Editing is a must-have skill for every filmmaker. But when you’re beginning as an online creator, editing your video can be difficult and you can miss out on life-saving essential effects. As an aspiring YouTuber or Content maker, you probably knew or read that Adobe Premiere Pro was the go-to editing software, and it’s true that it is a very efficient software used by majority. But as a beginner, you can get a bit lost among all of its features. That’s why today we’re giving you 5 essential effects in Premiere Pro so you can start to have a clearer mind about how this software works.

Adjustment layer

Adjustment layers are a basic yet very useful tool provided by Premiere Pro. Basically, when you want to apply any effect to your video, instead of adding it directly to your video (which can be very painful if you have multiple cuts and footages), you can use an adjustment layer. On that adjustment layer you add all the effects you want, and then by placing it on top of your sequence, the effects will apply to all the videos bellow it.

To do so, go on File > New > Adjustment Layer. Or just click on the New Item button. Drag it on the video track above the videos you want to apply the effects on. Now, by clicking on the adjustment layer or dragging effect on it, it will modify that layer that will affect the video itself.

Green screen with Ultra Key

Green screen is the essential effect used by amateur and professional filmmakers. From adding simple effects on your video (fake VHS, film grain…) with overlays to complex special effects. To do so, you’ll need two files: the video with green screen and the other video that you want to put in background.

Drag the background on the first track V1, then add the green screen video above, on the second video track V2.

Go on Video Effects > Keying > Ultra Key. Drag the Ultra Key Effect on the green screen video. Then on the Ultra Key Effect control panel. Click on the eyedropper to directly select the green color on the green screen video from the program viewer.

Key frame for any effect

Keyframing is a basic technique that can be used with any effect from Premiere Pro. It consists in animating the parameter of an effect to change its value over time. The first key frame will set the value at the beginning of the period, you can then create on other key frame which will define the value at the end of the effect variation.

To see concretely how it works, we’ll use the green screen we’ve already worked on. We’ll keyframe the position parameter.

Click on the background video, then go on the effect controls panel. On the position setting, click on the stop-watch one time to set the first keyframe. 

The stop-watch becomes blue and a diamond icon appears on the right. Move the timeline curser to the point where you want your animation to stop. At this point, double-click on the background video from the program viewer and move it where you want it to be at the end of the animation (I’ll move it to the left). As soon as you move the video, a diamond icon will appear further on the time line. And the position values change.

You can do the same thing on the green screen video. You’ll get a nice moving image like that.

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Lumetri Color for color grading

Lumetri Color is a very important tool. It allows you to change the color parameters of your videos. There you can do color grading, white balance and so on. To do so, click on Color above the program viewer, then click on Lumetri Color on the right of the program viewer. There you’ll have access to all the parameters. The creative panel contains a lot of settings that will help you make your film look the best! Definitely one of the most essential effects on Adobe Premiere.

Cropping your image

Now let’s talk about an essential effect to instantly enhance your video. This feature is very useful to change the format of your film. More precisely you’ll change it artificially with this tool. Once you’ve dragged, that effect on your video, you can either play on the right and left parameters which gives a square format to your video.

Or top and bottom to gives a more cinematic look to your video. It’s pretty simple but very useful. Be careful though, you might want to change the position of the image, so it fits between these black bars.

That’s it for today! Now you know 5 essential effects in Premiere Pro. I hope you liked it and that they will be useful for you later on to help you make your film look better! If you want to add music to your video on Premiere Pro, you can also check out that article.

Looking for cinematic music for your film? Check out this Trailer Epic Hybrid playlist from BAM!