Setting Timeline Markers and Making an Automated Music Video

I saved the fun task for last. Here, you're going to place a music clip on your timeline, add markers to match the beat (or wherever you want to place them), and then automatically add video clips, one for each marker. Voila?a music video. Well, it's not exactly MTV, but you'll see how this works.

Task: Set the Timeline Markers

Follow these steps to set the timeline markers:

  1. Clear your timeline by selecting everything (use the Select tool in the toolbox?it's the dashed box) and pressing Delete. Drag one of your music tracks to the Audio 1 track.

  2. Now play that audio clip. Listen for places where you'd like to make an edit to lay in a new clip and for each instance press the asterisk (*) key on the numeric keypad (not Shift+8). If you're using a laptop and don't have a numeric keypad, you can use Alt+Shift+=.

  3. Each time you press the * key, you're adding a marker to the timeline. They'll appear when you stop the music. Do that as many times as you like, keeping in mind you'll need one clip for each marker. Because you can slice clips into smaller, discrete segments before making this "automatic" music video, feel free to go overboard. You also can use the clips more than once if you do not have a clip for each marker.

  4. At the end of the song, or when you think you've made more than enough markers, stop the music. As shown in Figure 9.22, a whole slew of little gray tab stops appear on the timeline.

    Figure 9.22. The timeline loaded with markers, ready and waiting to make a music video.



Check out the markers. As you roll your cursor over each one, the cursor changes to an icon reminiscent of the Rolling Edit tool. It signifies you can move a marker to a new location. If you right/Option-click the timeline, various marker options appear. For instance, if you want to start all over, right/Option-click and select Clear Timeline Marker, Clear All Markers.

Task: Fill in the Video Clips

We're going to use the good old storyboard to do the heavy lifting in this task. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Select File, New, Storyboard.

  2. Start filling it with video clips. If you don't have enough to match the number of markers, add some clips more than once.

  3. If you have duplicate clips, you can slice them up now or after you've "automated" them to the timeline. I'd recommend slicing them now to create a more "finished" look immediately after you use the Automate to Timeline command.


    As a reminder, the way to edit a clip in the timeline is to double-click it. It opens in the Source Monitor, where you can slide the in- and out-points or click those brackets?"{ " and "} "?to make in- and out-points. As you fix each clip, simply close the Monitor window to return to the storyboard.

  4. Once you have your clips arranged, sliced, and trimmed, click the Automate to Timeline icon. To remind you, I've highlighted it in Figure 9.23.

    Figure 9.23. The Automate to Timeline icon.


  5. That pops up the Automate to Timeline dialog box. Figure 9.24 shows the interface properly filled in for this music video. In this case you want to change Placement to At Unnumbered Markers, change Insufficient Material to Fit to Fill (this automatically creates slow motion for clips that are too short to fill a gap), and check the Ignore Audio box, because you may not want natural sound stepping on the music, and you certainly don't want slow-motion sounds.

    Figure 9.24. The Automate to Timeline dialog box, filled out to make a music video.



    If you want to include the nat-sound audio on your clips in this music video, you'll need to place the music clip on Audio 3. When you use the Automate to Timeline command with Ignore Audio unchecked, it automatically places the audio on Audio 1 and Audio 2, alternating each clip.

  6. When you've made all the selections, click OK. Your timeline should fill up with clips. Move the edit line to the beginning and play. Slick.

Note any slow-motion clips. Just to see how Premiere fills a gap by adjusting the clip speed, right-click a slow-motion clip and select Speed. If you want to edit any of the clips, you know the drill.

    Part II: Enhancing Your Video