How to edit underwater video in Premiere Pro CC?

Photo & Video Training

Posted Jun 16th, 2021 by Elisabeth

In the early days of movie post-production, film editing was a time consuming, manual process. Nowadays, film and video editing is much easier and faster with the use of the great software we have on the market. Editing software is now available for even the most budget-conscious consumer. Some may be downloaded for free from the internet, while others can cost hundreds of dollars or you can pay a monthly fee for the use of the program.

Most editing programs can be used on a computer, a tablet or even on your phone to create stunning videos. In this blog I will explain the use of Adobe Premiere CC. It is available on both the Windows and Mac platforms.

First thing to do: download the application. If you sign up with Adobe, you will get a 7 day free trial before you buy it. Then, install the application on your computer. When you first open the Adobe Premiere CC application, you will notice that there is a Welcome window opening in which you can choose New Project or Open Project.

If you are starting a brand new video, click on New Project.

So, now how to get started?

You can begin editing your first video!

Open the Adobe Premiere Pro CC Application on your PC or Mac. In the window that pops up click New Project. Under Name give your project a name which is easy to recall, and in Location find the folder where you want to save this project, then hit OK.

Once open, click on the Assembly tab at the top and edit in this tab first. Drag and drop your footage (or better even the whole footage folder) in the Project Window on the left. Alternatively, right click in the Project Window and click import to find the folder that contains the footage you want to edit. If you have imported a folder, double click to open the folder and see the individual files.

At the bottom of the Project Window, next to the lock, you can change between list view and icon view. Keep it in icon view. This icon ^ will arrange your clips by name, numbers or date.

When you double click on one of your clips, it will open in the Source Window on the right. In this window you can view the clip by pressing the space bar to play or |> and set in and out points (the part of the clip you want to use in your edit; this can be modified again later on the timeline).

To get the clip without audio to your timeline, grab the video icon under the clip, and drop it onto the timeline. Automatically, the timeline will be the size of the clip you dropped in. Easy! Import some clips this way to your timeline and play around with the Lumetri Basic color corrector in the Color tab. You mostly will play around with temperature and tint in White Balance and in Tone just try out what all the functions do. Even try the auto button and then adjust the settings to what you like.

In case you only want an easy color correction, just use Color Balance (RGB), which you can find in Effects tab. Drag and drop the effect on the clip and then in Effects Control you can change Red, Green and Blue. Most of the time you will add some Red and Blue.

Once you have some clips on the timeline it’s time to import some royalty-free music (more about this in another blog). Again, go to Assembly and import or drag and drop your music track (preferable a Wav file because of the better quality) then drag and drop it from there to the Audio (A1) track of your project into the timeline. With the Selection Tool (V) you can move the music to the start of your video. Always set your sequence settings first before dropping in the music track!

Now with the Selection Tool (V) again move around your video clips to get them in the right place with your music. With the Selection Tool you can also change the in and out points, crop the clip more or extend it again to fit the music. If you hover above the end of the clip, your arrow will transform into a square bracket icon. This allows you to drag your out point forwards to a different point in that clip.

If your music is too long for your short video, use the Selection Tool to crop or the Cutting Tool (C) to cut it. Then fade out your music by going to the Effects tab -Effects -Audio Transitions-Crossfade-Constant Power. Drag and drop this onto the last few frames of you music track. With the Selection Tool you can extend the fade out by dragging the beginning of the fade out to the left.

To add titles: File-New-Legacy title.

Create your title and when you close it, you will find it in the Project Window in the Assembly tab. Drag and drop your title on video track 2 over a video clip or leave it at the start of your movie on the original black background.

To save your project (and please do this regularly so if it crashes you don’t lose too much work) use Command+S for Mac or Ctrl+S for PC.

Watch this YouTube tutorial for more detailed info on how to use Premiere Pro for Underwater Video editing.

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Photo & Video Training FAQs

Where do I find the stabilizer tool in Adobe Premiere Pro?

In the Effects folder open Video effectsDistort and you will find the warp stabilizer tool. Drag and drop this on your clip. You might have to click analyze in the Effects window. Set the percentage of stabilization to 2%-10%.

Should I edit my 4K footage in HD?

If you want to use and show your footage as you shot it, meaning you don’t want to zoom in without losing quality, yes, by all means! Of course your computer should be fast enough to work with 4K. If you want to crop some shots, set your timeline in HD and resize your 4K footage to whatever you want to show. Export should be then in HD as well.

Is Lumetri Color for color correction enough?

There are a lot of ways to color grade your underwater footage. But as a beginner underwater videographer you want to keep it simple to start with. Use “Basic correction” in Lumetri color and try master that one first before you go to Color Wheels and Curves.


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