Adobe Premiere Pro is an editing application that can do it all but like every other jack-of-all-trades, it can sometimes be a master of none. It is a real joy to edit with, but there are plenty of quirks you’ve got to work around. It makes sound design and audio mixing fun and easy, but not through the essential sound panel.
Graphics in Premiere are super fast, but if you’re trying to do something specific you’d better take it over to After Effects. So It isn’t a surprise that even though Adobe continues to expand the Lumetri panel that Premiere still isn’t best known for it’s ability to handle professional color grading.
Our friends at Cinecom.net have some great tips to get your color grading right, right inside of Premiere Pro.
Proper Teal & Orange Grading
Adding a subtle teal and orange grade to your footage can really help the skin tones of the subjects in your footage, and make them stand out. Teal and orange are on opposite sides of the color wheel, and by accentuating them you’re adding a nice contrast, one that we’re all used to since they literally do it in every movie.
But if you’re not shooting in raw or with a full color codec, it can be a little tricky to do without affecting all of the other colors in the image.
Here is how to easily do it in Premiere.
Select the skin tones by using the HSL Secondary tab in the Lumetri Color panel. Use the color picker tool and select the subjects skin tones, then use the range selector tool and refine your selection until you’ve got all of their skin and (situation depending) their hair.
Invert the selection, and add some blur to take care of any artifacts or flickering. Now just add some blue into the image using the Correction panel.
Right away you’ll see the subject stand out from the image, and turn an ordinary shot into something really pleasing.
You can also duplicate the Lumetri effect, remove the inverse value and add sharpness and brightness to the subject to further improve how they look.
When shooting, always try to film your subjects against a background or scene where they’ll stand out.
Premiere doesn’t contain the standard Clarity slider that we’re used to seeing in Photoshop, but there is a trick you can use to add that classic clarity effect in just a few short steps.
Duplicate your clip onto the video track above, and apply the Black & White effect to it.
Now head over to the Effects panel and set the Blend Mode to Overlay and voila the you’ve created the Clarity effect without any plugins.
And, you can adjust the strength of the effect by lowering the opacity.
Fake HDR Look
If an instagram circa 2015 look is what you’re going for, you can easily create a ‘fake HDR look’ almost as easily as you did with the Clarity Control Trick.
Duplicate the video clip to the track above, apply the Black & White Effect as previously, but add an Invert effect. Now, rather than setting the blending mode to Overlay, select Vivid Light.
The image will look pretty weird for a moment, all of the dark areas will be lifted all the way up. Apply a Gaussian Blur and increase the Blurriness until the image starts to look like the standard ‘fake HDR’ effect.
Adjust the opacity of the top layer to control the strength of the final effect.
Trick Aren’t For Kids Anymore
As you continue your work in Adobe Premiere Pro, or any editing application you’ll put together a wheelhouse to tricks that you’ll probably pull your hair out developing at the last minute, but those tricks will save your skin when a client throws a curve ball your way in a session.
No video editing program can do it all, and rather than loading up your system with expensive plug-ins that might not work after an upgrade, developing your own methods will help you grow as an editor and increase your understanding of color grading – and you can take those skills over to Resolve, where they belong.
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