… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1556: Use Curves to Create Custom Gradients

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

This technique would also work with gradients of other colors or shapes.

Custom curve settings (bottom) and the color results it created in a gradient (top).

Topic $TipTopic

I was messing with curves to create a screen shot for an ad promoting my new Color Techniques for Adobe Premiere Pro training bundle. What I discovered, totally by accident, is that this is also a great way to create custom gradients.

To start, I added a white-to-black gradient to the timeline. I created this in Photoshop; though you could also create it in Premiere.

Then, with the gradient clip selected in the timeline:

  • Switch to the Color workspace
  • Click the Curves text button
  • Select the color curve you want to adjust (Luma, Red, Green or Blue).
  • Option-click to create a keyframe in a curve, then drag the keyframe to a new location. As you do, you’ll see the color results reflected in the gradient.

EXTRA CREDIT

There’s no “right” way to adjust curves. Play with these and see what you can create.


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1557: Caution When Using the Video Limiter!

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The default setting for the Video Limiter needs to be 100 IRE.

For safety, be sure to set the Video Limiter to 100 IRE, not the default of 103 IRE.

Topic $TipTopic

(I discovered this tip while researching a recent PowerUP webinar showcasing Advanced Color Techniques for Premiere Pro.)

The Video Limiter is an effect that clamps white and black levels to “legal” levels. This means no white levels over 100% or black levels below 0%.

However, there are two significant problems with the Video Limiter you need to be aware of:

1. The default setting is wrong. The Video Limiter defaults to clamping video highlights to 103%. This is wrong. You need to change this to 100 IRE to be totally safe.

NOTE: While some broadcast outlets may allow IRE values greater than 100%, this should be the exception, not the default.

2. Worse, the Video Limiter properly clamps levels adjusted using either Curves or Color Wheels. But it does not clamp levels using the Basic Correction sliders. This, too, is a mistake. The Video Limiter needs to clamp all adjustments to gray scale, no matter where they are made.

Just giving you a heads-up.

EXTRA CREDIT

The Video Limiter is not needed when posting media to the web. But it IS needed for projects destined for broadcast, cable, DVD or many streaming services.


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1558: Change Color Grades Within a Shot

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The key is a long slow dissolve to blend colors during the transition.

Lindsay walking from outside into the studio in a single shot.

Topic $TipTopic

(I discovered this tip while researching a recent PowerUP webinar showcasing Advanced Color Techniques for Premiere Pro.)

Let’s say you have a shot where the talent walks into an interior scene from the outside. Most cameras need to be white balanced for either daylight or interior and can’t adjust on the fly.

So, now you are looking at a shot in post that either starts blue and goes normal, or starts normal and goes orange. You can’t keyframe color settings, so how do you fix this?

Easy.

  • Cut the clip in the middle of the transition from outside to inside.
  • Color correct each side of the clip for the appropriate color.
  • Then, add a SLOW (4-8 second) dissolve between the two clips.

Because the action matches, the only thing the viewer will see is a smooth transition from an outside color grade to one for the interior.


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1523: Multicam Audio Workaround

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

This makes XAVC discrete audio tracks available.

Topic $TipTopic

Lee Berger writes:

I’m shooting XAVC-L with four discrete audio tracks. No matter which audio option I choose I get the same stereo track with mics 1 & 2 mixed in both tracks. What I want is to maintain separate channel 1 and 2 sources so I can duck each mic if necessary.

Here’s my workaround.

I select the camera 1 source clip and choose: Modify > Audio Channels > Clip Channel:

  • Format = Stereo
  • Number of Clips = 1

That gives me a single stereo track with mic one on the left and two on the right.

Then I create my multicam selecting Stereo and the resulting multicam clip has the same stereo channel assignments.

Finally, I select the Multicam clip in the bin, Modify > Audio Channels > Clip Channel:

  • Format = Mono
  • Number of Clips = 2

This puts it back to two discrete audio tracks. Seems cumbersome, but it solved my problem.


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1536: Working with PDFs in Premiere

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The key is to convert a PDF to PNG before importing into Premiere.

The Page Options dialog in Photoshop scales the PDF image before import.

Topic $TipTopic

Premiere does not support importing PDF documents. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use them. Here are two workarounds.

TWO WORKAROUNDS

If all you need to do is import the entire PDF page without zooming into a portion of the page, use this workaround.

Workaround #1: Open the PDF in Preview, choose File > Export and set the export format to PNG. This exports the PDF at the size it was created, not the frame size of your project.

NOTE: Ignore the Resolution setting on export, even if you choose a higher number, the size and resolution of the exported image won’t change. I consider this a bug.

If you need to zoom into elements on the page – for example to provide closeups of an embedded image – this workaround is a better option:

Workaround #2: Open the file in Photoshop, or another image editing program. In the Page Options dialog (see screen shot) that appears: Set the Resolution to at least 400 Pixels/inch. This enlarges the image – while retaining image quality – so that you can easily zoom in or out of the PDF in the timeline.

