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If you’re new to Adobe Premiere Pro, it can seem pretty daunting to get started.
There are lots and lots of options, and if you’re not used to working in a non-linear editor (NLE) like this, it’s good to watch some online video tutorials that can get you started.
And let me start by saying, that there are a lot of bad and outdated tutorials on the huge treasure trove of knowledge that is YouTube.
So I’ve spent a lot of time weeding out the bad stuff so that you don’t have to and I’ve found five video tutorials that can take you from beginner to pro fast and easy.
I’ve also made sure to embed the videos at the starting point of the tutorial, so you don’t have to sit through all the channel logos and unnecessary talk. That way you can get straight to the point.
So a big shout out to these YouTubers for putting in the hard work, because making an educational tutorial like this that is easy to understand and follow isn’t as easy at it might seem.
1. Adobe Premiere Pro Beginners Tutorial. Get Started With All The Basics.
The first tutorial is from Josh Olufemii.
He has a nice walkthrough that teaches you how to use Premiere Pro for the first time.
He starts by explaining how to create your first project and also breaks down the basic windows and tools.
I just want to make a single note to the beginning of the video. And that is that when Josh speaks about the ability to use the GPU-renderer (CUDA) core, he doesn’t explain that CUDA-rendering is limited to computers with an NVIDIA graphics card.
So if you own a graphics card from AMD or Intel, then you should use the other option.
Other than that, I think Josh does an excellent job of explaining all the basics, and walks you through your first project, from adding footage, understanding sequences, understanding the toolbars, adding effects, b-roll footage, text, music, editing it all together, simple color correction, and exporting.
Also, he has taking the time to breaking the video down into sections, so that you can easily revisit a specific chapter.
For many people, this single tutorial is all you need.
But, of course, this is only scratching the surface. So let’s dive into some more advanced stuff that expands on the video from Josh.
2. Editing 101. Get to know the basic types of cuts.
This video from Parker Walbeck walks you through the basic 12 cuts every video editor should know.
The cuts are:
- Hard Cut/Cut. A clean-cut between two clips.
- Jump Cut. Speeding up the time.
- L-Cut. Letting the audio continue over the next clip.
- J-Cut. Letting the audio set up the next clip.
- Cutting On Action. Matching the motion of the subjects in two clips.
- Cross-Cutting/Parallel Editing. Making it seem like two things are happening at once. Great for building tension.
- Cutaway. Cutting to an insert shot (often b-roll) that is different from the main piece of the action, and then back again.
- Match Cut. Cutting between two shots that share similar action or framing.
- The Smash Cut. Going from something calm to something intense or vice versa. Great for keeping the attention of your audience by shifting the intensity of your film.
- The Crossfade/Dissolve. Fade-out to fade-in. A soft transition between two scenes.
- Camera Movement Cut. Basically it’s a match cut but it uses a similar camera movement between two clips to create a seamless transition. Think about whip pans for example.
- The Invisible Cut. Using white/black frames or masking of something passing in front of the frame to create an invisible cut. Most famously used in the movie 1917 by cinematographer Roger Deakins.
I like that Parker provides context for each cut, e.g. when he talks about the hard cut he also takes the time to explain the 30-degree rule when using this cut and/or changing the focal length as well.
3. Easy Masking Transitions in Adobe Premiere Pro
Knowing how to use the masking tool is such an important element of filmmaking. From creating seamless transitions to rotoscoping and hiding elements in a frame, masking is an essential and versatile tool.
This video from Justin Odisho goes into more detail on how to create ‘the invisible cut’ mentioned in the video from Parker Walbeck above using masks.
Creating a masking transition basically comes down to these four steps:
- Creating a mask
- Adjusting the mask parameters (fx feathering and mask expansion).
- Tracking the mask and creating keyframes
- Manually adjusting the mask using keyframes
To create a successful seamless transition, it also helps if the two video clips have movement in the same direction, but it isn’t a necessity. It all depends on what you want to achieve.
4. Color Grading in Premiere Pro Tutorial
This next tutorial from Denver Riddle at Color Grading Central walks you through the basics of using the Lumetri color grading panel and tools in Premiere Pro.
Denver is a professional color grading artist and filmmaker and he does an excellent job at explaining the tools as he walks you through the process of color grading a clip.
He also goes into explaining the basic terminology for colors:
- Hue. What we usually call colors, e.g. red, green, blue, purple, etc.
- Saturation. The intensity/vividness of a hue/color.
- Luma. The brightness or shade of hue.
He also breaks down using the scopes:
- The waveform. Great for checking exposure.
- The RGB-parade. Great for checking white balance.
- The Vector Scope. Great for checking skin tones.
This is an excellent breakdown of the basics of color correction and color grading your footage.
5. Using the Audio Track Mixer in Premiere Pro
In this video from Jordan Dueck at Motion Array Tutorials we get a breakdown of using the Audio Track Mixer in Premiere Pro.
The Audio Track Mixer is different from the Audio Clip Mixer in that the Audio Track Mixer controls the audio for an entire track while the Audio Clip Mixer controls the audio for each invidiual clip in an audio track.
If you want to, you can watch a similar tutorial from Motion Array Tutorials on how to use the Audio Clip Mixer here.
Jordan does a good job of breaking down the functions of the Audio Track Mixer, from naming your tracks to adding effects, automating the audio using keyframes.
He also gets into using submix tracks, which is a great tool for grouping tracks together, that you want to apply the same effects to.
So that’s it. I believe, that if you watch these five videos in the order they are presented here, you’ll be able to quickly get a good understanding of Premiere Pro and with a little practice be able to produce professional-looking videos.
They also serve as a solid starting point to get into more advanced stuff, like integrating After Effects into Premiere Pro or working between more advanced color grading suites like DaVinci Resolve.
I hope you found this breakdown useful. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
About the author:
Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He’s the owner of filmdaft.com and of the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.