Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the most powerful tools for video editing, and you can use it for several project types. The software has numerous features that will help you bring your creative ideas to life, but the learning curve is sometimes steep.
When learning how to use Premiere Pro, starting with the fundamentals is a good idea. This article will identify 10 essential terms you should understand.
1. Adjustment Layer
When you begin using video editing software, you might quickly find it annoying if you can only edit the colors on one part of your footage. Luckily, the solution is pretty simple: use an adjustment layer.
Adjustment layers let you copy components from one part of your video and add them to others. You can paste any colors you’ve edited and make sure that your dimensions remain consistent.
Adding an adjustment layer in Premiere Pro is simple. First, make sure that you’ve selected the Editing workspace. Then, go to New Item > Adjustment Layer and change everything as you feel is necessary.
If you only learn one beginner term for Premiere Pro, make sure it’s Workspaces. To put things simply, this tab is where you will find all the different editing windows for your video. You can, for example, find a specific place to color grade your projects—and another for adding graphics.
To find the Workspaces tab, click on Windows at the top of your app. There, you’ll see Workspaces; hover your cursor over it to reveal the dropdown menu.
When editing your work in Premiere Pro, you’ll start a project—and you will need to give it a title before continuing. Once you’ve done that and added the media you want to edit, you’ll see all of it in the Project section.
The Project section is in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen. When you’re ready to add media to the timeline, you can drag and drop your files accordingly. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can use the search bar to look for the file name.
4. Export Settings
Once you’ve finished editing your project in Premiere Pro, you’re ready to export your masterpiece. You probably don’t need us to tell you that video formats differ depending on where you publish your project, and you’ll want to ensure that you pick the right settings.
In Premiere Pro, you will find several export settings. You can upload your media directly to YouTube, for example, and the app also lets you upload to platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
When exporting your files, you can also add presets to ensure that everything is formatted for specific platforms. To access these tools, go to File > Export > Media.
Before exporting your video, make sure you render it; we’ll talk more about that later.
5. Lumetri Color
If you’ve edited photos in Lightroom before, you’re probably familiar with the importance of making your colors look good. And in video editing, getting this aspect right is even more important. In Premiere Pro, you will find several tools to help you edit the colors in your footage.
Under the Lumetri Color tab, you will find everything you need to adjust how your footage looks. You can also change the exposure, contrast, highlights, and so on. If you’re short on time, you can use the Auto button to create a starting point to work with.
To access Lumetri Color, go to Windows > Workspaces > Colors.
6. Color Correction
If you’ve consumed content about how to edit videos, you will probably have heard of color correction. And in Premiere Pro, you will find a selection of tools to help you alter your footage in this respect. Like the adjustments we mentioned above, you can find all of these features under the Lumetri Color section.
To color correct your video, go to the Correction section in Lumetri Color. You’ll find wheels for your shadows, highlights, and mid-tones there. Adjust them as you feel necessary. You can also edit colors for the whole image by clicking on the small circle icon.
As you edit your footage, you might find specific areas that you later want to remove or adjust. Similarly, you might also have places where you’d like to add effects or change the sound later. In either case, markers work as placeholders to make it easier to return to those places.
Setting markers in Premiere Pro is easy. You can either go to the Add Marker icon on the video timeline or press M on your keyboard. Learn the rest of Premiere Pro’s shortcuts here.
8. Voice-Over Record
If you’re thinking of recording audio from your camera, you might want to reconsider that approach. The sound is often pretty poor, and you’re better off looking at ways to improve the audio quality of your videos if you want to build an audience.
In Premiere Pro, you can directly record your voice onto the timeline. You can use your computer microphone, but ideally, you’ll have an external microphone instead.
Note that you’ll often need to adjust your settings if you want to talk through an external microphone. Hold down Control and click on the microphone icon before going to Voice-Over Record Settings. Adjust what you need to before pressing OK.
The timeline is one of the most important features in Premiere Pro; fortunately, it’s also one of the easiest to notice. Simply put, your timeline is where you will see the footage for your video project—plus any effects you’ve added.
You’ll see the timeline at the bottom of your screen.
Forgetting to render is a huge mistake that many beginner video editors learn the hard way. Doing so in Premiere Pro is easy, and it’ll ensure that your video uploads smoothly with all the effects you’ve added.
To render your video, go to Sequences > Render In to Out. You will also see options to do the same to effects, audio, and specific selections. Rendering large projects can take a while, especially if your computer doesn’t have a powerful processor.
Learn the Basics of Premiere Pro
You will always find new things to learn even when you become experienced with Premiere Pro. But in your early days, understanding the basics is essential. Once you’ve come to grips with the basics mentioned in this article, you’ll be ready to produce high-quality projects.