Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating cinematic color


Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training

with Chad Perkins

Video: Creating cinematic color

We're now going to look at how to use the Fast Color Corrector effect to create cinematic color. So, let's go ahead and go to the Effects panel, do a search for the Fast Color Corrector effect and apply that to our footage. Now, if we were doing a documentary, or something based in reality, maybe a Reality TV Show or something, these colors are fine. These are very realistic. There's a good balance of highlights and shadows. There are some black blacks here and some pretty white whites and everything in between. So, it's really pretty good, right out of the gate.
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  1. 4m 1s
    1. Welcome
    2. What is Premiere Pro CS5?
      1m 41s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 25s
  2. 16m 44s
    1. The Premiere Pro workflow
      2m 21s
    2. Adding footage to the Timeline
      2m 19s
    3. Understanding timecode
      3m 3s
    4. Making basic edits
      5m 15s
    5. Getting familiar with the interface
      3m 46s
  3. 21m 59s
    1. Setting up a new project
      3m 48s
    2. Creating a new sequence
      5m 30s
    3. Capturing and ingesting footage
      2m 51s
    4. Importing files
      5m 23s
    5. Sorting and organizing clips
      4m 27s
  4. 33m 19s
    1. Making a rough cut
      4m 0s
    2. Making preliminary edits
      4m 55s
    3. Creating overlay and insert edits
      4m 16s
    4. Using video layers to add B-roll
      3m 47s
    5. Using ripple edits and ripple delete
      3m 1s
    6. Performing slip edits
      2m 54s
    7. Using the Razor tool
      3m 51s
    8. Moving edit points
      3m 47s
    9. Navigating efficiently in the Timeline
      2m 48s
  5. 28m 45s
    1. The job of an editor
      2m 59s
    2. When to cut
      5m 54s
    3. Avoiding bad edits
      6m 31s
    4. The pacing of edits
      3m 47s
    5. Using establishing shots
      2m 44s
    6. Using emotional cutaways
      2m 1s
    7. Fixing problems with cutaways
      2m 48s
    8. Matching action
      2m 1s
  6. 21m 38s
    1. Using markers
      3m 31s
    2. Replacing clips
      2m 36s
    3. Exporting a still frame
      1m 51s
    4. Creating alternate cuts
      1m 25s
    5. Rearranging clips in the Timeline
      2m 15s
    6. Targeting tracks
      2m 32s
    7. Disconnecting audio and video
      5m 0s
    8. Reconnecting offline media
      2m 28s
  7. 9m 46s
    1. Adjusting the rubber band
      3m 13s
    2. Adjusting clip position
      1m 21s
    3. Moving the anchor point
      2m 50s
    4. Adjusting clip size and rotation
      2m 22s
  8. 8m 15s
    1. Changing the speed of a clip
      1m 58s
    2. Using the Rate Stretch tool
      1m 57s
    3. Playing a clip backward
      4m 20s
  9. 10m 26s
    1. Understanding pixel aspect ratio
      5m 15s
    2. Understanding frame rates
      2m 15s
    3. About HD standards
      2m 56s
  10. 10m 32s
    1. Using layered Photoshop files
      2m 31s
    2. Animating clip position
      3m 33s
    3. Fading layers in and out
      4m 28s
  11. 12m 40s
    1. Applying transitions
      6m 2s
    2. Using transitions effectively
      4m 41s
    3. Setting up the default transition
      1m 57s
  12. 38m 31s
    1. The importance of ambient audio
      6m 35s
    2. Cutting video to music
      7m 38s
    3. Changing audio volume over time
      9m 55s
    4. Fixing audio problems
      9m 57s
    5. Censoring audio
      4m 26s
  13. 16m 25s
    1. Creating censored video
      5m 22s
    2. Creating a lens flare
      2m 20s
    3. Creating a logo bug
      3m 27s
    4. Creating background textures
      5m 16s
  14. 13m 23s
    1. Intro to compositing
      1m 11s
    2. Removing a green screen background
      9m 14s
    3. Compositing with blend modes
      2m 58s
  15. 22m 37s
    1. Adjusting white balance
      2m 24s
    2. Increasing contrast
      3m 5s
    3. Adjusting luminance
      4m 30s
    4. Creating cinematic color
      5m 21s
    5. Creating a vignette
      3m 12s
    6. Creating a day-for-night shot
      4m 5s
  16. 16m 5s
    1. Creating titles
      4m 55s
    2. Creating a lower third
      9m 12s
    3. Animating rolling credits
      1m 58s
  17. 14m 13s
    1. Exporting sequences from Premiere
      3m 57s
    2. Exporting with the Adobe Media Encoder
      2m 13s
    3. The most common formats and codecs
      4m 42s
    4. Exporting portions of a sequence
      1m 54s
    5. Rendering letterboxed footage
      1m 27s
  18. 6m 46s
    1. Examining the other apps that come with Premiere
      4m 25s
    2. Working with Final Cut Pro
      2m 21s
  19. 20s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training
5h 6m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

