Insider Tips: Three Ways to Manipulate Time in Premiere Pro

Insider Tips: Three Ways to Manipulate Time in Premiere Pro

Every week, Insider asks one of our expert contributors to share a tip, tool, or technique that they use all the time and couldn’t live without. This week, Chris Salters demonstrates three ways to manipulate time in Premiere Pro.

Three ways to manipulate time in Premiere Pro

Manipulating time while video editing is nothing short of a superpower. With it, you can choose how quickly moments play out in an edit. Your reasons for adjusting the timing of a clip might vary and can run the gamut from creative speed ramps to practical gap filling. So let’s look at three ways to bend time to your will in Premiere.

#1 Rate Stretch tool

The Rate Stretch tool is a practical approach for changing a clip’s speed. Hit R on your keyboard to bring up the tool. Then grab either end of a clip and drag to shorten or lengthen the clip.

Premiere Pro rate stretch tool
Premiere Pro’s Rate Stretch tool can be handy if you need to fill in a small gap.

The tool will automatically adjust your clip’s speed to fill the duration of the clip’s length. With “Show Video Names” enabled in the timeline, you can see the clip’s speed percentage.

#2 Speed/Duration command

Control a clip’s speed, duration and frame interpolation using this nifty panel, with the option to ripple changes across the timeline. To use this tool, right-click a clip or selected clips and select Speed/Duration or use keyboard shortcut Cmd/Ctrl+R .

Premiere Pro Speed/Duration settings
Adjusting the Speed/Duration settings for a clip in Premiere Pro.

If you’re manipulating audio, you even have the option to maintain audio pitch.

#3 Time remapping

Time remapping is the most advanced option of the three we’re looking at here, and gives you the flexibility to create slow-motion and fast-motion effects within a single clip using keyframes. When you’re ready, right-click on the clip and select Show Clip Keyframes > Time Remapping > Speed.

Then set some keyframes in the timeline using the Pen tool (P) and use the mouse to drag the white band added to the clip up or down to change the speed in that section.

Creating a speed ramp using Premiere Pro's pen tool.
Adding and adjusting keyframes to create a speed ramp in Premiere Pro.

Note that as the clip’s speed is changed, its duration will adjust automatically.

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If you’re looking for tips on getting the most from your account, check out Shawn McDaniel’s playlist on our YouTube channel.

Thank you to Chris Salters for contributing this article.

Chris Salters is a freelance video editor who cuts commercials and brand films. Based in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, he spends his free time cycling, woodworking, and being a Dad. Chris is fueled by coffee and rewarded by beer.

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