Make an Animated Book Cover with Adobe Premiere Pro

Students create an alternative animated book cover
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About This Strategy

In this 5+ hour strategy, students will design an alternative book cover based off of a topic in class. The goal of this project is for students to create a short 10-15 second mixed media title card incorporating images, video and audio elements using keyframes in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Because Premiere Pro is such a robust editing program that can be used at any skill level, students at any point of their media journey can create stunning video presentations. You can adapt this strategy to your desired field of study, having students create short title cards for any concept you would like or for use with other Adobe products, such as Adobe Premiere Rush.

Supporting Tools and Resources

  • Student sample
  • Adobe Premiere Pro

  • Adobe Premiere Rush

  • Editable Resource Bundle

  • PDF Resource Bundle

Outline for Teachers

300 minutes

Learn.

Students are introduced to the assignment as it pertains to your course and are guided through how to select the book cover they will be creating for the video project. Students work through the guided in-app Premiere Pro tutorials found in the Learn tab in the application. (60-90 minutes)

Evaluate.

Students storyboard out their animation, learn about sourcing imagery responsibly by investigating Creative Commons sources, and collect the media necessary to assemble their project. (60-90 minutes)

Create.

Students create their 10-15 second book cover animations. They can review an example here, and review a deeper dive into keyframes  here if needed. (120 minutes)

Share.

Students share and publish their video for review per the instructor's directions.

Steps for Students

In this strategy, you will design an alternative book cover by creating a short 10-15 second mixed media title card incorporating images, video and audio elements using keyframes in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Adobe Premiere Pro is such a robust editing program that can be used at any skill level and is  a great app for learning video editing and digital storytelling.

Steps:

1. You will be introduced to the assignment as it pertains to your course by your instructor and be guided through how to select the book cover you will be creating for the video project. (60-90 minutes)

  • Check out the student example to get a look at the type of content you will be creating. (Feel free to jot down your thoughts here!)

    • What worked well?
    • Was the visual presented helpful in engaging you with the content?
    • What would you have done differently? 

Next, explore the Learn section in the Premiere Pro application for some in-app training. Go through the “Learn the Basics” and “Animation Fundamentals” sections of the in-app Learn Tab to get the essential training you will need to complete this project. Pay particular attention to the “Adjusting the Animation” setting as it covers keyframes, which will be used quite a bit in this project.

2. Start by storyboarding out what you want your book cover to look like; this will give you a good idea of how your animation will move and what types of elements you need to collect to create your animated book cover. Consider how you will incorporate the key themes, moods, characters, and/or settings from the book through imagery, movement, or sound. Here is the storyboard for the student example in the resource section below. (30 minutes)

As you can see, the storyboard does not need to be super detailed; it simply serves as a guide for how to go about creating your animation.

3. After creating your storyboard, collect the elements you will need to construct your animation. You should include things like the following: (30-60 minutes)

    • Video clips for the background (the background in the example helped dictate the motion of the sample book cover.)  

    • Text elements for the title and author (Do you want to include a tag line?)

    • Photos

    • Sound effects (These can go a really long way to sell your animation. We used some ocean sounds in the example.)

With these in mind, it is time to source the content you will need to edit your animation together. You are welcome to shoot or create your own supporting media, but you can also use existing media that is Creative Commons licensed.

Creative Commons licenses give everyone from individual creators to large institutions a standardized way to grant the public permission to use their creative work under copyright law. You can learn more about Creative Commons licensing here.

Penn State has put together the Free Media Library, an amazing list of places where you can source creative commons licensed and other free media resources that you should use for this or any other project!


Finally, if you find images where you want to remove background elements, consider using Photoshop to create those elements. This tutorial, Remove Backgrounds in ONE click Photoshop Tutorial, does a great job of explaining how to accomplish this quickly and easily. Be sure to save the exported image as a PNG so that you have a transparent background on the graphic when you bring it into Premiere!

4. You will now construct your animated book cover using your collected elements and your storyboard as a guide. (120 minutes)

Here are some tips to help you as you work on your video project:

  • Start by adding your background and your text on screen in their final positions. This will help you visualize where everything else should go and make putting the other elements on the video easier.

  • Add an audio element of some sort to tie your animation together. Audio goes a long way to support visuals!

  • Keep your book cover animation SHORT. 10-15 seconds is the recommended duration for this project. 

  • Keyframes are the building blocks for controlling motion in applications like Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, so take time to play with them and get familiar with how they work. You can find additional information on keyframes and how they work here

  • If the toggle stopwatch icon is blue,  , then any change you make to the parameter will result in a keyframe at the current time sequence (timeline).

  • The “Learn” tab is available in any Premiere Pro project, so you can always look to that for a quick refresher or to learn a new skill.

  • Have fun and make the project yours! You can add sound effects and any additional visual elements you want to embellish your animated book cover.

  • RENDERING OUT YOUR VIDEO TAKES TIME! Be sure to factor in time for rendering your final video. The time it will take will depend on your computer’s specs and how long your video is.  Learn more about rendering here.

Finally, it’s ok if your animation is not perfect. For as short as this project will be, this is a complex process. Video editing, like everything else, takes time to get good at. Keyframes and animations cause problems for video editors from time to time, so go easy on yourself if you don’t get it perfect on this one.

You can review an example here, and watch a deeper dive into keyframes here if you would like to take your video creation further.

5. Export your video, then share and publish your video for review per your instructor’s directions.

Rubric for Successful Analysis

Consult the attached rubric in order to evaluate students' videos.