10 pro (but simple) Premiere Pro editing tricks you need to know

Nov 22, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

10 pro (but simple) Premiere Pro editing tricks you need to know

Nov 22, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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As a video editing application, despite all its flaws and regular crashes, Premiere Pro is one of the most feature-packed editors out there. There are so many things it allows us to do, especially now that it’s started incorporating a few of After Effects’ tricks. But a lot of the techniques filmmakers use aren’t quite so obvious a process to implement.

In this video, Jordy from Cinecom shows us 10 great tips to help add a little extra to your edit. He calls them “Advanced” tips, but they’re not really that complicated. They’re just things you haven’t learned yet. And they’re things you might be doing already, just in a not very efficient way.

  • Use adjustment layers for effects
  • Animate text opacity for smoother fading
  • Use PNG overlays for editing with odd aspect ratios
  • Find and fix the right sound effects to fit the mood of your edit
  • Animate directional blur to fake motion blur
  • Hide clips in your project panel to remove clutter
  • Divide long clips for easier organisation
  • Set a custom thumbnail for clips by changing the in-point
  • Create your own lens flares from scratch
  • Animate colour correction to smooth out clip transitions

That first tip was the most revolutionary thing when I figured it out. There’s so much you can do with adjustment layers that you’d think you could only do directly to a clip. Not everything works quite as expected when you throw it onto an adjustment layer but just experiment with everything. Sometimes things not working the way you thought they would can lead to something very cool.

The PNG overlays is another very valuable tip as it lets you easily work with super widescreen aspect ratios without having to deal with the potential issues that come with using projects that aren’t the same size as your footage. Just use a PNG overlay while you edit, and then nest the whole thing inside a new sequence that’s the right ratio (I do this a lot when I need to reframe a video square for Instagram, too).

A couple of the tips were new to me, though. Particularly the one about changing a clip’s in point to set a specific frame as a thumbnail in the project window. I’d never even noticed it did that before. That’ll make life much quicker and easier when I’ve got a whole mess of clips in there and want an instant visual reminder of what each one is.

Did you know about all these? What other less common Premiere Pro editing tricks do you use?

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “10 pro (but simple) Premiere Pro editing tricks you need to know”

  1. Stephen Carlton Avatar
    Stephen Carlton

    Great tips.