Speed up or Slow Down Video Clips With Adobe Premiere Pro CS6

Adjust clip speed to lend a special visual effect to your movie

Like other nonlinear video-editing systems, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 performs video and audio effects that would have taken hours to complete in the days of analog media. Changing the speed of clips is a basic video effect that can add drama or humor and professionalism to the tone of your piece.

Instructions in this article apply to Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. The Creative Suite platform was discontinued in 2013 in favor of the modern Creative Cloud platform.

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Getting Started With a Project


To get started, open a Premiere Pro project and verify the scratch disks are set to the correct location by going to Project > Project Settings > Scratch Disks.

Open the Clip Speed/Duration window in Premiere Pro by right-clicking on a clip in the timeline or by going to Clip > Speed/Duration in the main menu bar.

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The Clip Speed/Duration Window

Speed of clip

The Clip Speed/Duration window has two main controls: speed and duration. These controls are linked by Premiere Pro's default settings, indicated by the chain icon to the right of the controls. When you change the speed of a linked clip, the duration of the clip also changes to compensate for the adjustment.

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Unlinking Speed and Duration

Unlink the speed and duration functions by clicking on the chain icon. This step allows you to change the speed of a clip while keeping the duration of the clip the same and vice versa. If you increase the speed without changing the duration, more visual information from the clip is added to the sequence without affecting its location in the timeline.

It's common in video editing to choose the in-and-out points of clips based on the story you want to show your viewers, so best practices recommend leaving the speed and duration functions linked. In this way, you won't add unnecessary footage or remove essential footage from a project.

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Additional Settings

The Clip Speed/Duration window has three additional settings: Reverse Speed, Maintain Audio Pitch, and Ripple Edit, Shifting Trailing Clips.

  • Reverse Speed — lets you present your clip backward so that the in and out points are flipped.
  • Maintain Audio Pitch — keeps the audio track the same even if you change the speed or duration of the video. Checking this box is a good way to prevent ambient tones from increasing or decreasing in pitch.
  • Ripple Edit, Shifting Trailing Clips — allows you to change the duration of a clip and adjust the following clips in the sequence to compensate for this change. If you don't select this option, a clip with increased duration cuts off the head of the subsequent clip, and a clip with decreased duration is followed by black frames where the tail of the clip used to be.
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Variable Speed Adjustment

Variable Speed Adjustment

In addition to changing speed and duration with the Clip Speed/Duration window, you can adjust speed. With a variable speed adjustment, the speed of the clip changes throughout the clip duration; Premiere Pro handles this through its Time Remapping function, which you'll find in the Effect Controls tab of the Source window.

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Time Remapping With Premiere Pro CS6

Keyframes added removed

To use Time Remapping, queue the playhead in the Sequence panel to where you want to make a speed adjustment. Then:

  1. Double-click on the clip to open it in the Source panel.
  2. Go to the Effects tab, and find Time Remapping under the Video Effects section.
  3. Add a keyframe to the clip by clicking on the diamond icon. This step marks the location for the beginning of the speed adjustment.
  4. Play through the clip in the Sequence panel to where you want to end the speed adjustment and add another keyframe.
  5. Drag the second keyframe forward or backward to adjust the speed of the clip you've just selected. By changing the clip duration, you automatically change the playback speed.
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