Correct use of Adjustment Layers?

Participant ,
Jul 08, 2020

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I'm not having a problem, just looking for clarification. I understand adjustment layers, and how to use them... read the docs and watched several tutorials. All fine.

 

What I'm a bit confused about is: is there ever a valid reason to CREATE a second, or third, fourth, etc., adjustment layer in the Project Panel? (Besides for some reason needing a new adjustment layer with different initial settings - resolution, frame rate, etc?) It seems to me that if all my sequences in a project are using the same settings, then I really would only ever need to create one adjustment layer in the whole project. And I could drag it into sequences over and over again. Yes? No?

 

Here's my reasoning: With any regular video clip, it only needs to be imported into the project panel once. It can of course be included in several timelines... each time it's just an instance of the same clip. And, different effects and trims can be applied to different instances without affecting the "master clip" (unless you use master clip effects intentionally... not what I'm talking about here).

 

So... isn't it the same with adjustment layers? I only need one, right? I can drag that layer into as many timelines as I like... shorten it in one timeline, lengthen it in another... apply Lumetri to it in one timeline, apply Motion effects in another... etc. Is this correct thinking? Or am I missing something?

 

I'm only asking for clarification because every tutorial on adjustment layers starts with "Step 1: create a new adjustment layer"... I'm thinking why? Why can't I just drag in the one I already have in the project panel? Is there really ever a need to have multiple adjustment layers in the project panel? Not in a timeline... of course you may need several in a timeline... but they all could just be new instances of the same AL, right?

 

The only reason I can think of right now to create an actual new AL in the project is if for some reason it needs a different frame rate or resolution.

 

But I'm the beginner here, so I'm just looking for some clarity from someone who actually knows what they're doing. Thanks. 🙂

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1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Jul 08, 2020
R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional , Jul 08, 2020
Pretty much your assumptions are correct. Premiere stores all data of things done to clips within the Sequence data in the project file. And does the same for ALs. So ... if you've different size sequences for frame-size you need one for each sized sequence. Other than that, you only need one per frame-size.   Neil

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 08, 2020

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Pretty much your assumptions are correct. Premiere stores all data of things done to clips within the Sequence data in the project file. And does the same for ALs. So ... if you've different size sequences for frame-size you need one for each sized sequence. Other than that, you only need one per frame-size.

 

Neil

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Advocate ,
Jul 08, 2020

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It's probably useful to know the genesis of adjustment layer is from photoshop, which acts on only one picture ( aka frame ? ). You can adjust many things using the adjustment layer like a 'trial'... see what it does and adjust it, delete it, whatever.

To apply that 'layer' to clips is a bit tricky in programming terms, but the principle is the same.

There is ( I've noticed over the years here ) an over reliance on adjustment layers because it makes things faster and it's not baking in an effect or adjustment ( although that can also be turned off or deleted for a clip)

Plus you can span many clips ( similar to paste attributes but only that particular adjustment).

In my opinion it is over design ( attempt to make things easy and fast and so on ).

Many people have problems with some things not liking adjustment layers that also have other things adjusted ( on clip level, like color correction or other stuff ).

 

Just cause it's there as an option doesn't mean it's the best practice. In my opinion it is stupid to use them for video.

( people aren't stupid for using them, I would be stupid to use them myself ).

🙂

 

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jampff AUTHOR
Participant ,
Jul 08, 2020

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Thanks to both of you... so I'm not crazy. I definitely don't need to "create a new adjustment layer" every time I may want to use one.

 

And, although I can think of valid uses for them, I do agree that they're not as useful as some tutorialists claim. "Don't apply effects to the clip... put them on an AL instead. So you don't actually change the clip." Uh, what? Nothing I do to a clip in the timeline is destructive anyway. ??? It can all be turned on or off at any time. That logic has never made sense to me, but lots of YouTube teachers say it. Using ALs to add effects to only one clip just clutters the timeline, in my opinion. Also, it would potentially complicate things by affecting all the tracks underneath... if you only want to affect the one track, just put the effects straight on that clip, duh. 🙂

 

Near as I can tell, ALs are really only useful in situations where you want to, in one motion, affect multiple clips the same way. Either several clips stacked on each other, or several clips strung consecutively. There is a lot of overlap in function with nesting, which I love and use all the time. But they're not exactly the same. This is the best I've figured out so far, but again... I'm the beginner here. So what do I know?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 08, 2020

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I'd say you know more than enough. You just passed Beginner status with flying colors!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 08, 2020

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There are a number of good uses of ALs. For such things as putting effects across several clips with one control setting, of course. But there are times that stacking so many layers of say color work on a clip is best done breaking things up with ALs also.

 

Jamming them on top of clips for everything, yea, that's stupid. But not using them when they improve the workflow ... less than optimal.

 

And yea, you're using your brain for this pretty well there ... 😉

 

Neil

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jampff AUTHOR LATEST
Participant ,
Oct 19, 2020

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Update: Colin Smith just posted very insightful tutorial on this question... why someone might want or need more than one AL in a project:

https://youtu.be/MnbAKqtdamk

SMART Adjustment Layers in Adobe Premiere ProStandard Adjustment layers are simply placeholders for effects, but this tutorial will show you how to increase ...

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