4 Creative Ways to Use Adjustment Layers in Adobe Premiere Pro
Table of Contents
In today's video, I'm going to show you four different ways that you can use adjustment layers that all video editors should know. Let's get into it.
First off, what is an adjustment layer?
What is an adjustment layer?
Well, essentially it's an empty layer that you can place on top of your footage in the timeline that you can apply effects to. And all those effects that are on the adjustment layer will be applied to the clips beneath it. So essentially it saves you time because you only have to apply effects once to the adjustment layer and not on each individual clip in your timeline.
Letterboxes with adjustment layers
All right, so now let's go into the first creative way that you can use an adjustment layer. To create an adjustment layer, you can control click or right click in the negative space of your project panel and go to new item adjustment layer. And then in the adjustment layer, you just want to make sure that it matches your sequence timeline settings of your clip and press okay. And now I can drag and drop this adjustment layer on top of all this footage and you can click on the end and drag it out to whatever duration that you want. And what I want to do is apply a crop to create a letterbox. So up from effect controls, we're going to search for crop and drag and drop it on the adjustment layer. And here we can control what percentage of the crop we want from the top and the bottom. So I can type in here 15%, for example, and 15% on the bottom. And now we have our crop on all of the clips beneath. And the great part about using the adjustment layer in this case is if you want to move one of the clips down individually, you can actually click on this clip and from effect controls motion, you can adjust position so it's more centered in the frame. Now you can go through on these individual clips and just make sure that the subject is center aligned on all of. So that's the first method.
Now here's the second method, some color grading tips when using adjustment layers.
Color grading with adjustment Layers
Let's go back to the project demo here. Let's control click or right click to create another adjustment layer. And the reason why I'm creating another adjustment layer is I'm going to show you just after this, how to create smart adjustment layers that already have the effects applied on the adjustment layers in your project panel. For now, let's drag and drop this adjustment layer in our timeline and drag it out. And let's bring the crop one on top. And now we're going to apply some color grading effects to this adjustment layer. The first effect I'm going to apply to this adjustment layer is film convert nitrate. And this is a great color grading and film emulation tool that I use. And this was shot on a DJI Inspire drone. So if I pull this out, we can actually choose our camera here to match the color profile of that camera. So I'm going to go to DJI and choose Inspire and choose log because this was shot in a log profile and then hit apply. I'm going to go back to this first shot here because I want to bring out some more color in the water and add in a little bit more saturation. I can then go in and increase the exposure a little bit if I wanted to. I can adjust the film stock, maybe Fuji vivid. I can use the curves here to bring in a little bit more contrast and maybe some blues in the shadows and some orange reds in the highlights. But let's also go to Lumetri color and let's add a little bit more. So underneath creative, we can increase the vibrancy just around here and then down to the curves. If I select this blue color here, I can then make just this color more saturated by bringing this up so I can adjust the saturation of just the blue colors, which is quite useful. And then I can adjust the hue of an existing hue, which means adjusting the color of an existing color. So I can select this and then I can bring this up to make it more of a teal color. So then you can see the before and the after, and it's just a little bit more vibrant.
And then from basic correction, I'll probably go in and just add a little bit more contrast. Pop the white, pop the white, pop the whites up just a little bit and darken the shadows just to get some more contrast there. And now you can see that all of the clips beneath this color grading adjustment here have been changed to be more vibrant. So if I turn off this adjustment layer, you can see it's more muted and not as poppy. And so I was able to apply those two effects, the film convert nitrate to give it that film like feel and then lumetri color as well. So you can apply multiple effects to one adjustment layer. So next, I want to show you how to create smart adjustment layers that you can reuse over and over again with the effects applied. But first, if this video is helping you out so far, be sure to give it a thumbs up as well as subscribe.
Earn Passive Income on Adobe Stock
I also want to thank Adobe Stock for sponsoring today's video. If you're a creator and you want to earn some extra passive income, try selling some footage on Adobe Stock. Now, you can't just upload a few clips on Adobe Stock and expect to make money. You need to have a plan. Here are some tips. Next time you're on a shoot, set aside an extra 30 minutes just to grab a few more angles of a subject, because when people are searching on stock, they want to get multiple shots of the same thing to tell a story. Upload consistently. Try to find some time each week to go through some of your footage and see if you can upload it to Adobe Stock. The more you have in your portfolio, the more likely you're going to get downloads. Look at the trends. See what people are searching for and make sure you're tagging your videos correctly so you're getting exposure. Also, you can check out the artist hub, which has information on the latest trends, which will help you upload to your Adobe Stock profile. You can use Adobe Stock presets when exporting. If you have a clip in your timeline that you're ready to export, you can go to the export tab and from preset, you can go down to more presets and search Adobe Stock. In this case, I'm going to choose 4K without audio and press OK. And this will make sure it's in the correct settings for Adobe Stock.
