One of the many benefits of using templates are their ability to be a good starting point on anything you work on. When I started out as an editor, I was amazed by the templates that were created for After Effects and Apple Motion. There are templates for smooth text animations, video displays and much more. One more intricate and complex than the next. However, I now believe templates should serve the purpose of efficiency and speed from a workflow standpoint and not having to reinvent the wheel repeatedly. An attitude I adopted from being a longtime Final Cut Pro user is having a template for just about everything. Have a template for how you want your bins structured in the project panel. Create title templates for commonly used text treatments. Have a combination of templates and presets for commonly used effects like color correction, motion graphics, transitions and more. I believe that if you have templates for these situations, it will undoubtedly speed up how you move in Premiere Pro.
As I mentioned in a previous article about bin structure, you want to have a set of bins you most commonly use. However, I didn’t go as in depth about creating a project file that has those bins. One thing I strongly recommend is creating a project file that has your most commonly used bins. Make sure you never import any assets in it and do a Save As. I would name this something unique so you can remember it for future purposes.
Next time you open a new project, import the project file with your bins. Move the bins from the project folder containing them. You can delete or not delete the project after you do this.
Now, whenever you need bins and you don’t want to go through the process of recreating them for each project, you can use this method. The template project file is also useful if you have PostHaste. PostHaste has the ability import project files from Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop and other post production software. You can utilize this option as an alternative if you so choose.
Premiere Pro comes with an assortment of title templates which you download from the content library from Adobe. They are all great for a variety of situations. If you find yourself creating a lot of text for lower thirds, I recommend downloading this pdf from PremierePro.net. If you want to try another method, I would first create the text as you need it to look in the Title Tool.
Next, click on the templates button in the Title Tool. Click on the arrow drop down. Select the option to Import Current Title as Template. Now, you will have that title saved for any text needed for lower thirds, slide explanations, animations etc. You don’t have to reinvent them from scratch. A button I use a lot when creating text with the same style is the New Title Based on Current Title button. This helps in creating multiple version of the same text repeatedly.
Effect Presets and Templates
One of the many things that helped me stay fast and efficient in Final Cut Pro was creating presets for transitions and filters that I used often. In Premiere Pro, you have the ability to create presets for effects you use often. However, there are some effects which may require multiple presets and/or nested sequences. Recently, I’ve become a creator of transition and effects templates files for Premiere. In those files, I have unique effects and transitions that I could see myself using on a project regularly. Some of those effects include video reflections, track matte composites, repeating animations and much more. Here are a few steps you can take for creating effect/transition templates for Premiere.
First, create sequences for the most commonly used formats you deal with. Have a sequence for SD and HD formats so you don’t run into any scaling issues.
Second, use placeholder images or one of the many layer options in Premiere like color matte, bars and tone or title. Below is an example of a placeholder I use on my project templates. The reason you want to do this is so you can apply all the effects and keyframes on that. From there, all you would need to do is perform a replace edit to swap out the placeholder with your footage so it can take on its properties.
I’ve found utilizing this method to benefit me quite well especially coming from a FCP mindset. You can check out one of the many project files I’ve created here for Premiere.
I hope the concept of utilizing templates in this fashion helps you become a more efficient and faster editor. As editors, we should do everything we can to not take us out of the creative path we’re on to do deal with the technical issues. If we use base templates for our projects, titles and effects, we are granted more time to focus on the creative process. I’m the NLE Ninja with AudioMicro asking you to learn, practice and evolve.