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.
4.5 (3 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.
236 students enrolled
Take This Course
  • Lectures 28
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
Wishlisted Wishlist

How taking a course works


Find online courses made by experts from around the world.


Take your courses with you and learn anywhere, anytime.


Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.

About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

Course Description

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.

What are the requirements?

  • A working knowledge of Adobe Premiere and Photoshop is beneficial, but not required.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Bring life to still images in a video production

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.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Get Started

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


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

Section 2: Getting Organized

Time to get organized!


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


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

Section 3: Photo & Video Fundamentals

Time to learn the fundamentals!


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


Learn the difference between bitmap and vector graphics.


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


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.


Learn fundamental topics of both photography and video.


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

Section 4: Preparing Your Photos for Video

An introduction to the section.


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


Utilize Photoshop's paintbrush tool to correct image issues.


Learn how to use various retouching tools in Photoshop.


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

Section 5: The Script

An introduction to the section.


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


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

Section 6: Video Editing

A brief introduction to the video editing section.


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


Put your keyframing skills to use in this lecture.


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

Section 7: The 2D to 3D Effect

An introduction to the 2D to 3D effect.


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


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

Section 8: Conclusion

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

Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed

  • Loading
  • Loading
  • Loading

Instructor Biography

Jason Boone, 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.

Ready to start learning?
Take This Course