Lesson Eleven: Making Fusion Videos

To create a fusion video, select which still images in Lightroom that you want to incorporate into your video. Export them at 16:9 aspect ratio to the folder containing your video files on your desktop. Import the stills into Premiere Pro, drop into appropriate places in the timeline, right click on images and > set to frame size. Sync music to taste. You can also double click on an image and change the duration (or select multiple clips at a time also). Add transitions from stills to video and vice versa (I like to select multiple clips and click Sequence > Add default transitions). 

In general, it’s best to represent different moments with stills vs. video, not to include a moment in both formats, in order to maintain interest and avoid repetition. Remember to always consider how to best tell the story for any given moment; choose stills for moments of quiet or stillness that can be strongly composed as a single frame or series, and choose video if the moment contains meaningful audio, movement, dynamic connection, changing light, or emotion that would benefit the story. I also often make stills when I have a whole family (or all the siblings) together in one frame, in addition to the film clips, just because having everyone in the frame is very valuable. But your video should be unique moments that aren’t repeated, to maintain interest.  

Exporting your Projects

Ensure either the whole project in the export timeline is selected OR nothing is selected before exporting, otherwise you will only export whichever portion is selected (this does come in handy when you want to only export an excerpt such as to send a 60 second version to Instagram). Ensure both video and audio boxes are checked. Set title and desired path for exported film. Check Use Maximum Render Quality. Decide if you want to export immediately or queue (export later if you still want to continue editing in Premiere Pro). 

Main Video Tab Export Settings to note

  • Format: HD. 264
  • Preset: If you know the specific format you want to export to, such as if you are only exporting to QuickTime
  • Bitrate 16.8 or really anywhere between 15-20 (scroll down in video export settings)
  • Bitrate encoding: CBR is faster and good for when there is not a lot of fast motion, and VBR 2 Pass is best if there is a lot of movement or lighting variation, as you’ll notice the difference most in areas of motion and quick changes from light to dark. In VBR 2 pass, the first pass is analyzing your project and the second pass executes the compression. You will get better quality exporting the above mentioned types of situations with VBR 2 but a longer exporting time. 
  • Frame rate-indicate the frame rate of your project (the frame rate of your sequence; if mixing frame rates, go with lowest frame rate) 
  • TV standard (NTSC vs PAL)
  • Profile- High is best quality for big screens with a good decoder. Main- Good for more modern smartphones and tablets. Baseline- Compatible with most smartphones and tablets, including older mobiles. So, if you know your project is going to be viewed a certain way, then select the Profile accordingly. Or for simply the highest quality, choose High. 


Main Audio Tab Export Settings to note: 

  • Audio format→ AAC
  • 48000 Hz (48MHz)
  • Channel: Stereo