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In Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins shows not only how to edit video with Premiere Pro, but he also explains how to use video to tell compelling stories. This course covers the Premiere Pro workflow from a high level, providing a background on how projects go from start to finish before diving into basic clip adjustments, such as color correcting scenes for more dramatic impact, applying transitions effectively, and slowing down and speeding up clip playback. The course includes creative techniques, such as making titles and removing a green screen background from a shot. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Adding footage to the Timeline
  • Creating dynamically linked content
  • Making overlay and insert edits
  • Moving edit points
  • Playing a clip backwards
  • Understanding pixel aspect ratio and frame rate
  • Applying motion effects
  • Cutting video to music
  • Compositing with green screen and blend modes
  • Correcting color
  • Creating titles and lower thirds
  • Exporting sequences
Premiere Pro
Chad Perkins

Creating cinematic color

We're now going to look at how to use the Fast Color Corrector effect to create cinematic color. So, let's go ahead and go to the Effects panel, do a search for the Fast Color Corrector effect and apply that to our footage. Now, if we were doing a documentary, or something based in reality, maybe a Reality TV Show or something, these colors are fine. These are very realistic. There's a good balance of highlights and shadows. There are some black blacks here and some pretty white whites and everything in between. So, it's really pretty good, right out of the gate.

But if we were using this footage to tell a story, then we would want to change the colors a little bit to fit the mood of the story. So, let's open up the Fast Color Corrector effect, and we're going to look at this Hue Balance and Angle. If we want to add a certain tint to this, at first, we're going to make this look kind of nostalgic and warm and friendly. So I'm going to go ahead and click on this circle on the inside of this bigger circle, and I'm going to drag this up to the warm areas. You see it's going to take on whatever color that we pick here around this wheel and the more we drag it to the edge, the more intense the color tint will be.

So I'm going to drag this to the edge there, and this is looking good as far as colors go, but it's a little bit too intense. So I'm going to scroll down a little bit to Saturation and take this down considerably, maybe to about 60 or so. So basically, we've added this nice, warm tint to what's going on, and we've made it kind of nostalgic by removing some of the saturation. But this is not completely black and white. We could still tell that these leaves were originally green, but there is this kind of warmhearted nostalgia with this clip. So already, just looking at a frame of this, we're telling viewers how to feel about this particular clip.

Again, with the documentary or with the Reality Show, you might not want to be so heavy-handed. You might not want to try to force the viewers to feel a certain way about your subject matter. But when you're telling a story, a lot of times this can help shape things. If we go back up to the Fast Color Corrector name of the effect, there's this little fx icon, so we can click this to turn it off and on. So, here's the before the Color Correction and then after the Color Correction. Pretty cool effect! Now, let's take this in the opposite direction. Let's go ahead and click the Reset button. Let's go ahead and spin this so that it's going to be a dark, spooky place, which is going to be kind of challenging, because this looks just kind of like a friendly, artsy, crafty type place, but we can do it with our colors.

So, I'm to go to Hue Balance and Angle, and we're going to take things in the opposite direction. So instead of being kind of orangish magentaish up here, we're going to go the opposite side where we're going to make this kind of cyan. So I'm going to drag this down to this corner. That's looking mighty creepy already. We could take down the Saturation a little bit, and already this is looking much more frightening. Now, if we wanted to make things even more intense, as far as color tinting goes, we can take this little line that's in the center of the circle, it doesn't really look like too much, we can click and drag that down towards the end.

You could see if we drag this all the way here, it's going to be completely just cyan and black and white, essentially. So if we take this down so it's just kind of a little bit more of a tint there, that's looking pretty good, and then we might want to go to our Levels area here and drag this Midtone slider over to the left. We can create this really dark, creepy place here. Then we might want to go to Saturation. One of the things that's important to keep in mind here is that as you're doing cinematic color correction, it's usually a back and forth.

So we might play with the Levels a little bit, then play with the Saturation a little bit, and then go back and fiddle with the color, as we keep pushing and pulling all these different aspects, all of our footage, until we come up with the final product that we like. So now, I'm liking the Saturation, but I feel like I've lost a little bit of the greenness, the cyan-ness that I like. So I might want to take this line out to make this a little bit more cyan, but again, that color tint might be a little bit too intense. So again, we'll kind of tweak this and go back and forth. But the point is that we've created something that is much more dark and much less welcoming than it originally was.

