Add handheld camera shake in Adobe Premiere Pro [6 Simple Steps]

Adding additional effects to your footage in Adobe Premiere Pro is a common process after a long day of shooting. You’ll usually use the Warp Stabilisation function to stabilise your footage, but not today!

You may be surprised by this, but people like to add a handheld shake to a clip after shooting a scene. It’s perfectly used within the horror genre to create tension or add a little fear into the atmosphere. 

In today’s article, we will break down the steps in which you can add a handheld camera shake within Adobe Premiere Pro.

Why should I add handheld camera shake to my clip?

We know you’re thinking “why the hell would I want to add handheld shake to my clip?” – well, there is a great reason for wanting to do this!

Imagine you’ve shot your footage and you’re in the editing room and there’s something missing you need to add another 2-second clip to slot into your advert or short film to link the story. You go and buy some stock footage, but it’s too pristine and static.

You colour grade it to match your current colour scheme for the film but it’s still missing something.

The footage is too static and looks out of place. To fix this you’d edit it and add an effect to cause it to have a handheld camera shake that looks natural but also fits in with your current clips to create a smooth timeline to the story.

You may want to add some fear or nervousness to an important POV shot for your movie. It’s a little too static for you, and you need to make the audience feel the nervousness. 

There are plenty of reasons for adding in the handheld shake and to be honest, it’s not as difficult as you think. Let’s look below to see how you can replicate the shake in Adobe Premiere Pro. 

You may also be interested in How to Crop Videos in Adobe Premiere Pro: 6 Simple Steps

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How to add handheld camera shake in Adobe Premiere Pro

How to add handheld camera shake in...
How to add handheld camera shake in Adobe Premiere Pro

Now you’ve figured out whether or not you need to add the handheld camera shake to your footage we will dive into the steps to achieving the handheld shake.

If you prefer learning visually, check out our video above with our editor Philip. He takes you through the simple steps to ensure you add handheld camera shake with precision and ease. 

If you prefer reading, simply scroll below and we list these 6 simple steps to help you nail the handheld shake. 

6 simple steps to add handheld shake in Adobe Premiere Pro

  • Firstly select a clip you have, it can be absolutely anything as long as it has handheld camera shake.
  • Take your camera shake piece of film and layer it directly above the shot you are looking to add the effect to.
  • Nest both of the clips together and then apply Warp Stabiliser to it.
  • Click on the Warp Stabiliser settings and select “No Motion” and “Position, Scale, and Rotation.”
  • Once the Warp Stabiliser has undertaken and completed its analysis click into the nest of clips and then disable the reference clip.
  • Once you’ve done this the Warp Stabiliser changes when applied to your static clip will overwrite – allowing the shake from the original clip to sit in the new clip – you’re all done!

You may also be interested in reading: 6 ways to optimise Premiere Pro’s performance

There it is, as easy as that. That’s how you add handheld shake to your clips within Premiere Pro. It’s a great solution to spice up static stock footage to make it your own. If you’re looking to add a little atmosphere to a shot, this is your solution. 

Create tension and fear in minutes with these six simple steps. Perfect for horror and action films – get your audience on the edge of their seats wanting more, a fantastic way to create gripping scenes that your audience will love.

We hope this article on how to “Add handheld camera shake in Adobe Premiere Pro” was useful to you, and for more Adobe Premiere Pro articles head over to our Adobe Premiere Pro area on the site.  Or, you can simply find some directly below this sentence! Scroll below for our latest articles on Premiere pro. 

Oh, and don’t forget to comment down below in the comment section to let us know what you thought of the article. Happy filmmaking!

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Jay Neill

Jay Neill is the founder, owner, and managing editor of iFilmThings and believes everyone should have access to the film resources they need to plan their filmmaking project, which is why he’s dedicated iFilmThings to helping all filmmakers.

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