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6 Automation tips for Premiere Pro
Hollin Jones on Sun, July 28th 0 comments
Automating material inside a Premiere project is one of the easiest ways to create motion graphic-style effects without having to be an After Effects expert. Hollin Jones presents 6 tips to help.

Automating material inside a Premiere project is one of the easiest ways to create motion graphic-style effects without having to be an After Effects expert. The software uses a keyframe system for all its automation so once you have got the hang of it you should be comfortable with automating all kinds of parameters over time. 

Tip 1

You can add and edit keypoints directly in a video track in the Timeline view and then right click on any point to change its type. As well as deleting it you are able to set a keypoint to behave in a number of different ways such as easing in or out or holding. So the transitions between keyframed values don't always have to be linear. 

transitions don't always need to be linear.

Tip 2

The best way to preisely control automation is to double-click on any clip in the timeline to open it in the viewer, then click on its Effect Controls tab. Here you can activate the automation of practically any parameter for a clip, setting values over time to create transitions. Many parameters can also be expanded by clicking their arrow button to access further controls that give you even greater control. 

the effects control tab

Tip 3

In the Effect Control window for any clip, there is a hierarchy of controls which you can see by looking at how each section has been expanded outwards. So under Video effects, Motion, Opactity and Time Remapping are the three main categories visible before you start to add any extra effects of your own. If you click the 'fx' button by each one's name you can disable that entire group of parameters en masse, and Premiere will warn you that you are about to delete some automation if you do. Specific parameters within each section can be switched off by using the individual controls inside a section. 

Tip 4

Automating sound levels and panning is a really useful way to create a more professional end result, and if you are working in surround sound you can go beyond simple left / right panning and get really creative by sending different audio tracks off to multiple speakers and moving sources around in realtime. Of course in order to be able to do this, you need to have a compatible audio interface and the same number of speakers that you are intending to mix for. 

Tip 5

If you right-click on a clip or choose from the Clip menu you can select Speed / Duration and change these settings for any clip. It's possible to unlink the speed and duration parameters so that you could for example make a clip slower but maintain its original duration on the timeline, or vice versa. The resulting clip could be restored to its original duration and the new speed maintained by dragging it out on the timeline.

Speed/Duration settings

Tip 6

If you select the tiny keyframe icon by a video track in the timeline you can choose to show or hide keyframes or show opacity handles for clips. This makes it easy to see at a glance where your keyframes live in any given clip, and thus move them on the timeline without messing up any transitions that are a part of the clip, relative to other material. 

show / hide automation

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