So if we could go back here to Fast Color Corrector, click the fx icon, the before, happy, friendly. After, not so much. Now we're going to delete this really, quick. Let me just show you one thing very fast. I'm just going to do a search on Corrector, and you could see that there are several Corrector effects, with the two most powerful being the Fast Color Corrector, which we've been looking at, and the more powerful older brother of the Fast Color Corrector effect, the Three-Way Color Corrector effect. Now, typically, I use the Fast Color Corrector effect. It gets me most of what I want. But the Three-Way Color Corrector effect really is the more powerful of the color correctors, and actually probably is the most powerful color correction tool in Premiere.

I'm not sure that this is really that great. A lot of times as I'm fiddling with this, it just ends up looking kind of weird and not getting me the results that I want. But we still can use this to adjust shadows, midtones and highlights, using these three wheels, and that's why it's called the Three-Way Color Corrector. So we might want to add some cyan to the shadows, and you see that as I do this, the guitar, for example, goes from just being like a regular black or a warm black to being kind of like a cyan. Again, a lot of times, I get this type of look where it's kind of poster-ized. So you've got to tone it down a little bit, and tweak it in order to get what you're looking for.

So, I generally just prefer to use the Fast Color Corrector, but this is here for you to play around with and explore as well.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training .

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Q: When attempting to open the project exercise files into Premiere Pro CS5, an error message appears: 
This project contained a sequence that could not be opened. No sequence preview preset file codec could be associated with this sequence type. 
What could be causing the error, and how can the files be opened?
A: There are a few possible explanations. 

First, if the projects are not importing correctly, the error could be with the codecs being used on a particular machine. Check to make sure the Video Previews codec setting matches the file type being used.

Another possible issue could stem from using the trial version of Premiere CS5. Some codecs for encoding MPEG formats are available only with the full version of Premiere CS5. 

Additionally, the "Video Previews" codec setting for the Custom Sequence Presets could cause the issue if it is defaulting to “I-Frame Only MPEG”. Changing the setting to Microsoft AVI might fix the problem.

Lastly, if the projects are not importing into Premiere, try importing the video footage by itself, rather than the entire project file.
Q: How does one perform internal edits within a piece of video in Adobe Premiere? For example, if I have a single clip of video, comprised of multiple segments strung together, how would I go about removing gaps and/or cleaning up each segment and then assembling the clips in a desired order? Most tutorials emphasize laying down multiple clips on the Sceneline or Timeline, but not editing one clip of video.
A: To remove footage from a single video clip:
  • Drag the Current Time Indicator (CTI) to the first frame of the segment to be deleted, click the Split Clip button in the Monitor panel, drag the CTI to the last frame of the segment to be deleted, and then click the Split Clip button again.
  • Delete the segment by clicking on the clip and either choosing Edit > Delete And Close Gap, or pressing the Delete or Backspace key. That will remove the segment and the rest of the projectwill slide over to the left to fill the gap.
Q: I can't view the exercise files.
A: Most of the video clips in the training were encoded using H.264. If you are on a PC, you may need to download the latest version of the free
QuickTime player from Be sure to install QuickTime with your Adobe applications closed. QuickTime installs a series of codecs on your
machine, and many Adobe apps require QuickTime components to function properly.
Q: Why are many of the video files H.264 if some users must download additional components to view them?
A: This is one of the most common video formats in the world right now, certainly for distribution. This is because it is currently the most optimal
way to provide high quality video at the low files sizes that we need to be able to distribute these assets online. Even though it may require an extra
download for some users, this is the best way to be able to get you the highest quality exercise files. There isn't another video standard that is
cross platform that is free and that works as well as H.264.
Q: What is the most effective way to import a JPEG into Premiere Pro (i.e. best quality resolution, best playback speed)? When I import a photo as a JPEG and add it to a sequence, only a very small part of my photo is shown, because of the high resolution of these photos. Should they be resized in Photoshop first? Will changing it using effects provide the quality I am looking for?
A: Images can be scaled down using the Scale Transform in the Effect Controls panel as explained in the training. You can also scale down the images in Photoshop to match the size of your sequence in Premiere. But I prefer to use the Scale Transform as it gives me more flexibility and allows me to "zoom in" (aka scale up) photos without loss in quality. You'll probably want to make sure that the proportions of the image match the sequence though.
Q: Does Premiere Pro offer Z-axis editing like After Effects?
A: Premiere Pro does not offer 3D as After Effects does, but you can use the Basic 3D effect in Premiere to simulate that environment.
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