About Master Clip effects

In addition to applying effects to track items or clips in a sequence, Premiere Pro lets you apply effects to master clips.

A master clip can be described as a parent clip, and all the sequence clips created from the master clip as child clips.  

To explain further, master clips are objects in the Project panel other than sequences, multi-camera source sequences, and bins. Examples of master clips include merged clips, subclips, and synthetic clips (such as, adjustment layers and color mattes).

If a project contains multiple items linked to the same file on disc, each of those project items is an independent master clip. That is, a parent-child relationship cannot exist within items in the Project panel. The parent-child relationship is limited to master clips in the project and sequence clips in the Timeline.

When you apply an effect to a master clip, the effect automatically ripples down to all sequence clips (child clips) created from that master clip.

Using Master Clip effects in Premiere Pro

  1. In Premiere Pro, apply effects to a master clip by dragging the effect from the Effects panel to the Project panel, Source Monitor, or Effect Controls Panel.

    To apply an effect to multiple master clips, select the items in the Project panel, and then drag the effect to apply to the selected items.

  2. Adjust the effect parameters using the Effect Controls panel.

  3. Insert segments from your master clip into sequences. All the effects applied to the master clip ripple through all portions of the master clip edited into sequences.

    Note:

    The effects ripple through irrespective of whether you applied the effects before or after creating the sequence clips from the master clip.

A clip that has a Master Clip effect applied displays a red line under the FX badge. In addition, the Effects Control panel displays a new tab called Master that shows the applied effects.

Red underlined FX badge indicates Master Clip effect applied to the clip
Red underlined FX badge indicates Master Clip effect applied to the clip

Important notes

  • The Effect Controls Panel is focus-sensitive. That is, if a master clip is loaded in the Source Monitor, and the Source Monitor is in focus, then the Effect Controls Panel loads the master clip.
  • If a single sequence clip is selected in the Timeline and the Timeline is in focus, then the Effect Controls Panel loads the selected track item.
  • To view or adjust the master clip effect from a sequence clip, use the Match Frame feature. The master clip for that sequence clip is loaded into the Source monitor. Double-clicking a sequence clip loads just that segment, and not the master clip. The Effect Controls Panel then shows the track item's effects and not the master clip's effects.

Enable or disable Master Clip effects in thumbnails

You can apply Master Clip Effects to a clip to see a more accurate rendition of the clip's visual appearance. You can set the effects to a clip on a thumbnail in the Project panel.

You can use the transform effect instead of motion/opacity for a master clip.

You can apply most of the video effects available in Premiere Pro except the following:

  • Intrinsics effects: Motion, Opacity, Speed
  • Warp Stabilizer effect
  • Rolling Shutter Repair effect

You cannot pre-render Master Clip effects. Avoid using processor-intensive effects because they can sometimes affect playback performance in the Source Monitor.

You cannot apply any Audio effects to master clips.

To display a thumbnail with Master Clip Effects,

  1. Right-click (  ) in the Project panel.

  2. In the context menu, click Thumbnails show effects applied. You can toggle this option in cases where performance of clips matters, such as:

    • Large number of thumbnails as icons in the Project panel, or
    • Many Master Clip effects on the clips
    Effects in thumbnails
    Effects in thumbnails

    Note:

    If you apply Master Clip effects to a clip, the effects persist in exports or instances of the clip in a sequence.

Adjust Source Settings using the Effect Controls panel

For RED, ARRI, CinemaDNG, DPX, and Sony F65 media files, you can adjust Source Settings by using the Master tab in the Effect Controls panel.

Load a master clip in the Source monitor, and adjust Source Setting parameters, like while balance, saturation, and exposure. You can save the adjusted Source Settings as an Effect Preset to easily apply the same settings to other clips.

You can also copy Source Settings from one clip to another, or to multiple clips. For example, you can adjust Source Settings on one clip, and apply the same settings by copy-pasting the settings to a multiple selection of other project items.

FAQ

What is the difference between a master clip and a clip on disk?

When you import a media file on disk into the Project panel in Premiere Pro, a master clip is created. Each instance of a media file imported into Premiere Pro is an independent master clip.

That is, a Premiere Pro project can contain multiple, distinct master clips pointing to the same media file on disk.

Note:

Use the Reveal in Explorer (Win) or Reveal in Finder (Mac) command to find the media file on disk for a selected clip.

How do you identify if a master clip or a track item is loaded in the Effect Controls panel?

Here are a few tips to help you identify which type of item is loaded:

  • Clip name: For a track item, the sequence name precedes the clip name. For a master clip, only the clip name appears in the Effect Controls Panel.
  • Headers: For a track item, the Effect Controls Panel shows headers for the Video Effects and Audio Effects sections. For a master clip, no such headers are shown.
  • Intrinsic effects: For a track item with video, the Video Effects section shows Motion, Opacity, and Time Remapping effects. For master clips, these intrinsic effects are not shown.

Can Master Clip effects be applied to sequences?

No, you cannot directly apply a Master Clip effect to a sequence or a multi-camera sequence.

What are the types of effects that can be applied on master clips?

You can apply most of the video effects available in Premiere Pro except for the following:

  • Intrinsics effects: Motion, Opacity, Speed
  • Warp Stabilizer effect
  • Rolling Shutter Repair effect
  • Master Clip effects cannot be pre-rendered. So, avoid using processor-intensive effects because they can sometimes affect playback performance in the Source Monitor.

You cannot apply any Audio effects to master clips.

Can you apply effect presets to a master clip?

Yes, you can apply effect presets to a master clip. If a preset includes effects that aren't supported for master clips, the unsupported effects are ignored and only the supported effects are applied.

Will a duplicate master clip inherit effects applied to the original master clip?

When you duplicate a master clip, or create a subclip from a master clip, the new instance inherits any effects already applied to the original master clip. However, no active link exists between the two master clips thereafter. Later, if you want to apply the same changes to both master clips, copy the effects from one master clip and paste into the other. 

How does After Effects handle Master Clip effects?

Currently, After Effects does not support Master Clip effects applied to clips in an imported Premiere Pro sequence.

Video tutorial

How to apply effects to all instances of a clip

In this 5-min video tutorial, learn how to apply an effect to a master clip, change it, and watch the changes ripple through all instances of the clip.

The tutorial provides you sample files to try out the feature for yourself.


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