Archive for August, 2011

Using Effects as Transitions in Premiere Pro

A soft edge wipe can be created with the wipe effect

A soft edge wipe can be created with the wipe effect

Over on Creative Cow’s Premiere Pro forum, user Jaysin Osterkamp asked, “where is the white flash transition in Premiere Pro?” This transition is a common effect used by editors, but is not included in Premiere Pro. So, what do you do in this situation? My advice is to create your own transition using video effects.

There are a couple of ways to create a transition from an effect, one involves the use of transparency to reveal the incoming clip. This typically requires that you overlap the clips on two different video tracks. The other way to create a transition from an effect is to ramp up controls to obscure the incoming clip, then ramp those controls back down to reveal it. In this case, it is not necessary to overlap the clips.

Let’s look at the first way to create a transition from an effect: revealing an incoming clip using transparency. For example, let’s say you want to reveal an incoming clip using an edge wipe with a soft edge. Normally, the Wipe transition would be the one to choose, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, there is no option to feather an edge in a wipe transition, so, now what? One group of effects that is most useful for custom transitions is, yes, the transitions category. In this case, transparency is used to reveal the incoming clip. One of these is perfectly suited for my edge wipe with a soft edge. Here’s how:

  1. Overlap the outgoing and incoming clips. The outgoing clip should be on V2 and the incoming clip on V1.
  2. From Effects>Video Effects>Transition, drag and drop the Linear Wipe on the outgoing clip.
  3. Place the playhead where you want the effect to begin.
  4. Add a keyframe for Transition Completion and leave it set to 0%.
  5. Move the playhead where you want the effect to end, typically at the end of a clip.
  6. Click on Transition Completion and enter 100 to complete the transition.
  7. Move the playhead to be between the keyframes to see the transition reveal the incoming clip.
  8. Adjust the Feather parameter to taste.
  9. Playback the effect and see if you are satisfied with it.

Now, let’s take a look at creating the white flash transition. It is made using the second method: ramping effects up and then back down to reveal an incoming clip. Remember, it is not necessary to overlap clips to pull off this effect. Premiere Pro Help moderator and editor extraordinaire, Ann Bens, provides this recipe for creating the white flash effect.

  1. Add the Fast Blur effect and the Levels effect to each clip.
  2. 10 frames from the end of the outgoing clip, set keyframes for blurriness, RGB white input and RGB gamma.
  3. 5 frames from the end set RGB Gamma to 50.
  4. Now go to the last frame and set RGB white input to 0 and blurriness to 20.
  5. For the incoming clip set keyframes to be the reverse of the outgoing clip. For example, on the first frame set a keyframe for blurriness to 20, and RGB white input to 0, etc.
  6. Playback the effect and make any adjustments, as necessary.

Of course, once you have created these cool new effects, save them as effects presets. For details on doing that, see this page in Premiere Pro Help.

These are just a couple of examples of using effects as transitions. The options are really limitless. Next time you can’t find a certain kind of transition, try building your own using effects.

New Color Correction Tutorials in Premiere Pro from Jeff Sengstack and

Jeff Sengstack

Jeff Sengstack

Color correcting footage is somewhat of a mystery to many editors. Lots of techniques are involved. There are also the multitude of effects related to color correction, not to mention the confusing array of scopes needed to accurately measure color. Which effects do you use? Which scope displays what? How do you solve problems related to color? Fortunately, Educator, Author and Video Producer, Jeff Sengstack has just released a video tutorial series about these topics, and more, on the website.

All basic aspects of color correction in Premiere Pro are demystified, including primary  and secondary color correction, color limiting, color enhancement and much more. Jeff simplifies the workflow by working from a subset of the full set of color correction tools, focusing only on the most effective ones. The tools of Color Finesse are also covered.

Here are some video excerpts from the series:
Presenting the Premiere Pro color correction workflow
Analyzing clips for tonality issues 
Adjusting color channels using RGB Color Corrector and RGB Curves effects
Changing a single color: three approaches

Don’t forget to check out Jeff’s excellent color correction article on the Pro Video Coalition website, as well. 

Video Scopes in Premiere Pro

Video Scopes in Premiere Pro

Keyboard shortcuts: selecting and toggling panels

Use keyboard shortcuts to select the panel you need.

Use keyboard shortcuts to select the panel you need.

While helping users on the Creative Cow Premiere Pro forum the other day, I happened upon a request by a user who wanted to toggle the sequence tabs in the timeline with a keyboard shortcut like he could with Apple Final Cut Pro. At first, I looked all over the manual for such a shortcut but could not find one. The closest thing was to toggle the different windows to the right and to the left. Not exactly what the user wanted!

UPDATE July 2013: Premiere Pro CC now has a keyboard shortcut for toggling Source and Record monitors.

I then turned to the Premiere Pro engineering staff and was enlightened. I found out that you can toggle tabs in both the Source and Timeline panels by first choosing the shortcut for focusing on that panel, and then repeating the shortcut to toggle to a new sequence or clip.

For example, if you press Shift-3, you will be focused on the timeline panel. By pressing Shift-3 once more, it will toggle to the next open sequence (if multiple sequences are open). Toggle Shift-4 for the Program panel and it works the same way. Pretty cool, eh?

When pressing Shift-2, you’ll be focused on the Source panel. If you have multiple clips loaded into the Source panel, by pressing Shift-2 again, it will toggle to the next clip that you previously loaded. A nice tip is to drag and drop multiple clips into the Source panel all at once. There, they are loaded and ready to be toggled to in an instant.

In other cases, you will need to know the keyboard shortcut to open a specific panel, rather than toggle to it. Here are some handy shortcuts to know, so you can get where you want quickly by using a shortcut.

  • Project Panel: Shift-1
  • Effects Controls Panel: Shift-5
  • Audio Mixer: Shift-6
  • Effects Panel: Shift-7
  • Media Browser Panel: Shift-8
Using keyboard shortcuts to quickly go where you need to can really speed up your workflow. Once you internalize these shortcuts, I’m sure you’ll be editing more smoothly.

Video Production with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 & Adobe After Effects CS5.5

Video Production with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 and After Effects CS5.5: Learn by Video From Script to Screen with CS5.5

Video Production with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 and After Effects CS5.5: Learn by Video From Script to Screen with CS5.5

A new video course from our friends at Learn By Video and Video2Brain has just been released. This video series focuses on the script to screen workflow using Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 and Adobe After Effects CS5.5. It’s called, “Video Production with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 and After Effects CS5.5: Learn by Video. From Script to Screen with CS5.5.”

Hosted by Maxim Jago (Getting Started with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5Adobe Premiere Pro CS5: Learn by VideoPremiere Pro CS5 for Avid Editors, and more), this package contains over 8 hours of in-depth training. Maxim shows you how to start a project with Adobe Story, and then import the script into Premiere Pro. After the story is rough cut, add titles and effects with Photoshop and After Effects. Finally, export your production via Adobe Media Encoder to create video files for the web or media files for Adobe Encore. In Encore, you can author a Web DVD, DVD or Blu-ray disc.

Integration between creative applications is the key to a smooth post-production workflow, and that’s what these videos are all about. That’s why I like this training series so much. Here are some excerpts to show the kinds of things you’ll learn:

Meeting the Brief
New Media Features in Premiere Pro
Producing Breakdown Reports for Production and Post
Using Label Colors to Manage Media
Shortcuts to Cut Out Unwanted Media
Creating 2D Titles
Using Text Animation Presets
Preparing Your Premiere Pro Project for the Adobe Media Encoder