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Premiere CS5: fade-in effect - what a neurotic PITA
  • I can't believe what a neurotic PITA it is to apply a simple fade-in to a clip in Premier CS5. The miniscule GUI glitch that control this effect on the timeline is barely even visible, much less something you can precisely grab with a mouse pointer and manipulate. The interfaces are all completely unlabeled of course, and there's nothing in the Adobe help site that even mentions the word "fade-in".

    Even if you know exactly what wrist contortion they expect you to perform, the damn thing won't respond unless you know the secret incantation that uncloaks the grayed-out Add Keyframe button on the Video track tab. The genius that designed this POS cannot even explain it in English - Adobe had to resort to pasting a screenshot of the GUI in their keyframe help page to literally show you what must be done. Before you can click the button to add a keyframe, you have to open the completely unrelated Effect Controls Panel, display the unlabelled thing on the right side of it and click in a blank area to get yet another timeline slider to show up. Only then will the freaking button uncloak, magnanimously allowing you to click it to insert an invisible keyframe mark in the timeline.

    To actually apply the fade-in is even more abusive. First you have to click on little dot next to the keyframe cloak and select "Show Opacity Handles". Then this impossibly tiny hairline shows up on the painfully narrow timeline where a thumbnail of a frame obscures it. Now you're expected to grab the tiny one-pixel left edge of the hairline and drag in down to black out the start of the clip.

    I really sympathize with people who have deal with such merciless crap to make a living. It's even worse than programming in C++.

  • 41 Replies sorted by
  • Know this is an old thread but reading it took me back to my first attempt at using premiere in 1997 ish. I was just learning avid and media 100 and premiere seemed so amateurish and fiddly oh so fiddly. Trying to grab 5 pixel square handles. When I came back to it 13 years later I was dismayed to find it very similar. I agree,it is unintuative,and feels bolted together, BUT I can live with it because of Cuda.

  • Also, try choosing different workspaces for the specific function you are engaging in at the time; audio, editing, color correcting, effects, etc.

  • @LPowell Adobe's "documentation" is obtuse, indeed - and that's being generous IMO. As a recent convert from FCP, I'm no PP expert, but I do edit on a Win 7/dual-monitor system. At PP's default GUI size on my monitors, transitions are often too small to see or manipulate. As recommended in other comments above, keyboard shortcuts are a quick way to apply transitions. Then, for fine adjustments, I find the Zoom tools very helpful for seeing exact placement and adjustment. Clicking the transition (or EFX) opens the effect control panel for tweaks.

    Also, thank you for your superb contributions to the GH evolution. As is said in Atlanta, "we pre-shate-cha!"

    Coda-DissolveScreenShot.jpg
    1920 x 1200 - 457K
  • i wish premiere had action script too. would make life a whole lot easier. i find fade to black does strange things like introduce 1px white borders when fading.

  • Dip to black is a useful feature. If you have a lot of clips up, or titles, and you don't want to use a cross fade. Documentation: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/premierepro/cs/using/WSE2A9B838-1422-4d8a-9A03-CFDF4332533B.html You only need to set up a few presets and apply keyboard shortcuts, but the basic ones all ready setup work pretty well. If you view the fade in the effects panel, it will show you exactly what is happening. You can also use the trim panel. Lots to choose from! I recommend Magic Bullet as an add on as well as Neat Video Pro. And an i7 with HT enabled 16gb ram, and a GT 240 with DDR5 1gb, then hack the mercury engine. Totally rocks.

  • Vegas is nicer for dissolves and fades. Premiere involves to many steps. I wish Adobe integrated actions or scripting for Premiere.

  • I never see anyone here mention Videopad. It's a nice step up from movie maker, but nowhere near the complexity of pp. Great if you want to dive in without much learning curve. Also, I never tried it, but I guess Premiere Elements is the same idea?

  • I'm pretty sure that final cut has a "dip to color" effect that could be used the same way so I don't think the nomenclature is exclusive to ppro. However, I don't think I have actually touched final cut since 2003(fcp4?), when I made the switch to premiere.

