The Ken Burns Effect: Bring Your Photos to Life in Video
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The Ken Burns Effect: Bring Your Photos to Life in Video

Learn how to prepare and bring life to still images in your video productions.
4.3 (6 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
241 students enrolled
Created by Jason Boone
Last updated 2/2016
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Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 3 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Bring life to still images in a video production
View Curriculum
  • A working knowledge of Adobe Premiere and Photoshop is beneficial, but not required.

Learn and use the Ken Burns Effect to help bring life to your still images in your video productions.

Enhance your storytelling skills by following in the footsteps of this documentary filmmaking master.

  • Understand the technical fundamentals of digital video and photography
  • Learn basic photo editing and retouching
  • Bring your video editing skills to the next level
  • Use basic animation and keyframing in your editing workflow
  • Recognize and harness the power of the Ken Burns Effect

A powerful addition to your video editing toolbox

Ken Burns is a documentary filmmaker known for his use of simulated camera movements over still images. By the end of this course you’ll know everything you need to about working with still images within Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, and how to use photos as an aid in your storytelling process. Learning the Ken Burns Effect will give you a better understanding of the filmmaking process.

Content and Overview

I’ll be producing a short-form documentary about JFK’s moon speech, using only photographs, a narration track and the Ken Burns effect in the editing process. I’ll be covering a wide variety of topics, including organization and media asset management, technical fundamentals of video and digital images, photo editing and retouching in photoshop, simple script writing, and basic animation and video editing. As a bonus I am going to show you an advanced 3D technique inspired by the Ken Burns effect. Exercise files are included, allowing you to follow along with the course.

I designed this course for video producers, editors and filmmakers looking to enhance their storytelling skill-set. Photographers looking to get into video editing will also benefit from this course.

I will be using Adobe software products for this course, specifically Adobe Premiere Pro and Photoshop. However, the fundamental skills discussed in this course can be used in any video editing program. A very basic understanding of video editing and Photoshop is helpful, but not required for this class.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is ideal for video content creators of all levels. Photographers and journalists can also benefit from the skills taught in this course.
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Curriculum For This Course
28 Lectures
Get Started
2 Lectures 02:34

Meet me! And check out what the course has to offer!

Preview 02:20

In this section you will find downloadable exercise files, along with some background information about Ken Burns.

Resources & Exercise Files
Getting Organized
3 Lectures 08:13

Time to get organized!

Preview 02:13

Familiarizing yourself with the content you'll be working with is an important part of the editing process.

Familiarize Yourself with the Content

Proper organization and management of your video and still image files is imperative for maintaining a smooth workflow. Learn how I stay organized.

Photo & Video Fundamentals
7 Lectures 15:39

Time to learn the fundamentals!

Preview 01:04

In this lecture you'll learn about resolution and pixels, and the importance they play in a digital image.

Preview 01:46

Learn the difference between bitmap and vector graphics.

Bitmap vs. Vector

In this lecture we'll learn how color in interpreted in both screen and print mediums.

Preview 01:01

Bit depth is a complex and dry topic. You may need to watch this lecture multiple times to wrap your head around this complicated concept.

Bit Depth

Learn fundamental topics of both photography and video.

Framing, Composition & Movement

You will learn how to bring your photos to life through basic animation and keyframing.

Basic Animation & Keyframing
Preparing Your Photos for Video
5 Lectures 24:58

An introduction to the section.

Preview 00:42

Learn how to control the exposure of your still images through levels and curves.

Exposure Adjustments

Utilize Photoshop's paintbrush tool to correct image issues.

Retouching with the Paintbrush Tool

Learn how to use various retouching tools in Photoshop.

Spot Healing and the Patch Tool

Get comfortable changing your image dimensions, as well as using the Export As dialog box.

Resize and Export
The Script
3 Lectures 12:24

An introduction to the section.

Preview 01:03

Learn how to create a simple script document in Google Docs.

Creating a Script Document

Put together a video script using common video and filmmaking terminology.

Writing the Script
Video Editing
4 Lectures 26:51

A brief introduction to the video editing section.

Preview 00:28

In this lecture you'll learn how to edit together a rough cut in Adobe Premiere.

Preview 05:58

Put your keyframing skills to use in this lecture.

Animating the Photos

Learn how to export your video sequence from wihtin Premiere, as well as using the Adobe Media Encoder.

The 2D to 3D Effect
3 Lectures 15:43

An introduction to the 2D to 3D effect.

Preview 01:51

Using the selection tools in Photoshop, we will Isolate the photo into various elements and prepare it for animation.

Preparing the Photo in Photoshop

In this lecture we will import our Photoshop file and animate each individual layer to create a 3D effect.

Animating & Keyframing in Premiere
1 Lecture 01:01

Thanks for taking the course! Now go watch some Ken Burns documentaries...

Final Thoughts
About the Instructor
Jason Boone
4.2 Average rating
15 Reviews
1,225 Students
2 Courses
Video Producer

A video producer specializing in travel and natural history, Boone has a BA in Television Production and an MA in Digital Journalism and Design. Boone produces long and short-form documentary films through his company, Boone Documentaries. His work has been featured in National Geographic, Yahoo!, Bing, Fuel, and Current TV. He is also a frequent contributor to Getty Images.