Adjustment Layer was introduced to Premiere Elements in version 12/12.1. It can be found in versions 13/13.1 (current version) as well as 12/12.1.
Adjustment Layer is essentially a clip with total transparency to which fx Effects effect(s) can be applied so that an effect or group of effects in the Adjustment Layer can be seen in all the clips directly below it. Using an Adjustment Layer in this way bypasses applying effects to individual clips, and the Adjustment Layer concept is said to provide rendering performance advantage (yet to be defined).
In Premiere Elements 12/12.1 and 13/13.1 Adjustment Layer can be introduced in the Expert* workspace's Timeline in four ways. Way one results in Adjustment Layer with an effect in it placed automatically on the Timeline Video Track 4. Way two, three, and four result in a blank Adjustment Layer which is automatically placed in Project Assets and must be dragged from Project Assets to a Timeline video track for the manual application of an effect or effects into it.
Dragging an fx Effects effect into the Edit area monitor which is displaying the Timeline clip.
This triggers the appearance of a pop up menu wanting a Yes or No answer to whether or not to apply the selected effect to the entire clip (See Figure 1).
|Figure 1. Apply Effect Dialog When A Fx Effect Is Dragged Into Timeline Clip's Image In Edit Area Monitor.|
Timeline Menu/New Adjustment Layer
Clicking on New Adjustment Layer in this route triggers Project Assets to open with a thumbnail for a blank Adjustment Layer. The Adjustment Layer can be dragged from Project Assets to any track above the Timeline clips involved. Then fx Effects effect(s) can be dragged into the Adjustment Layer. Editing of the effect now applied to the Adjustment Layer can be done using Applied Effects Tab/Applied Effects Palette/and the Panel for the effect.
Project Assets Palette/Panel Options/New Item includes Adjustment Layer
This is an alternative route to a blank Adjustment Layer. See Way Two. When Adjustment Layer is clicked on under New Item, a new blank Adjustment Layer is placed in Project Assets. The Adjustment Layer can be dragged from Project Assets to any track above the Timeline clips involved. Then fx Effects effect(s) can be dragged into the Adjustment Layer. Editing of the effect now applied to the Adjustment Layer can be done using Applied Effects Tab/Applied Effects Palette/and the Panel for the effect.
Keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Y (Windows) or Cmd+Opt+Y (Mac)
See Edit Menu/Keyboard Customization/Application - Timeline and "New Adjustment Layer" to create the keyboard shortcut for generating a New Adjustment Layer with the command of Ctrl+Alt+Y (Windows) or Cmd+Opt+Y (Mac) or personal choice. See Ways Two and Three.
What is the origin of the Adjustment Layer? And, will the image look the same with its effects applied individually directly from fx Effects effects versus through an Application Layer? How to deal with those blank Adjustment Layers thumbnails in Project Assets
What is the Adjustment Layer?
This blog started out with
Adjustment Layer is essentially a clip with total transparency to which fx Effects can be applied so that an effect or group of effects in the Adjustment Layer can be seen in all the clips directly below it.Both Black Video (opaque, non transparent) and Adjustment Layer (transparent) are listed under Project Assets/Panel Options/ New Item. If Black Video is imported into the project, its thumbnail named Black Video appears in Project Assets. And, if Adjustment Layer is introduced into the project (way one, two, three, or four), its thumbnail named Adjustment Layer appears in Project Assets. The curious thing is that, both give the same Properties readout in Project Assets. Both are described as Black Video. See Figure 2.
|Figure 2. Same Project Assets Properties Readout For Adjustment Layer And Black Video In The 1920 x 1080 Premiere Elements 13/13.1 Project.|
Some have suggested a rendering performance advantage to using an Adjustment Layer as placeholder for effects that affect the Timeline clips below instead of applying effects directly to the Timeline clips individually. Preliminary look into this type of question showed rendering times were 2 to 4 minutes slower when Application Layer with Three-Way Color Corrector effect was used over Timeline clips instead of Three-Way Color Corrector effect applied to each of the same Timeline clips.
