Online video consumption has gone through the roof in recent years. Over the last 30 days, more video content has been uploaded to the internet than the previous 30 years of TV content. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that so many businesses are utilizing video as a marketing tool; a whopping 81% of companies currently use video in their marketing strategy.
Many business owners will merely work alongside a video production agency in order to produce professional video content. But if you don’t have the budget to outsource video, then odds are you’ll be producing a lot of your content in-house. If this is the case, it’s highly likely that you’ll come across Adobe Premiere Pro at some point.
Adobe Premiere Pro is an essential tool for videographers of all skill levels. Whether you’re just starting out with producing video content or you’ve been in the industry for years, Premiere Pro is usually the editing software of choice.
Whilst the capabilities of this platform are truly incredible, it can take a bit of getting used to. One of the most popular ways to hack the editing process is by using plugins to eliminate a lot of the manual work. But even then, the platform can be somewhat of a minefield for beginners. It certainly took me a while to get used to!
With this in mind, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite hacks to help you get to grips with Adobe Premiere Pro…
#1. Synchronize Audio
If you tend to record audio separately to your footage, for example using an external recorder, then you’ll probably know the struggle of moving your audio track one frame at a time until it’s in sync with the video. It’s not ideal and takes up far more time than it really should. What if I were to tell you this can all be done within Premiere Pro simply by clicking one button?
Select the audio clips that you want to sync, right-click into them and select ‘Synchronize’. From here select the bottom box that says ‘Audio’ and Premiere Pro will begin to process the clips. This method doesn’t work 100% of the time, particularly if one of the audio clips isn’t very clear, but it’s certainly worth trying before you commit to sync your clips manually.
#2. Get Rid Of Flicker
Ever got back from a shoot only to discover a flickering light in the background of your favorite clip? This often happens when the light source is at a different frequency to your shutter speed. It’s fairly easy to fix this in-camera by adjusting your shutter speed. But if you’re in a hurry, or didn’t notice the flicker on your viewfinder then there’s not much that you can do. It can ruin a whole shot and make you feel like you wasted precious time. There’s no need to worry though, there’s an easy fix for it in post-production that literally takes seconds. Peter McKinnon explains it pretty well in this video.
#3. Reduce Lag
There’s nothing worse than experiencing lag whilst trying to meet a deadline, even on the best of days. As you download more plugins and use up more internal memory within your PC, it’s likely that you’ll experience lag more frequently. Luckily, there’s an easy fix that should help reduce the amount of lag you see. Go to ‘Edit’, ‘Preferences’, ‘Memory’ and then put the ‘RAM reserved for other applications’ as low as possible.
#4. Reduce Lag Pt. 2
Implemented my last tip but still experiencing lag? Don’t worry, there is another solution; one that’s usually more effective if you have a PC with low RAM. Inside your ‘Program’ or ‘Source’ window, you may notice a small box that says ‘Full’, provided you have a clip inside the window. This box represents playback quality. Turn this down to a number that allows you to play your video back without it lagging; this will usually be either ‘1/4’, ‘1/8’ or ‘1/16’. Just to note, your video will lose quality while you have this number at a lower rate, but this won’t impact the quality when you go to export your video.
#5. Replicate Clip
This quick but effective hack will save you a load of time whilst editing. Replicate any clip within your timeline by holding down ‘Alt’ (‘Option’ key on Mac) and dragging the clip. If you have any transitions or effects on your clip then these will also be copied.
#6. Use Adjustment Layers For Color Grading
You may already use the ‘Lumetri Color’ tab to color correct your footage, but there’s an easy hack that can take this to the next level. Use LUT packs to give your footage a truly cinematic feel. If you’re on a budget, you should be able to find some quality packs for cheap or even free. If you really want to add that professional feel to your videos, you may want to invest in a more advanced pack such as Magic Bullet Looks. From here, place an adjustment layer over your desired footage and lower the Opacity to a level that feels right for you.
#7. Export And Edit Simultaneously
One of the biggest downsides of Adobe Premiere Pro, particularly if your PC doesn’t have a lot of RAM, is exporting. It can take a considerable amount of time for heavy footage and means that you can’t edit any other video content whilst waiting. Saying that, there is a way to avoid the latter.
Download Adobe Media Encoder to your computer using Adobe Creative Cloud; if you already have access to the full Adobe Creative Suite this program will be free. Once you’ve done this, click on ‘Export’, customize your export settings where appropriate and click ‘Queue’. Your video will open within Adobe Media Encoder and you can get on with editing your other videos! It may take a bit longer to export this way and mean that you experience a bit more lag than usual whilst editing, but if you need to start working on other footage this trick can be a lifesaver.
#8. Organize Into Folders Before Editing
One way to streamline your workflow within Premiere Pro is by organizing your footage into folders – called ‘Bins’ inside Premiere Pro – before getting started with the editing process. These folders can be whatever you feel makes the most sense, but it really does help when trying to sort through your footage for the right clip. For example, if you were putting together a documentary you may have two main folders; ‘A-Roll’ and ‘B-Roll’.
#9. Film With Slow-Motion In Mind
Ever noticed a choppy, unprofessional look in your slow-motion footage? If you film your slow-mo shots in 24 fps then this could be the problem. Shooting slow-motion footage in higher frame rates such as 60 or 120 fps can make your footage look so much smoother and more professional. This means you’ll have to know exactly when you want to shoot in slow-motion, which can take some getting used to. But take time to practice this and it will be more than worth it…
#10. Quick Cut
This is one of my personal favorites. Cutting (or trimming) your clips is probably one of the most common tasks within Premiere Pro. You may already know that ‘C’ selects your Slicer tool and ‘V’ will deselect it, but this still requires you to do some manual work. Ensure that your desired clip is selected and then make a cut with one click by using ‘Ctrl+K’. The amount of time this will save you may come as a surprise.
#11. Get To Grips With Shortcuts
I’ve already mentioned a few shortcuts in this blog, but this is only the beginning. There’s a keyboard shortcut in Premiere Pro for pretty much anything that you can think of. And if you can’t find the shortcut that you’re looking for, it’s really easy to add a new one. Simply go inside ‘Edit’, then navigate to ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’. Take some time to get used to these and you’ll cut your editing time in half before you know it.
Make the most of these hacks and you should have no problem in producing better video content in half the time, whether you’re a seasoned editor or you’re just using Adobe Premiere Pro for the first time. Do you have any other hacks for Adobe Premiere Pro? Why not drop a comment below?