Add Effects Video Clips

These are notes on the Adobe video - Download the sample files from the website.

Add Transition Effects

"A transition happens any time one clip finishes and another begins. The most common transition is a cut, where the next clip simply begins. The most common special effect transition is a cross-dissolve for video, or a crossfade for audio."

Double-click on the first project file to open it in Premiere Pro. Play the movie to observe the transition (cut) between the first two clips. To add a dissolve, open up the Effects panel in the Project Panel at lower left, and select Video Transitions>Dissolve>Cross Dissolve and drag this at the end of the first clip and then play the movie again. Undo that, and then drag it to the beginning of the second clip and you can notice a slightly longer dissolve. You can adjust the length of the dissolve by dragging the boundary of the dissolve - however, you have more control over this in the Effects Control panel, as described in the next paragraph.

With the effect selected in the Timeline Panel, you can see more detail in the Effect Controls panel in the Source Panel at upper left. You can change the blue numbers at the left to change the duration. At the right, you can drag the effect to change at what point the effect occurs. Now select the transition in the Timeline panel and click delete to delete it.

You can replace a transition effect by selecting another and dragging the new one on top of the old one. It will have the duration of the original transition.

If the transitions detract from the story, you may want to keep things simple.

Add Visual Effects

Double-click on the second project file to open it in Premiere Pro. When you play the movie, you'll see a title over the first clip. We're going to make the background a little more blurry. Go to the Effects panel at the lower left. Choose Video Effects>Blur and Sharpen. For some of these, there is a "go faster" icon which indicates that your video card can process the effect and thus you will not need to pre-process the effect to see it; if the icon is greyed out, it means that your system doesn't have the necessary card and you will need to press Enter to process the video effect.

Drag the Gaussian blur onto the first clip and you'll notice the fx symbol at the upper left hand portion the clip changes color, indicating that the effect has been applied. You won't see a change until you change the Blurriness blue number in the Effects Control Panel at upper right.

The Effects Panel and the Effects Controls panel shows the Gaussian blur you just applied. You can drag the blue number to the right to increase the blur. You can delete the effect by hitting the delete key; you can restore the deleted effect by pressing Ctrl-z.

You can also use third-party effects.

Stabilize a Clip

Double-click the third project file to open it in Premiere Pro. Some of the visual effects are designed to deal with problem footage, e.g. shaky camera work. Double click on the Clock Shakes video in the Media folder in the Project panel at the lower left and play the video in the Source Panel at upper left. . Click on the filmstrip icon at the bottom of the Source panel (upper left) and drag it onto the Sequence panel; this drags only the Video portion. In the Effects panel at lower left search box, type "Warp" and select Warp Stabilizer and drag it onto the Clock Shakes clip in the Timeline. Premiere Pro then starts analyzing it and you can see the progress in the Effect Controls panel. Play the clip and you can see the huge improvement. In the Effects Controls panel at upper right under Stabilization>Result, you can also change this from "Smooth Motion" to "No Motion". How well the Warp Stabilizer works depends on the visual cues in the clip.

Create Effects Presets

Double-click the fourth project file to open it in Premiere Pro. Once you're happy with the settings for an effect, you may want to save those settings as a preset for use on other clips. Click on the opening clip. If you do not see a blur effect applied, then apply one - in the Effects panel at lower left, do a search for "blur" and then choose say the Gaussian blur and drag it onto the clip. In the Effects Controls panel at upper left, drag the blue value for blurriness to the desired value and check the checkbox for "Repeat Edge Pixels". To see the effect of checking the "Repeat Edge Pixels" checkbox, uncheck it. You will now see what looks like a drop shadow at the edge of the picture. Checking the box eliminates this. In the Effects Controls panel at upper left, right-click on the Gaussian Blur and choose "Save Preset". Call it "First Blur". Now in the Effects panel (at the lower left), in the Presets category at the top of the Effecs Panel, you should see the preset you just saved.

Now go to the last clip in the sequence and drag the "First Blur" preset you just created onto the clip. This clip has a transition so one transitions into the blur effect. If you do not want the blur, you can in the Effects panel select it and click on the Trash can at the lower right.

You can combine separate presets into a new preset. For example, in the Effects Control panel at upper left, change the Scale to 85, and you can see the clip shrinks in the Program panel. If I control click these two (click on Motion and Gaussian Blur, and then right click, I can save them as a new preset -- call it Blur and Scale. Now you can see this combined preset in the Effects panel at lower left and you can drag this onto another clip to see the effect. After you apply the preset, you can still make adjustments.

Anytime you think you might use a particular effect often, make a preset.

Revised: April 14, 2021. Comments to William Pegram,