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New Premiere Pro CC Features: Color Matching, Auto-Ducking, and More

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The key theme for the new Adobe Premiere Pro CC version 12.1 update is streamlined creative workflows. Today, there is a high demand for video content — whether you are an individual YouTuber pushing out weekly vlogs or a large entertainment company, you need tools that can help you create high-quality content, faster.

The version 12.1 update offers new integrated workflows for color, audio, and graphics to help you quickly create content that will stand out from the crowd. Here’s what you need to know.


Quicktime Update and Installation Advice

Before we get into the exciting updates, it’s important to review a few technical ones. First, Adobe recommends that you wait to install new Creative Cloud app updates until you complete your current projects, particularly because the new Premiere Pro CC 2018 update removed all support for old Quicktime 7 player video formats. Older codecs such as Cinepak, Graphics, or Sorenson Video are all affected by this update.

But Premiere Pro, as well as After Effects, will still support professional Quicktime .mov files with H.264, ProRes, and Animation files codecs.
 

Color Matching and Lumetri Color Updates

The first key update to Premiere Pro’s workflow is “shot-matching” or “color matching.” Using the new Comparison View and Match section, you can now match shots that were shot on two different cameras to achieve the same look with a click of a button. This effect is powered by Adobe’s Sensei’s artificial intelligence.

Here, I have two shots that were shot two different cameras. The shot on the left is from a Sony A7S and the other is from a Nikon D750. You can see they look different — the Nikon shot has more of a reddish look.

To make them look the same, select the shot you want to match as the “reference” and the one you want to change as “current.”

From the Lumetri Color panel, select the new color wheels and Match section. When you open that up, you’ll see a Face Detection option, which you can turn on for shots that include people, in order to apply correct skin tones. Hit “Apply Match and you will see the difference.

Of course, this will only fix the color — it won’t change the lighting of the image to match the other. You’ll still likely need to make further image adjustments in the panel to shadows, highlights, exposure, or vibrancy.

You can also now toggle the fx off and on in the Lumetri Color panel. You no longer need to go to the Effects Controls or completely reset the Lumetri panel.

 

Auto Ducking in the Essential Sound Panel

Next up is the new auto-ducking feature. Auto-ducking lets you tell Premiere Pro to “duck” or lower the music when other sound is present. In Premiere Pro, you can duck music against dialogue, sound effects, ambience, and unassigned audio types. Before this new ducking feature, you had to manually add keyframes to lower the volume of music, but now you can simply check a box, move some sliders, and it’s done!

To auto-duck, you must first auto-match the loudness of your dialogue clips in your timeline from the Essential Sound panel. Select and lasso all the dialogue tracks from your timeline and select the “Dialogue” audio type from the Essential Sound panel. Then, from the “Loudness” tab, select the “Auto-Match” button, which will set all of the dialogue clips in your timeline to the broadcast standard for loudness.

Next, select the music track from your timeline. From the Essential Graphics panel, select the “Music” audio type, and from the “Loudness” tab, select the “Auto-Match” button to also set your music track to the broadcast standard.

Go to the Ducking section and check the box next to “Ducking.” If you want to duck against dialogue, simply select the “dialogue” chat bubble icon, which will duck the music to the dialogue. Then you can adjust the Sensitivity, Reduce By (volume), and Fade until the ducking meets your sound mix needs.

Sensitivity: Sensitivity controls how Premiere Pro detects changes in audio types. If the sensitivity is low, it will detect more subtle changes in the dialogue resulting in unwanted “ducks” or keyframes in your music track. But if you have the sensitivity high, Premiere Pro will more easily detect the real changes in your music. For a dialogue and music mix, I’d recommend keeping the ducking sensitivity at 7 or above.

Reduce By: This controls how much you want to reduce the volume of your music by in dB (decibels). I’d recommend reducing the music by -13 to -18 against dialogue.

Fade: This controls how fast or gradual the “fade” is between two keyframes in the ducking process. For example, if you want the transition from low to high to be fast, set the Fade below 500; if you want it to be more gradual, increase the fade.

After you set the parameters, you can select “Generate Keyframes” and Premiere Pro will automatically set keyframes to lower the music at areas including dialogue. If it doesn’t turn out perfectly, you can always make adjustments to the parameters and simply hit “Generate Keyframes” again.
 

Essential Graphics Updates

The Essential Graphics Panel in Premiere Pro has a brand new user-interface (UI) making it even easier to use.

From the Browse tab, there’s now a search field where you can find your existing motion graphics templates, also known as .MOGRT files. You can search by name, filter your local templates folder, your starred favorites, and much more. Before this update, the Essential Graphics Panel’s browse tab was organized into bins and difficult to filter. Now it’s more user friendly, and you can increase the size and scale of the thumbnail so it’s easier to see.

You can also refresh updated .MOGRTs in your timeline. If you want to update or refresh a template that’s already in your timeline, just press the alt/option key and drag it on top of the existing one to replace it and merge the data. That way, it will update if there are any new changes in the .MOGRT design.


 

The Lost Gradient Fill Is Back

As for making your own text and graphics in Premiere Pro, when you make shapes now, you can now fill them with gradients. The gradient fill has long been a part of the Legacy Titler Tool and many users wanted it back — and the Adobe team listened.

To add a gradient fill, go to “Color Fill,” and from the Color window dropdown, select “Linear Gradient” or “Radial Gradient” and choose your gradient colors.

If you’re interested in a deep dive into the Essential Graphics Panel, I have a full course on Pluralsight you can take called “Premiere Pro CC Essential Graphics.”
 

Copy and Paste Sequence Markers

Another neat little update impacts your sequence markers. If you have markers in your current timeline and need to copy it over to a completely new sequence, go up to “Markers” and select “Copy and Paste Includes Sequence Markers.” Now, when you lasso and select a sequence to copy and paste into a new sequence, the markers carry over.

Those are all the key highlighted updates, but there are also few other VR and 360 video updates, as well as team project updates you can check out in Adobe’s blog post. If you have any other requests for Adobe or need to report bugs, you can do so through the Premiere Pro User Voice site.

Let us know which updates you’re looking forward to using and feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below or join my Gal Video Facebook User Group.

I’ll also be posting additional in-depth tutorials on these updates in the weeks to come on my Premiere Gal YouTube Channel. Let me know if you have any particular tutorial requests that you’d like to see!

Top image: Video Editing Software on Computer Screen by GlobetrottingTheologian.