  • Thanks everyone, for the helpful advice. I tried the "Dip to Black" effect and it did the job without much fuss. So my problem was really Adobe's obtuse documentation, and its completely clueless omission of even a cross-reference to what is universally referred to as a "fade-in". If I ever have to do this sort of thing again in the future, I'll be sure to ask around before diving into the depths.

  • LPowell Ever tried Vegas? Fades are so easy even I can do them.

  • @LPowell What you want is the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+D, which will drop a cross dissolve onto your footage.
    Specifically you want to move the play head near the start of the clip, then press Ctrl+D on your keyboard
    By default it will act as a cross dissolve and show up as a purple sort of box that spans the edit point for a set number of frames on each side, you should be able to quickly grab the left or right side of the box and drag it to the desired duration.
    Dragging it so that the effect starts at the same point as the clip would give you a cut to black and then a fade in to the second clip.
    At least this is how it works in my copy of PPro CS4.

    Hope this helps,
    Josh

  • @bimdas: Except I don't imagine your grandma is one of the best and most knowledgable developers of firmware patches for GH1/2 cameras. To me, if something that should be this simple is a pain for somebody like @LPowell, then maybe it's a sign there is serious room for improvement in the UI for Premiere Pro. And I say that as somebody who uses Premiere Pro as my preferred editor. I remember being quite vexed by the fiddliness of fade-ins when I first started working on it as well. But then I was coming from Vegas, which handles fades and other transitions quite elegantly and quickly. I don't use a Mac, so I wouldn't know from personal experience, but understand that FCPX's handling of transitions is similarly easy/intuitive.

  • this thread has brought back memories of teaching grandma how to use email.

  • @itimjim While the hit area may be wider than the hairline, if I can't see it, I can't grasp it. For whatever reason, your screen grab is displayed in Mozilla at least twice as large as the GUI is scaled in Premiere. Maybe I should consider a hardware upscaling solution to make Adobe's GUI legible?

  • This is why i love Sony Vegas Pro, everything is simple and has multiple ways of applying. Drag and drop, hotkey, preset template or Sony Vegas Production Assistant

  • @sebben Arg the unbelievable agony

    au contraire, prey continue

  • @LPowell. It's not 1 pixel thin, did you not read my previous comment? You don't need 300% magnification, and neither of the images I posted are zoomed, they are simple screen clips at 100%.

    @molloy1011 is completely right. Drag it on, and it will do what you want without intervention.

  • At the beginning of a clip, it dips from black to your image. Placed at the end of the clip, it dips from the image to black.

  • Arg the unbelievable agony.

  • Ok it sounds like this "Dip to Black" effect may work but how do you tell it which way to dip?

  • Windows Movie Maker it is then!

  • @itimjim Neither iMovie nor its successor FCPX will run on my Win7 workstation...

    @Jasketti - "Once you grasp the UI you will love it and never want to leave it..."

    I don't think I have the patience to manually grasp something that's one pixel thin at anything less that 300% magnification.

  • @LPowell I'm using a 27" 2560x1440 monitor, and the pixel pitch is fine. I do have early-30s vision though, so you're forgiven. Maybe you should fire up iMovie while your lad is away :-D

  • @itimjim What I'm used to is a 2560x1600 color correction monitor whose resolution is too fine-grained for my eyes to spot a one-pixel hairline. Thanks again for the magnified screen shots, it's the first time I've seen what those microscopic hieroglyphic buttons are supposed to look like. I don't know how my son does it, I'd have to wear a surgeon's magnifying spectacles and put calipers on the mouse to operate this thing.

  • @LPowell Once you grasp the UI you will love it and never want to leave it. There are multile ways of doing "fade-ins and outs" with ease and high precision. Pick the one thats gonna suit your style. Cross dissolve effect, dip to black effect or just use the clip opacity handles and make an user preset of it. They can be set up on timeline or effects pane.

    I have used PPro, Edius, FCP and AVID. Out of those I like Premiere UI the most.

    Give it a little time.