Video and Motion • How-To How to Make Social Cuts in Adobe Premiere Pro

Create video clips for optimal display on social media platforms.

See how Kendall Plant adjusts video clips for use on various social media platforms. Follow along as she uses the Auto Reframe Sequence tool in Adobe Premiere Pro to automatically adjust the aspect ratio while maintaining best display of the action.

Headshot of Kendall Plant

Kendall Plant is a designer, content creator, and art director whose unique creations incorporate nature, street photography, and even skulls.  

60-second demo shows placing a clip on the Timeline, then using the Auto Reframe Sequence feature to frame the action

Take a one-minute look at Plant’s technique; the steps are written out below.

Before You Start

Use this sample project if you’d like, or practice with your own.

Step 1: Set Your Workspace

Plant opened her project (File > Open Project) and made sure she was in the Editing workspace (Window > Workspaces > Editing). She had previously added a video clip to the project. She then dragged the video clip (skateboard_clip.mp4) from the Project panel to the Timeline.

Skateboarder appears above Timeline, Timeline shows skateboard_clip.mp4

Step 2: Find the Action

Next Plant edited the clip to remove the motion she did not want. To do this, she moved the playhead to 00:03:10 on the Timeline and used Control+K (Windows) or Command+K (macOS) to cut the clip. Then she moved the playhead to 00:10:09 and used Control/Command+K again.

Markers appear at 00:03:10 and 00:10:09 on the Timeline, skateboarder appears in Program window above Timeline

Step 3: Choose Your Motion

The middle segment included motion Plant did not want to keep, so she selected that clip and pressed Alt+delete (Windows) or Option+delete (macOS) to remove it.

Marker appears between two clips on the Timeline at the 00:03:10 mark, skateboarder appears above the Timeline

Step 4: Transition the Cuts

To blend the transition, Plant right-clicked between the two clips and chose Apply Default Transitions to create a cross dissolve effect.

Right-click menu between clips shows Apply Default Transitions selected, ghosted image of skateboarder appears to the left

Step 5: Give it a Title

Next Plant gave the clip a title by adding some text. She selected the Type tool (T), added text, and used the Selection tool (V) to place it where she wanted over the video. Plant then selected the text and used the options in the Text category of the Effect Controls panel to set the type properties — typeface: Lust Italic; size: 170; tracking: 500; opacity: 70%. Then she dragged the end of the title sequence to the end of the Timeline so it would be visible for the entire duration of the clip.

Morning Flow title sequence has green arrow on Timeline, Effect Controls show type properties, title shows over skateboarder

Step 6: Reframe Your Work

Plant pressed the space bar to preview the video. She then clicked the Morning Flow sequence in the Project panel and chose Sequence > Auto Reframe Sequence. Finally, she set the Target Aspect Ratio to Vertical 9:16 for use on Instagram, and set the Motion Preset to Slower Motion to more closely match the movement in the video.

Sequence > Auto Reframe Sequence menu selected, Auto Reframe Sequence dialog shows Vertical 9:16 and Slower Motion preset

Step 7: Keep it Organized

Premiere analyzed the clip, then placed the reframed sequence into a folder in the Project panel, so Plant could find it easily when she was ready to output the video for use on Instagram.

Preview of skateboarder in 9x16 aspect ratio with the Analyzing label over it

Pro tip: Customize the Keyframes

When Plant used the Auto Reframe Sequence feature, Premiere added keyframes based on its estimation of where the most important action occurred in the clip. Plant had the option of accepting this analysis, or making tweaks manually by locating the sequence in the Project panel and using the settings in the Effect Controls panel to adjust individual keyframes.

Effect Controls panel next to Project panel shows Position keyframe being edited

Step 8: Sequence More

Plant used the Auto Reframe Sequence feature on the same edited clip to generate the sequence for optimal display on other social media platforms by choosing the other Target Aspect Ratio options. Premiere resized the video and title to best fit the aspect ratio she selected.

Looping video shows the skateboard clip at 3 different sizes – 9x16, 4x5, and 1x1

Create More, Work Less

Spend more time creating and let Premiere Pro do the work of highlighting the most important parts of your work for others to see.

Cell phone on wood table shows a skateboarder on the screen, Adobe Premiere logo is lower left

Note: Project files included with this tutorial are for practice purposes only.

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