps above to make your video edit professional and smooth!

The basic time remapping technique is mostly used by beginners and most of the time you won’t get the desired result. If you now have the right result, awesome! But take a moment to read further for the professional way to get even better results. Let’s get started with step 1 and learn how to use time remapping in Premiere in a professional way.

Basic Time remapping Adobe Premiere Pro
Watch here the instruction video for Basic Time Remapping in Premiere Pro

How to interpret footage in Adobe Premiere Pro?

After creating a project and importing your shots in Premiere Pro, you first need to interpret video clips shot at a higher frame rate. By doing this you can play back the higher frame-rate footage in slow-motion on your basic frame-rate timeline.

Start in your project window. Right-click on the video clip you want to remap and select Modify > Interpret Footage.

In the “Modify Clip” panel you can enter and adjust a large number of settings per separate video clip. Any change here will only impact the selected clip. If you want to make a bulk adjustment make sure you select multiple clips at once in your project window.

Under the Frame Rate heading, select “Assume this frame rate” and enter 24, 25, or 30 in this field. The number depends on the basic frame rate you shot your video in.

With this step, you are time remapping. When interpreting the footage you can speed- up and slow- down your footage, but this is not the way editors time remapping creatively. They often use a speed ramp for this.

Interpreting Footage in Adobe Premiere Pro
Watch the instruction video for interpreting footage in Adobe Premiere Pro

How to create a speed ramp in Premiere Pro?

Firstly it is important to record the footage in a high frame rate before you start editing your video. So make sure you interpret only the footage you’ve shot at a higher frame rate for a smooth result.

In Premiere start with adjusting the height of the clip. Do this by clicking and dragging the dividing line (the white line) in the track title section. This step will help you to adjust the clip speed more precisely because you see better what you are doing.

Thereafter right-click on the top left of your clip, on the small box which says fx. In the menu that pops up, choose time remapping and then speed. This will enable the time remapping bar which is a horizontal line spanning the length of your clip  (also called a rubber band). Click and drag this line up or down to adjust the speed of your clip. Take in mind when you speed up the clip, the duration of the video clip is shortened. The other way around when you slow down the clip, the duration will get longer.

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How to use a speed ramp in Premiere Pro creatively?

Remember, the best way is to use this tool creatively. You can create an impact or grab your audience’s attention by adjusting the energy level during the clip. This will result in different speeds during the same clip. I never use speed ramping too often in my videos. It’s the same story with other transitions. If you use it too much it’s getting boring or can even annoy your audience so they won’t watch your video till the end. 

First, we are going to speed up and then drop it back to normal speed or even slow motion. This is what we call a speed ramp.

After you enable the time mapping bar, the next step is to edit a speed ramp. Press P or select the Pen tool from the left-hand toolbar next to your timeline. With this pen tool, you can break up the speed/duration horizontal line. Click on the white line of the video clip to add a point at the place where you want the speed ramp to start. Then, press V or the selection tool from the left-hand toolbar. You can now move the two separate sections, apart from each other. When moving the speed percentage increases when sliding up and decreases when sliding down. Adjust speed according to your liking.

Create a Speed ramp in Adobe Premiere Pro
This instruction video shows how to create a speed ramp in Premiere Pro

How do I smooth time remapping in Premiere Pro?

After performing the previous step and playing back your video clip you will notice the transition between the two different sections won’t be smooth. It will jump too instantly from one speed to the other. With a few final touches, you can polish this transition into the so-called “ramp”. This will result in the speed “ramps” up or down through a smooth movement between the 2 sections. 

Look for the grey marker at the spot where you divided the clip with the Pen tool. This grey marker will turn blue when it gets selected. If you hover over the marker, you’ll notice the cursor change to a horizontal double arrow. Now click and drag your cursor horizontally, this way you shorten or lengthen the speed ramp. A longer speed ramp will result in a smoother transition between the different speeds. On the other hand, a shorter speed ramp will result in a more direct and aggressive transition.

