The 10 Best Tips & Tricks In Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro 19/10/2020 6 min read

Today, we’re going to take a look at four hidden tips and tricks you may never have realized were even there in Premiere Pro.

Many people who edit videos believe that Premiere Pro is for simple edits while After Effects is for anything more advanced. While After Effects is certainly capable of handling far more advanced tasks, Premiere is proving more and more to be able to act as a workhorse for your entire project from start to finish.

So, let’s dive in and explore some of these awesome features!

Premiere Pro Tips & Tricks You Should Know About

1. Motion Blur & the Transform Effect

The Transform effect can be used to animate text or pictures in a variety of ways. For those who caught our tutorial on creating a zoom blur in After Effects, you may remember that using the Transform effect can give you the ability to customize Motion Blur based entirely on the movement of elements in your shot. This is a powerful feature that has been present in Premiere Pro for quite some time. 

By applying the Transform effect to your footage, you have a secondary control over many aspects of your footage, including: 

  • Position 
  • Scale 
  • Rotation 

To get a little bit of Motion Blur on an animated text:

  1.  Uncheck Use Composition Shutter Angle
  2. Then You can set your own value manually. A value of 180 degrees allows for your elements to display the highest amount of Motion Blur possible based exclusively on their movements. 

Give it a shot! It’s a subtle effect that adds that necessary layer of polish to your video. 

2. Bezier Keyframes

One of the hallmarks of a clean and modern effect is adding a touch of realism. In real life, objects don’t simply immediately achieve their top speed in an instant. Instead, there’s a slight acceleration when they begin and a deceleration when they end. 

Adding Bezier keyframes add a degree of realism to your elements. What this does is it creates a realistic “ease-in” and “ease-out” effect on any movement, which makes it look much more natural. The best part is that it’s incredibly simple, and can be done in just two steps. 

  1. Select your two Keyframes
  2. Right-click and go to Temporal Interpolation, and then down to Bezier

By doing this, you can keep your footage from looking cheap and unrealistic. Try it out for yourself! 

3. Speed Graphs

For many After Effects users, one of their favorite features is the ability to use a speed graph. This intuitive design allows you to manually adjust and customize the speed and motion of your keyframes in a non-linear way.

This is great for adding your own extreme versions of an ease-in or if you want your elements to coast to a gentle stop. Many people don’t realize that a version of this speed graph is available for your keyframes inside of Adobe Premiere Pro as well, and it’s very easy to do. 

  1. After making a keyframe, go to that particular aspect (Position, for example). 
  2. Click the arrow to the left of the stopwatch. 
  3. This will drop down the speed graph for that parameter and allow for you to customize with maximum freedom. 

4. Track Mattes

One of the most surprising things to many After Effects users is that track mattes are actually available to create inside of Premiere Pro. This effect takes an element found on a layer above it and uses it as a map for what to display and what not to display. 

It may seem complicated but put simply — it allows for you to create a solid object and tell Premiere to only show text when it’s located on top of that object. By doing this, you avoid needing to do complicated masking that can be tedious and time-consuming. But track mattes have a variety of other uses, so try it out and see what you can come up with for yourself! Here’s how to create one: 

  1. Right-click in your Project panel, and go to New Item.
  2. Select Color Matte, and click OK.  
  3. Choose the color you want it to be, and name this Background. Place this layer below your text layer.  
  4. Repeat the same process, placing the new layer above your text layer.  
  5. Go to your Effects panel.  
  6. Now, you need to clip out your Track Matte. With your track matte layer selected, go to Opacity click on the Square Mask tool underneath it.  
  7. Move the corners of the mask to cover your text. 
  8. On your text layer, apply a Track Matte effect. 
  9. In your Effects Control panel, under Track Matte, select the track that your color matte is on (this could be V2, V3, etc). 

This may sound like a long process, but go through the steps and see what the effect looks like. It’s a pretty cool look that can be used in many creative ways! 

6 Extra Tips to Become a More Efficient Video Editor

5. Automate to Sequence

Let’s say you have a music track on the timeline. Listen to it and, we’re sure, there will be pretty wonderful moments when your foot starts to tap, that’s a pretty good place to transition between your clips. Here’s how to do that using Automate to Sequence: 

  1. To begin, make use of markers on the beat. Simply, press the Home button from your keyboard to go to the beginning of the timeline and play the music. Next, hit M key wherever you want to add a cut (ideally at the moment where you are enjoying the music the most) to generate some markers.
  2. Next, press Home on your keyboard to go to the beginning again. Then select the video clips you want to add the music too. 
  3. Now, click on Automate to Sequence from the bar, and make sure that it’s set to At Unnumbered Markers. Hit OK. Doing this will automatically layout the clips in line with the music track.

6. A Better Ease In

You can enhance your video by adding an additional clip or a logo. You can play around a bit and place the logo over the clip you want it to appear. 

  1. For a smoother transition, right-click on the Keyframe > Temporary Interpolation > Ease In.

7. Swap or Replace Clips

You can adjust the position of the shots to align with the music track. To do this:

  1. Click and hold the clip that you want to move. Press Command + Option (or Control + ALT on a PC) and drag it to the location wherever you want to place it. 
  2. It will automatically shift the clips, so you can avoid having to move each manually.

What if you want to replace a clip without losing any transitions and effects that you have applied to it. This can be done with the help of a simple procedure:

  1. Click on the clip that you want to replace the old clip with. You can do this from the video section on the left side. 
  2. Click it and drag, while holding Option (or ALT on a PC) on the keyboard and place it over the original clip.

8. Shuttle Buttons 

Not a lot of Premiere Pro enthusiasts are aware of the complete use of shuttle buttons — J, K, and L. There are a lot of times during the editing process when you’re just watching clips. This could include, finding 2 seconds of usage clip from a 5-minute long video or even checking for errors in the footage. 

In these situations, using the shuttle buttons could prove to be handy. Hit the L key twice to view the same videos at double the speed (and hitting it more times will increase the speed more)! The K key helps you stop the video, and the J key helps you either reduce the speed or play the clip in reverse if the footage was already stopped.

9. Save Export Settings as a Preset

If you usually export videos using the same parameters every time, then why not create a preset? Rather than individually selecting each option whenever you export, you can save a tremendous amount of time with this quick fix. 

To set this up, head on over to Export Settings > Preset > Custom and give it a name. And, now every time you go to export a video, you can just select the custom one you set up. Plus, if you work with different types of videos, you can set up as many presets as you want for different export parameters. One-click and you’re ready to good to go!

By the way, if you want to brush up on the various export settings, you should check out this tutorial here.

10. Adjustment Layers

Considering an environment where a lot of effects and edits are repeated on the video editing process, adjustment layers can be a blessing! For instance, if need to add multiple effects on each clip, it’s best to do that only once.

To get rid of all these involved hassles, make use of an adjustment layer and add in all the effects. Highlight your Project Manager > File > New > Adjustment Layer, save it and drag it at the top of the footage you want to apply to. Now make the changes you want to apply. You’ll see everything underneath the adjustment layer will display your effect. Believe us, this will save you a lot of time.

For even more tips on ways you can use adjustments layers, we’ve got you covered. 

Premiere Pro tips and tricks are super helpful to streamline the editing process, as well as simply making it a bit more fun! No matter how long you’ve been working in Premiere, chances are there are still a few sneaky little tricks you don’t know about yet.

If these sound like something you might use, give them a go! Let us know in the comments how they work for you, and if you have any other little tricks up your editing sleeve.