I’ll be first to admit that this should be way easier than it is. And perhaps I’ve missed something along the way. But it should be easy to add a border around a video clip or a still image in Premiere Pro.
So here are two Premiere Pro tips that will show you how to add a border to a video clip. The first one is using a video effect called Grid. The second is using the Essential Graphics Panel.
As always, you’ll need to be working inside a project and have some footage. My project setting is 1920×1080, and my footage is also 1920×1080. I’m also working in Premiere Pro 2021.
Adding a Border to a Video Clip Using the Grid Effect
Find the video clip you want to add a border to in your sequence timeline and then go to your Effects Panel (Shift+7) and locate the Grid effect in the Video Effects folder > Obsolete folder. By the way, you can search “Grid” in the search field next to the eye-glass, and it should pop up.
I know this is an obsolete effect, but let’s live dangerously, shall we.
Drop that effect on your clip.
Open up your Effect Controls panel (Shift+5)
In the Grid effect change the Anchor to 1920.0, 1080.0 (Note: This needs to be the same size as your video clip)
Set Corner to 0.0, 0.0
Set Border to what thickness you want
Set the color to what you want
And change the Blending Mode from None to Normal.
And now you have a border attached to your video clip. If you scale and change the position of the clip, the border should follow and size dynamically.
I learned that this doesn’t work great for clips where the project settings are different from clip settings. For example, if you are working with a 1920×1080 project but using a clip that’s 1280×720.
Adding a Border to a Video Clip Using The Essential Graphics Panel
Now I’ll show you the second way you can add a border to a video clip.
I’ll skip the setup stuff because I know you have your smarty pants on.
It might be slightly helpful to turn on “Snap in Program Monitor,” which you can find by clicking the wrench icon in the program monitor.
Open your Essential Graphics panel
Add a rectangle shape. Turn off fill and then turn on stroke. Give some more width to your liking and color it as you wish.
Change the Anchor Points of the rectangle shape to -5.0, -5.0
Change the position to 0.0, 0.0, and now your rectangle should be at the top left corner.
Now drag the lower right corner of your rectangle down to the bottom right corner of Program Monitor. You don’t need to be exact just yet; we will zoom in and place it just right.
Zoom your Program monitor into something like 200% and use the position bars on the bottom and right side of the program monitor so you can see the bottom right corner.
And now click and drag that corner of your rectangle into place.
Ok, you are nearing the end.
Reset the zoom level of your Program Monitor.
Make sure your essential graphic layer is the length of the clip you are using.
To make this stick to the video layer, if you want to change the scale or something like for a picture in picture effect, we need to nest the clips together.
Select both clips. Right-click and choose Nest…
And now, if you scale down the nested sequence that you just created the video and the border should scale nicely together.
There you have it. I hope that helps you.