1920 x 1080i30 Project
Effect Three-Way Color Corrector
Timeline Duration 16 minutes 2 seconds 12 frames
4 different clips representing 28842 frames
Timeline Rendering Time
...Adjustment Layer - Three-Way Color Corrector...........17 minutes 44 seconds 2 frames.
...Three-Way Color Corrector direct to Timeline Clips....14 minutes 5 seconds 5 frames
1920 x 1080i30 Project
Effect Three-Way Color Corrector
Timeline Duration 9 minutes 28 seconds 11 frames
1 clip representing 17033 frames
Timeline Rendering Time
...Adjustment Layer-Three-Way Color Corrector.............10 minutes 29 seconds 9 frames
...Three-Way Color Corrector Direct to Timeline Clips.....8 minutes 23 second 6 frames
And, will the image look the same with its effects applied individually directly from fx Effects versus through an Application Layer?
Example One** - fx Effects/Advanced Adjustments/Image Control and fx Effects/Blur & Sharpen/Sharpen
Effects Direct To Clip
Effects In Adjustment Layer Above Clip
Example Two*** - fx Effects/Color Correction/Three-Way Color Corrector
Effect Direct To Clip
Effect In Adjustment Layer Above Clip
Working around blank Adjustment Layers piling up in Project Assets
Whether Adjustment Layer is generated by Way 1 or 2, 3, 4, the copy of the Adjustment Layer stored as project media in Project Assets is blank. This is true even after the corresponding Timeline copy has an effect applied to it. A situation can occur where there are many of these blank Adjustments Layers in Project Assets. Knowing which Project Assets "Adjustment Layer" belongs to which Timeline "Adjustment Layer" can get confusing. The best way around this seems to be right clicking the Timeline "Adjustment Layer" and selecting Reveal in Project. That will open Project Assets with the correct corresponding "Adjustment Layer" selected/highlighted in Project Assets.
The above observation is interesting when making a comparison between text titles and Adjustment Layers. Timeline text title edit in the Titler is reflected in the Project Assets thumbnail. Effects edits, additions, subtractions to Timeline Adjustment Layers are not. Yet deletion of either from Project Assets removes the text title and Adjustment Layer respectively from the project.
Although the mechanics of how the Adjustment Layer in Premiere Elements 12/12.1 and 13/13.1 works, it is not known to us how to make our own Adjustment Layer file as a "placeholder" for effects that will be seen the in the clip(s) below the Adjustment Layer. There is circumstantial evidence but nothing that works to support the speculations about Adjustment Layer origins.
The Project Assets thumbnails for the Adjustment Layers as source media seem confusing. And, the reason for their existence there as blank Adjustment Layers all with the same name is puzzling at this point. Also, often the spontaneous expansion of the Adjustment Layer to span the entire Timeline can be unhelpful rather than helpful.
Comparable results appear to result whether the effect(s) are applied to a clip directly or indirectly through an Adjustment Layer/with effect placed above the clip. However, the examples given in this blog post seem slightly darker when the effects were applied directly to the clip.
Something to think about....would the creation and use of an Effects Preset instead of Adjustment Layer work just a well to apply the same effects to a clip or group of clips?
Needs more thinking about.
*Blog post focused on look at Adjustment Layer in Premiere Elements 13/13.1 Windows, using Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 bit computer. Adjustment Layer can also be done in the Quick workspace according to the steps described in the Adobe document "Adobe Premiere Elements Help / Applying effects using Adjustment layers".
** Effects Settings in Applied Effects Tab/Applied Effects Palette/Image Control Panel expanded and Applied Effects Tab/Applied Effects Palette/Blur & Sharpen/Sharpen Panel expanded.
*** Effect Settings in Applied Effects Tab/Applied Effects Palette/Three-Way Color Corrector Panel expanded