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Refining Your Edit: J and L Cuts

Lesson 17 from: Adobe Premiere Pro CC Video Editing: The Complete Guide

Abba Shapiro

Refining Your Edit: J and L Cuts

Lesson 17 from: Adobe Premiere Pro CC Video Editing: The Complete Guide

Abba Shapiro

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Lesson Info

17. Refining Your Edit: J and L Cuts

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

The lesson discusses J and L cuts, which are editing techniques used to smooth out transitions in video and audio. The instructor explains how J cuts involve playing the audio of the next scene before showing the visuals, while L cuts involve playing the audio of the previous scene while showing the visuals of the next scene. The lesson also covers the concept of roll edits, which allow for separate control of video and audio, as well as the use of slip and slide edits to adjust timing within a clip without changing its duration.


  1. What are J and L cuts?

    J cuts involve playing the audio of the next scene before showing the visuals, while L cuts involve playing the audio of the previous scene while showing the visuals of the next scene.

  2. How do J and L cuts smooth out transitions?

    By playing the audio before or after the visuals, J and L cuts create a more natural and seamless transition between scenes.

  3. What is a roll edit?

    A roll edit allows for separate control of video and audio, allowing for adjustments to be made to one element without affecting the other.

  4. What are slip and slide edits?

    Slip edits involve changing the in and out points of a clip while keeping its duration the same, while slide edits involve moving the entire clip within the timeline without changing its duration.

  5. When would you use slip and slide edits?

    Slip and slide edits are useful when you want to adjust the timing or placement of certain elements within a clip without changing its overall duration.


Class Trailer

Understanding Editing: Bootcamp Overview


Understanding Editing: Overview


Understanding Editing: Video Examples


Tour The Interface: Digital Video Workflow


Tour The Interface: Project Panel


Tour The Interface: Choosing Your Shot


Tour The Interface: Music And Voice Over


Tour The Interface: Video Tracks


Tour The Interface: Edit Markers


Building a Rough Cut: Cut Planning


Building a Rough Cut: Selecting Media


Building a Rough Cut: The Edit


Building a Rough Cut: Edit Points


Refining Your Edit: Preparation


Refining Your Edit: Making Cuts


Refining Your Edit: Using Markers


Refining Your Edit: J and L Cuts


Refining Your Edit: Replace Edit


Working with Audio: Overview


Working with Audio: Levels


Working with Audio: Music


Working with Audio: Mixing And Syncing


Transitions: Overview


Transitions: Effect Controls


Filters & Effects: Overview


Filters & Effects: Using Multiple Filters


Motion & Animation: Motion And Animation Overview


Motion & Animation: Movement With Still Images


Motion & Animation: Picture In Picture


Motion & Animation: Motion Effects


Titling & Graphics: Overview


Titling & Graphics: Advanced Tools


Titling & Graphics: Roll And Crawl Effects


Titling & Graphics: Working With Photoshop


Speed Changes: Overview


Speed Changes: Stills And Variable Speeds


Color Correction: Overview


Color Correction: Lumetri Scopes


Color Correction: Contrast


Color Correction: Advanced Tools


Color Correction: Adjusting To A Master Clip


Finishing: Prepping for Output


Finishing: QC Edit Points


Sharing & Exporting: Overview


Sharing & Exporting: Size And Quality


Ingesting Media:


Ingesting Media: Transferring And Importing


Media Management & Archiving


Multi-Camera Editing: Overview


Multi-Camera Editing: Creating A Sequence


Multi-Camera Editing: Switching Multiple Cameras


Multi-Camera Editing: Finalizing


Creating Timelapses: Shooting Strategies


Creating Timelapses: Editing Images


Creating Timelapses: Importing Strategies


Creating Timelapses: Animation


Advanced Editing Techniques: Take Command Of Your Timeline


Advanced Editing Techniques: Transitions


Advanced Editing Techniques: Keyboard Shortcuts


Advanced Editing Techniques: Preference Hacks


Thinking Like an Editor: Editing Choices


Thinking Like an Editor: Telling the Story


Special Tools: Warp Stabilizer


Special Tools: Morph Cut


Special Tools: Green Screen


Lesson Info

Refining Your Edit: J and L Cuts

Let's take a quick review of what we've done and see where we need to go from our skillsets. We talked about using markers, three-point edits, the lift and the extract, ripple edits, slipping and sliding. Another thing that I promised to talk to you about was the J and the L cut. And the J and the L cut are very valuable, because that's gonna actually smooth out your edits. So let's go look at the J and L cut and then we'll look at a replace edit. And then that'll wrap up this section of, oh, I wanna add some d rolling work with that. SO, what's a J and L cut? You see them all the time. Because when you watch a TV show, they rarely cut as each person talks. Person A talks, cut to them. Person B talks, cut to them. Person A talks, cut to them. That's boring, plus it's not natural, plus you see the cut. And in real life, we don't work that way. If I'm talking to one of you, or if I'm talking over to the left side, and somebody asks me a question on the right, I hear the audio, before I s...

