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Creating Beautiful Slow Motion in Adobe Premiere Pro

Brent Pierce
By Brent Pierce
By Brent Pierce

Slow-motion video can be very beautiful if used correctly. In this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at creating smooth slow-motion from 60p video in Premiere Pro.

Don’t make the mistake of slowing down standard frame rate video for slow motion.  It’ll look choppy and make you look like a total amateur.

Instead, to make smooth slow-mo, you’ll need to shoot your footage at a high frame rate and then play back your footage at a lower frame rate in your video editing app. Most DSLR’s have the capability to shoot 720p at 60 frames-per-second (fps). Shooting at 60 fps gives you the ability to play back your footage at a slower fps like 24 fps. So, in essence, your footage will be played back perfectly smooth with every frame accounted for at 40% speed. Still with me?  Good.

Take a look at this video shot completely in 60p and slowed down to 40%. Notice how there is no frame blending or skipping in the slow-mo:

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create a similar effect by conforming 60p footage to 24p in Premiere Pro. Unlike other video editing applications that make it complicated to get smooth slow-mo, it is really simple to create slow-motion in Premiere Pro.

There are 2 ways to slow down your 60p video in Premiere Pro…

Technique #1 – Slow down in your timeline

This one is simple and straightforward. Create a 24p sequence.

Premiere-Pro-24p-sequence

Place a 60p clip in your 24p timeline.

Premiere-Pro-slow-motion-timeline

Right click the clip and make sure frame blending is OFF.

Premiere-Pro-Frame-Blend-unchecked

Right click the clip and go to “Speed/Duration” (⌘R).

Premiere-Pro-Speed-Duration

Set your speed to 40%.

Premiere Pro Speed change to 40%

NOTE: If you are working in a different frame rate other than 24 fps, you will have to determine your speed by dividing your destination frame rate by your clip’s frame rate. Ex: 24/60=.4

Now you footage is in smooth slow-motion. You’ll notice that every frame is played back and there is no frame blending. Beautiful!

Technique #2 – Re-interpret frame rate

This is the way I usually conform 60p clips into slow-mo. This is also a good way to make multiple clips slow-mo in one simple step. This will make the selected clips in your bin slow-motion, so if you want to keep your original 100% speed clips in your project, you’ll want to duplicate them before doing this.

Select your clips in your bin that you want to make slow-mo.

Premiere Pro close motion clips selected

Right click and select “Modify>Interpret Footage.”

Premiere Pro Interpret footage

Select “Assume this frame rate” and set the value to your timeline’s frame rate.

Premiere-Pro-Assume-framerate

Done. Now, all the selected clips will play back in slow-mo. Pretty neat.

By using these simple techniques, using 60p video to create slow-motion in Premiere Pro is super easy. Slow-motion footage is a great way to add emotion and style to any video project.

Got Premiere Pro tips to share?
Let us know in the comments below!