5 Easy VFX Effects in Premiere Pro CC

To cut your chops, new editors need only one thing – practice.  Even if you’ve attended the world’s most prestigious film school or interned with an academy award winning post production master, the only thing that counts in this game is experience points.

Learning new VFX skills can only help you to grow as an editor and add to your wheelhouse to speed up your workflow, impress clients, and bring your creativity to the surface.  In the real world, time is money and unless your producers have deep pockets, you won’t get many opportunities to experiment with new tricks on the job.

Jordy over at Cinecom.net has gone back to the basics with 5 easy VFX tricks for Premiere Pro that every new editor should try now to gain the know-how to be a future master of post.

As a video editor, you get a lot of random requests from producers.  Often times, writers have dreamed up something that sounds easy on paper but actualizing that fantasy visual effect is problematic and tedious, and they don’t know the first thing about it.  They rely on you, the nerdy troll editor to make their dreams come to life and they will keep coming back to you if you make it look easy.

The sad fact of our jobs in post is that if you do your work correctly, no one will ever know you did anything at all. *Unless they’re also an editor.

Here are 5 Easy VFX that are done entirely in Premiere Pro to build on your talents.

Avatar Eyes

  • Skills acquired:
    • Learn how to track masks
    • Duplicate layers
    • Apply effects

Tracking masks is a part of modern editing and removing logos, cars, people, or an object someone left on the table by mistake is a request you’ll get time and time again. 

It might seem like an extra pain-in-the-butt when you’re starting out but it becomes second nature to you overtime.

Land Like A Superhero

  • Skills acquired:
    • Time remapping
    • Freeze-framing
    • Masking

Time remapping is something you’ll do everyday, especially in commercial and documentary editing. The perfect shot doesn’t always fit within the space you need and you have to know how to adjust it to fit the rhythm of your edit. 

Or sometimes, you might just need to speed stuff up for an instant just to wake people up.

Reverse Pour Trick

  • Skills acquired:
    • Split-screening
    • Footage alignment
    • Time reversing

In my time in the edit room, nobody has ever asked me to have someone simultaneously pour a liquid from one glass to another but now that I said it, someone will.  However, split screening, and aligning two take to add or remove something is very common, and trying this will help you for the future.

Teleport Effect

  • Skills acquired:
    • Order Process
    • Adjustment Layer Effects
    • Masking
    • Keyframing

Some of the skills required to complete this effect cross over from the previous examples, but a lot of professional editing is repetition.  This will, however, help you understand the order process of the pieces required to complete an effect and it will also give you an opportunity to work Adjustment Layers, which apply effects to the clips beneath them on the timeline – which I use daily.

Split Screen Twins Ball Toss

  • Skills acquired:
    • Patients
    • Masking
    • Shot Alignment

This effect is fairly simple and if you can complete the previous four, this fifth one should be a cakewalk.  In general, I’d say the number one skill you’d learn from this is patients.  Often you have to watch, watch, and rewatch clips again and again to find the absolute best and to complete this you’ll have to toss that ball dozens of times to capture the 2 takes that will blend together perfectly.

As a tip to identify the matching shots, try cutting out all of the tosses, marking them where the ball is in the center, setting the opacity to 50% and stacking them on top of one another.  You can do this to all the clips on the timeline simultaneously, and it’ll speed things up to warp factor 7.

There is a lot to learn when you’re starting out in post and the more you try new things, the more you’ll be able to use those skills you’ve acquired creatively on your next paid project.  Sometimes these things look like magic when you see all of the hard work, thought, and time that was put into it play out at 24FPS, but just like magic it’s all just an illusion.

[source: Cinecom.net]

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