EXTRA CREDIT

There are two types of PDFs: those that originated as bitmaps and those that originated as vectors.

Photos, scans and Photoshop documents will not scale very well, if at all. Text, Illustrator files or images created using musical notation should scale perfectly.


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1537: A Fast Way to Improve an Image

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Basic Correction > Auto provides a quick fix for poorly exposed images.

Lumetri Color > Basic Correction panel. Click the Auto button.

Topic $TipTopic

[ This tip was part of a recent webinar: “Color Fundamentals in Adobe Premiere Pro” ].

If you have an image that isn’t exposed properly and you need a quick fix, here’s how.

Select the image in the timeline, then go to: Color workspace > Lumetri Color > Basic Correction and click the Auto button (see screen shot).

This adjusts the sliders in Basic Correction to correct exposure problems.

WHAT THIS DOESN”T FIX

This won’t fix color problems. It won’t fix blown-out areas caused by over-exposure. And it won’t fix black levels that were crushed when the image was taken such that all shadow detail was lost.

So, this doesn’t work miracles, but it can make many images look a LOT better.

Also, because this moved sliders, if you don’t like something in the new settings, the modified settings are easy to adjust manually.


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1518: Absolute vs. Relative Audio Levels

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Generally, we adjust clip volumes relatively and monitor them absolutely.

The Gain wndow in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Topic $TipTopic

There are two ways to adjust the volume of any audio clip: Absolute and Relative. Here’s what these terms mean and how they work.

An absolute audio level adjustment sets audio levels regardless of the audio volume of that clip before the adjustment. For example, setting one or more clips to -6 dB. If one clip is at -4 dB and a second clip is at 0 dB before the change, they will both be at -6 dB after the change.

A relative audio level adjustment sets audio levels based upon the audio levels before the adjustment. For example, raising the level of one or more clips by 4 dB. If one clip is at -4 dB and a second clip is at 0 dB before the change, the first clip will be at 0 dB and the second clip will be a +4 dB after the change.

NOTE: Audio meters always show absolute levels, the precise volume of all active clips, regardless of the dB setting of their individual clip volume.

KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

  • Select the clips you want to adjust in the timeline.
  • Type G, to open the Gain window.
  • Set Gain to performs an absolute audio adjustment.
  • Adjust Gain by performs a relative audio adjustment.

The waveforms in clips you adjust will change, but the volume line will not.


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1519: Hidden Media Replacement Controls

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Adjusting where a clip starts is a huge benefit for media replacement.

Placement and timing settings for replaced media in Essential Graphics.

Topic $TipTopic

There’s a hidden feature in the new motion graphic templates that allow media replacement. I mentioned this in last week’s tip, but it deserves more attention.

When you add a template that allows media replacement – and not all of them do – you have a lot of control over which part of the inserted image is displayed in the timeline.

After you drag an image into the placeholder graphic (see Tip #1504) look immediately below the image in the Essential Graphics panel.

  • Scale to… This provides four options for scaling the image to fit within the placeholder.
  • H & W. These scale an image symmetrically, if the chain icon is linked, or asymmetrically, if the chain icon has a line through it.

The four icons across the bottom determine:

  • Horizontal position
  • Vertical position
  • Rotation
  • Timecode where the inserted image should start

This last setting is key. In the past, we would need to create subclips that start where we wanted them to start. Now, all we need to do is enter a timecode. This makes it very easy to experiment with the best place to start an inserted video – the only downside is that every time we change one of these settings, we need to re-render the effect.


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1520: Caption Track Tricks

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Captions are now much more flexible and easier to use in Premiere Pro.

Caption track window (top) and caption track menu (lower).

Topic $TipTopic

One of the exciting new features in Premiere’s new caption workflow is its flexibility. There is no limit to the number of caption tracks (the container for captions) you can create. There is also no limit to the number of captions you can put in each track.

NOTE: Well, there is, I guess. Captions need to display for at least a second, so you are limited by the length of your program. But, um, hold your captions on-screen longer than a second…

When you add a new caption track, you can determine the format for all the captions it contains. However, you can’t mix caption formats in the same track.

You can have tracks for different languages, and each track can be a different format (as illustrated in the lower half of the screen shot).

Control-click a caption track to reveal other options.

Here’s a tutorial from my website that describes captions in more detail.


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1496: Caption Formats Supported by Premiere Pro

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

All these options exist because there is no single preferred standard.

Topic $TipTopic

The reason there are so many caption formats is that every distributor has a different preference. Here’s a list of the caption formats supported by the 2021 release of Adobe Premiere Pro (v. 15.0.0):

  • SCC
  • MCC
  • XML
    • DFXP (W3C TTML)
    • SMPTE-TT
    • EBU-TT
  • STL
  • SRT
  • DFXMP

Captions can only be embedded in these three pro video formats:

  • MXF OP1a
  • DNxHD
  • ProRes

EXTRA CREDIT

To illustrate the diversity of captions, here’s a link to an article showing which caption formats are preferred and supported by social media.


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!