Adobe Dynamic Link: The Advanced Tutorial You Need

Premiere Pro 10/09/2019 5 min read

The Adobe suite is a fantastic set of programs that can perform a vast range of video editing and design functions. One thing that is often underutilized is the Adobe dynamic link function between Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Audition. 

Even if you’re familiar with dynamic linking, we’re going to show you some lesser-known methods in this tutorial. These tips should ultimately make editing easier and save you time in the long run. Let’s jump in! 

Part 1: What is Dynamic Linking?

Before we get started, let’s make sure we’re all up to speed with what Adobe’s dynamic link is. Dynamic linking is a function that allows you to work on the same clip or set of clips in multiple programs simultaneously. Essentially, the changes you make in one program will be recognized in the other.

A common use for this is sending a clip from Premiere Pro to After Effects to touch up or add effects. By using a dynamic link, any changes you make in After Effects are automatically updated in your Premiere Pro timeline. It’s pretty neat.

A lot of editors forget that you can also use dynamic linking with Adobe Audition. It will really help you boost your workflow when audio editing. So with that key info out of the way, let’s get into the main ways you can begin to link your projects!

Part 2: Dynamic Linking Premiere Pro to After Effects

The most common way video editors use dynamic linking is to send a clip from Premiere Pro to After Effects. You would most likely do this to add effects and grading to a clip during the online editing stage. 

Linking One Clip

  1. In Premiere Pro, edit your clip as usual.
  2. Select the clip you want to link to After Effects, and right-click on it.
  3. Select Replace With After Effects Composition.
  4. In moments, you should have an After Effects composition that you can begin working with. 
  5. Give your After Effects project a name, and you’re ready to go! 
  6. You can now apply effects to your clip and see them automatically update in Premiere Pro. 
  7. Keep in mind though, it might take a second for your edits to update and you’ll need to render for smooth playback. 

Linking Multiple Clips

Now, if you want to create links with more clips from your Premiere project, simply repeat the process with each clip. All of your selected clips will then be added as separate compositions in After Effects. 

Linking Nested Sequences

You can also choose to send nested sequences to After Effects. If you send a nested sequence, you’ll get access to the nested sequence and to the other files present within that nested sequence as a sub composition. 

Linking a Premiere Pro Project

Up next, we’re going to show you how to bring an entire Premiere Pro project into After Effects. We wouldn’t recommend this unless you know for sure that your edit is complete, but it could prove useful in the future.

  1. Create your Premiere Pro project and edit your clips.
  2. Once you’re finished (and we mean completely finished with your edit), save your project.
  3. Open up After Effects, and save it to the same folder as your Premiere project.
  4. Drag your Premiere project into your After Effects Project Browser window.
  5. You’ll be asked to select the sequences you want to import, choose them, and hit OK.
  6. From here, you’ll now see your sequence in After Effects as a single unit. This is why it’s important that your edits are final. You should only be making tweaks to the entire unit as a whole. 

If your Premiere project is quite large, it can take a little time to import. Once it’s finished, you’ll have your complete Premiere project inside After Effects. 

Pro Tips for Working Linked Files

If you’ve linked a file to After Effects, you’ll notice that the original one will be replaced. If you wanted to go back to what you had originally, this can become quite challenging to undo! Plus, it can also break the dynamic link. 

To help save you the hassle of undoing everything to get your original clip back, try duplicating it before sending them to After Effects. To do this, hold ALT or Option + click and drag your clips to directly above the duplicates. With all of the clips still highlighted, right-click and uncheck Enable

By doing these steps, your clips will still be there but will be deactivated. You’ll also be able to see what you began with if you need to. Ultimately, saving you a lot of time if you ever want to revert to the original.

Part 3: Dynamic Linking After Effects to Premiere Pro

With this method, start your project in After Effects. You’ll use dynamically linking in this way if you need to bring heavily affected clips into a Premiere Pro project. 

  1. Create your After Effects project, and edit your clips. Make sure you label all of your comps carefully, as it will be important when you come to linking with Premiere Pro.
  2. Open Premiere Pro, and create a New Project.
  3. Find the After Effects file on your computer, and drag it into the Project Browser in Premiere Pro.
  4. You’ll then need to specify which comps you would like to bring into Premiere Pro. If you have a main sequence with multiple precomps inside, selecting the top most one will ensure you’re getting the final result (hence why organization is so important). 
  5. Once you’ve found the comps you want to bring in, simply hit OK.

Nicely done! Your After Effects comps will now appear in your Premiere Project Browser as any other sequence would. Just drag and drop to your timeline to use.

Part 4: Dynamic Linking Premiere Pro to Adobe Audition

One of the easiest ways to enhance your video projects is with better audio. Using dynamic links with Audition allow you to work with the full range of audio editing tools Adobe has to offer. 

Plus, all of this can be done without the exhausting back and forth exporting between programs. You can use dynamic linking to edit an entire sequence instead of just a single clip at a time. 

Linking a Sequence

  1. In Premiere Pro, edit your sequence as usual.
  2. Go to Edit > Edit in Adobe Audition > Sequence > Video: Send through Dynamic Link. 
  3. Make sure you’ve selected Pan and Volume Information. This is important so that any audio editing you have already done will be maintained, such as fading in and out your audio clips. 
  4. Now, you’ll have all audio from that sequence in Audition. The tracks order you set up originally will also be the same. 
  5. Here’s the cool thing! When you do it this way, you’ll get a video preview window so you can see how your audio is lining up with your video. 
  6. What’s more, if you make any changes to your Premiere Pro project, they will automatically update in Audition in real-time without rendering. Mind blowing, we know!

Exporting Audition Edits into Premiere Pro

To finish up in Audition, it is not quite as simple as After Effects. You’ll need to export your audio back to Premiere Pro.

  1. Once you have finished your audio edit, save your project.
  2. Go to Multitrack > Export to Adobe Premiere Pro. 
  3. Choose whether you want to Export each track as stem (each Audition track as a single unit) or as a Mixdown session (a mixdown of all the tracks into one single audio unit to be moved around within Premiere Pro).
  4. Once imported, the audio will appear on the track below you original Premiere Pro one, all timed up correctly and ready to playback. 
  5. For your original audio, you can either delete it or mute. Muting is helpful so you can still access the original if you need to. If you chose a mixdown session, simply solo that layer. 
  6. Nice! You should see all of your hard work saved over. 

Part 5: Troubleshooting Tips

If you’re having trouble with dynamic linking, such as stability problems or crashing, check the versions of Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Audition that you’re using. They might need updating. 

The best way to reduce potential problems is to make sure the programs are communicating effectively together. The chances of problems occurring increase as there are more differences between the versions.

That’s it for our overview of Adobe’s dynamic linking function! You now know several ways to work between Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Audition. Whether you’re new to dynamic linking or you’ve been using it for some time, we hope this tutorial has shown you new ways you get the most out of your workflows!

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