To finalize this speed ramp you can make an S-curve in the ramp. Select one of the markers and you will notice a small blue vertical line appears. Click the top of this blue vertical line and rotate it between 30-45 degrees to change the speed ramp in a smooth S- Curve. With this final step, your speed ramp is finalized. Always check the speed transition multiple times to see if the speed change is in line with the music and visuals.

Make your Speed ramp smooth in Adobe Premiere Pro
How to make a smooth speed ramp in Premiere Pro? Watch this video to learn!

How to shoot slow motion with your camera?

The creativity of shooting and editing videos has changed a lot over the years. These days consumers can buy video cameras that can record 4K high-resolution footage at 60 or 120 frames per second. Some even shoot up to 240 frames per second in 1080p! The basic frame rates are 24,25 or 30 frames per second. With higher frame rates (60,120,180,240) you can shoot slow motion. Besides cameras, you can even use your smartphone to shoot slow-motion videos. To master video production and making speed ramps in Premier Pro, understanding frame rates is key.

panasonic-gh5-4k-60-fps
The Panasonic GH5 can shoot 4K/60FPS and even up to 180FPS for super slow motion!


What are Frame Rates?

Frame rates are the number of still images (frames) your camera can record per second. In the case of 25 frames per second, the combination of watching 25 still images stacked up back to back over one second, is what gives the illusion of video. Your camera can shoot in different frame rates and you can set this in the menu. In most cases, you have the option to shoot in 24/25, 30, or 60 fps.

(The availability of 24 (23.98) fps or 25 fps depends on whether you set your camera to NTSC or PAL region mode. To keep it simple; in the United States NTSC is selected and in the rest of the world PAL).

PAL-vs-NTSC

Which frame rate to choose for your video?

I shoot my videos at 25 fps because I am from Europe, but you can compare it to 24 fps, it’s just 1 frame or still image over 1 second more. Most Hollywood films are shot at 24 fps, so that is what the human eye is used to seeing when it comes to cinematic films. This is due to the amount of motion blur that 24 fps in combination with the right shutter speed causes. Shooting at 30 fps or higher causes your image to appear smoother and clearer like in the news reports on tv. This is because there will be less motion blur and will not have the same look as a cinematic film.

So, when do you shoot at 60 fps or even higher like 120 fps? You will do this to create slow motion in your video by converting the higher frame rates to the base 24 fps. By doing this, you are stretching the 60 frames out to fit only 24 frames of it in one second leaving 36 leftover frames. This means it will take 2.5 seconds (60/24) to play all 60 frames at a base 24fps timeline, and this is what causes slow motion. So the more frames you shoot, the more you can slow down your footage.

When do you want to use slow-motion in your videos? I use it for different reasons but most of the time to create cinematic emotional feelings. You can also make your scene more epic or dramatic by adding a variable speed, which you can do with Premiere time remapping and speed ramping.

FOREVER MADEIRA 4K - Travel Film Madeira Island
Watch one of our cinematic videos to see how we used slow motion creatively

Do you want to learn more?

I hope you learned a lot about time remapping in Premiere Pro and how to create a speed ramp. If you still have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section!

Do you need more information about Adobe Premiere Pro? Read my other blogs!

Learn how to add CINEMATIC BARS in PREMIERE PRO

HOW TO CROP A VIDEO IN PREMIERE PRO

Read here how to edit a TIME LAPSE VIDEO in ADOBE PREMIERE PRO

How to edit music to your video in Adobe Premiere Pro

Time remapping in PREMIERE PRO l How to make a SPEED RAMP

Editing in Davinci Resolve? Learn everything about The BEST DaVinci Resolve SHORTCUTS

Find out HERE what the best shutter speed is for cinematic videos!

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2 Comments

  1. somebody stupid says:

    YOU HAVE JUST SAVED MY LIFE, I SPENT THE LAST HOUR TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO MAKE THEM SMOOTH AND NOT JUST JUMP SPEEDS!

    1. Haha glad to hear that! Enjoy life again 🙂

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