And then I recommend sending to Media Encoder so that way you can start exporting multiple clips in a batch. And the best part is it's non-exclusive, so you can sell the same stock video on other sites to maximize your earnings. And with Adobe Stock, you can earn up to 35% royalties on the videos that you upload. You can use my link in the comments section below to sign up to become an Adobe Stock contributor. And if you have any questions, just leave a comment below.
How to make smart adjustment layers
All right. So now let's talk about creating smart adjustment layers. So you know that we've applied these effects to the adjustment layer in our timeline. So when we select this adjustment layer and go to effect controls, you can see the effects that we applied. But from the project panel, if we drag and drop this adjustment layer down, you can see when we select it, there's actually no effects applied. But what if I told you that you could apply it to what is called the source layer? So right now we have this part highlighted that says color demo adjustment layer. But if you click source, we can actually paste the effects here. So let me show you how this works here on this adjustment layer. Let's take these two effects, press command or control. If you're on a PC, select both of them, press command X and then paste them here inside the source. Now it's on the main adjustment layer. So now when we go back to our project demo and we rename this to be color grade inspire. But you'll notice we can drag this down and you can see if we turn off the previous adjustment layer, we select this. It now on the source layer has these effects applied. So we could do the same thing with the crop one for this one. We can go back to the project panel. This one here, we can call it the crop adjustment. When we open this one up, go to effect controls. We can actually take this crop effect command X and paste it at the main source section. So that way it's always there.
Make a project template with smart adjustments
Now, going forward, we can create a bin called smart adjustments and keep these adjustment layers in here that already have the effects applied to it. So you can keep this stored and create a project template, which is essentially just saving an empty Premiere Pro project with these smart adjustments in it. And you can have like 50 different smart adjustments for different color grades and for different effects already here. So you don't have to go and search for these effects and apply it every time. All you have to do now is drag and drop it in the timeline. And now you'll see that these adjustment layers have a little red underline underneath the effects.
And that means that there's effects applied at the main source, making it a smart adjustment layer. Now, there's one more cool effect that I want to show you. Let's say that we wanted to have some text come up.
Text Blurs with Adjustment Layers
So this is another use case for an adjustment layer. So I'm going to right click and create another adjustment layer. And I'm going to drag it on the timeline here. And then above this, I want to create text. So let's just type out slack line and from a central graphics.
Let's center it and then use the align tools to center it in frame. And let's bring this above the adjustment layer. So let me zoom in here. We have our text on top and then we have our adjustment layer beneath it. Let's say we want to blur out the background so it's easier to read this. We can go to effects and search for Gaussian blur and double click to apply it. And nothing happens. That's because we need to increase the blurriness. Now, one thing that we need to take note of is that this is on top of the crop layer. So it's actually blurring the crop, which we don't want. So we can move the crop actually above all of this. So that way, the Gaussian blur is not affecting the crop. So let's say we want the Gaussian blur to blur over time. We can actually keyframe. So this is where we can go over to effect controls. Here is our endpoint, the point where we want it to get as blurry as it is. Click toggle animation to create a keyframe and then we can go back to the beginning and bring it down to zero. So now between these two points, it gets blurry over time. And all this does is help us read the text. We can also add a little animation. I use this cool plugin called text animator by film impact, and I can just drag this on to our text clip here. So as it animates on the background gets a little bit more blurry. And the same thing at the end of the clip, we can add another in and out animation, click here to add a keyframe, and we can take this text animation transition, copy it and paste it at the end. So now when it's playing back, we see the guy walking and then the text comes up slack line and we can see it better because the adjustment layer has the blur on it.
Final Thoughts on adjustment layers
So overall, the best part about using adjustment layers is that it can help you achieve more creative effects and it will save you time. And don't forget to try out the new smart adjustment layer trick that I said by copying pasting the effects to the actual source portion from the effect controls panel. And that way you can save it to use and future projects. I also made a video on six creative masking effects, which you can watch right over here. And you can click over here to go check out my store with lots of cool presets.
And templates, as always, keep creating better video with Gal. See you next time. Bye.