Did You Know Premiere Pro has Adjustment Layers?

Did You Know Premiere Pro has Adjustment Layers?

If you need to apply an effect to multiple clips at once, an adjustment layer can really come in handy.  Experienced After Effects or Photoshop users may already be familiar with the technology which made its debut in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.

The concept is simple, you create a new specialty layer that can hold effects and sit above other video tracks. Everything beneath the adjustment layer will be processed by the effect.  Adjustment layers can have their trim handles and opacity modified to further refine the effect and its placement.  An adjustment layer is often easier to modify since it is a single effect, rather than multiple instances applied to several clips.

To use an adjustment layer, follow these steps.

  1. Click the New Item button at the bottom of the project panel and choose Adjustment Layer. Click OK to create the adjustment layer to match the dimensions of the current sequence.
  2. Locate the new adjustment layer that was added to your project.  You can rename it or move it to a bin to make it easier to track.
  3. Drag the Adjustment layer to a higher track in the timeline.  Trim its handles to cover just the portion of clips you want to affect.
  4. With the adjustment layer selected, drag an effect on to it from the Effects Browser (or simply double-click the effect).
  5. Adjust the effect using the Effect Controls panel.


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About the author

I'm a visual storyteller exploring the fusion of photography and video. I'm also a husband and father.

View all articles by Richard Harrington


  1. James Sandoval

    So what if I have 2 video tracks, and I want to apply an adjustment layer to only the top one?
    Does the adjustment layer effect all layers below or just the layer immediately below?

    1. Mike

      James: As Richard wrote, “Everything beneath the adjustment layer will be processed by the effect.” Whether one or five tracks below, all get the same effect.

  2. Dennis

    Let’s say that I want to use adjustment layers for every scene throughout my project. Can I create one adjustment layer, make it as long as my project is and then cut it for the ins and outs of each particular scene? And then just individually make my adjustments on each layer. Or do I need to create individual adjustment layer files for each individual scene?

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