When Software Gets In The Way, Part 1

In my last blog post, I talked about using Adobe Premiere Pro’s Media Browser to import folder-based media like RED media. I extolled the virtues of bringing in the media and automatically getting access to the RMD files to adjust clips with the native controls that RED offers. In that example, automation can be a great help. But sometimes it can be a problem.

One “problem” I’ve dealt with has to do with LUTs. Before I explain how to solve the problem, I think it will help to talk about master and source clip effects in Adobe Premiere.

Recently, I worked on a project that had several days’ worth of shooting on the Arri Amira. The footage was captured with a ProRes 4444 codec using Arri Log C Gamma. When you bring the footage in—using Media Browser, of course—Premiere Pro helpfully adds an automatic LUT to all the clips. It does this by adding a Lumetri effect to all of the imported clips. This effect appears in the Master tab of the Effects Controls for the clip.

A master clip effect differs from a source effect (my term, not Adobe’s) in that the master effect is applied wherever a clip is used. On the other hand, a source effect is only applied to a specific instance or appearance of a clip on the timeline.

For example, let’s say you have an exterior scene of an empty street that you cut to multiple times in your sequence. You want to apply a subtle Gaussian Blur to a small section of the scene to remove a distracting element. If you apply a Gaussian Blur effect to the first street clip in your timeline, the blur will only appear on that first clip. It won’t affect all the other times you cut to the empty street. If you want that effect to apply to all of the street clips in the timeline, you could simply copy the first clip and then use the Paste Attributes function to apply the effect to all the other street clips in the timeline.

Or, you could paste that effect into the Master effect tab so that any time you use that clip, the Gaussian Blur effect will be applied.

One advantage to using the Master effect tab is if you need to make a change to the effect. For instance, if you adjust the masking. The change will apply to every instance of the clip in your timeline. Using the source effect method of copying and pasting would require you to copy that change, then remove and repaste the new effect to all the other instances of the clip.

Now, let’s return to the automatic LUT feature. The Master effect option is how Premiere Pro applies that LUT during the import process. But what if the LUT that’s applied isn’t what you want? How do you deal with Adobe’s ”help”? Stay tuned…