Making Sense of the Plethora of Video Effects

It's not easy wading through Premiere's 14 video effects categories, trying to unravel what their 79 effects do and how they do it (see Figure 12.1).

Figure 12.1. Premiere's 14 category names for video effects do not necessarily describe their contents.


Consider that some effects have multiple functions with numerous options. The QuickTime effect alone offers 15 effects with a dozen subeffects.

The categories themselves can be confounding. The Gamma Correction video effect is in the Image Control file folder but is also a feature of the Levels effect in the Adjust file folder. Convolution Kernel is in the Adjust folder but handles 10 different functions of effects in the Blur, Stylize, and Sharpen folders. And the Transform effect is not in the Transform file folder.

Some effects resolve rarely encountered technical problems, such as missing fields or "interlace flicker." Still others don't seem to achieve their stated purposes.

To minimize clutter, ease access, and keep things simple, I suggest you create several new video effects file folder categories: Technical Fixes, Color Appearance, Blur/Sharpen, and Specialized After Effects. You'll continue to use Distortion and QuickTime.


To create these new categories, open the Video Effects palette, click the fly-out menu triangle, select New Folder, and create your folders. Then drag and drop effect icons to the new folders.

Once you're done, delete the old file folder category names by selecting them and clicking the trashcan icon in the bottom-right corner. Actually, old folders never die, they "hide." If you select Show Hidden from the fly-out menu, you'll see the old, default categories at the bottom of the palette. No matter what you do, you cannot delete an effect from within Premiere.

There's a surprising amount of redundancy in Premiere's video effects. For instance, three effects create black-and-white video. To further eliminate clutter, I've selected the best of near-equals and placed the also-rans in one other category?Duplicates.

I'll take you through each of those categories, saving the specialized After Effects (AE) effects for Hour 13, "Wrapping Up Effects with After Effects." I'll also note my favorite effects and explain how to use them.

    Part II: Enhancing Your Video