ee the person. So really, if we sneak the audio in of the next person speaking before we see them, you don't feel the cut. And that can also be true with b roll. So here's the trick with J and L cuts. You're using sound and vision independently to control what your audience is experiencing. So it can be anything, like you got the guy driving up. This is in the old days, watch an old Hitchcock film, love Hitchcock. The guys drives up, parks in front of the building, walks into the building, hits the elevator button, see him in the elevator, hear the music, elevator opens, he goes into the office. Fast forward 50 years, you see the guy drive up and then you hear the office sounds and the ding of the elevator first, and then you cut to him stepping out, and you're like, fine. You have accepted that he's done all that walking without having to see it. So a lot of times, we hear the next scene before we see it. And we just take it for granted, we fill it in on our brain. So that's where you'd lead the audio. In other cases, let's say you're having a conversation. And, when people are talking, sometimes the reaction is more valuable than the action or what's being said. So cutting away to the person reacting before they speak is useful, okay? To see how they're emotionally responding to what's being said. So the idea is that, you wanna be able to cut your video and audio at slightly different points, to either create an experience or to hide the edit. And that's what we're gonna do. We're gonna create these J cuts and L cuts. We're gonna move the edit points of either the audio and the video with a roll edit, and see if that actually smooths things out a little bit. So let's go ahead. I'm gonna go back over to the beginning here, maybe we'll try it with this. (audio scrambling) Thank you. You do a lot travel for (DARV), well actually you take people out on tours. Tell me a little bit. Okay, so. I mean, I'm cutting back and forth here. But let's say that, you know, the, I want the audio to smooth out a little bit. So, normally, when we do a roll edit, Now remember, we changed our preference, so we automatically get to go to the roll edit, right? So as soon as I put this there, turns red and I could do a roll. Okay, not gonna do that. But what I want to do, is I want to break these in half. I want to be able to move my audio without moving my video. Very useful tool. There is a very complex way of doing it. We select a clip, and you say, separate the clip so they're not linked. And then you can move them, potentially a dangerous thing. I never do this, so let's say, there we go. Unlink. Let's see if that works. So I hit Unlink, and now I can actually select the video, and the audio separately. Okay? And then I would go here, and I'm going to say Unlink again. So now when I select, by default it wants to keep things together. In sync. If you select a video, if there was audio attached, it wants to select it. But there are times that you may want to remove this. So, let's say. I wanted to remove this audio. Well now that they're not linked, and I hit delete, I could move that audio, and keep the video. Very useful. Okay? And then I could roll this over. Life is good. And I could do the same thing here. But if I don't relink them. I just unlinked them, right? So they're not related. If I move this over a little bit, I'm gonna actually get into this with audio. I just threw my audio out of sync with the video. So, I did a very dangerous thing, just to get one thing done. So I'm going to teach you a trick, and we're going to work with this stuff, so. I'm hinting on to it a bunch of times. I actually hint on doing enough of that. I believe they should be linked back together again, yeah. And I know that by selecting one, it selects the other. If I want to temporarily break the relationship between video and audio, or even multiple audio tracks, there'd be times when you might have two microphones, maybe. There's an optional way to do that. Hopefully, in the last few days, you've caught onto my hints, that if I hold down a modifier key, perhaps an optional way to do this, I can temporarily break the link. So I'm gonna hold down Option, and now when I select either the video or the audio, the link is temporarily broken. This is good for two things. One, if I just want to get rid of something, let's say I brought in a piece of B roll. And it had a bunch of music under it that I don't want. Hold down the Option key. Selects just that. Hit delete. You're good to go. I can also use this with a roll edit. So, if I wanted to, now look at this edit here, I wanna see if this thing zoomed in and letting you see is a challenge. Tell me a little bit about that. Child photography. So, what I want to do is, maybe I want to have him start speaking before we cut to him. So I want to do a roll edit, but if I hold down the Option key before I select the audio, It let's me just move the audio, okay? And not the video. And now when I let go of the Option key, they're still attached. So I can't accidentally throw myself out of sync. And let's take a look. Say a little bit about that. Child photography for me, it is. So it's a little tight. Because they're not necessarily the right edits. But the J cut actually allows me to cut to the other person's audio while still looking at me reacting. Okay? I could do the same thing with video down the line. Can use the up and down arrow keys to get to another cut point. Take photographs. And. But I've set up rules. We'll probably cover that with B rolls, so we'll cut back. (audio scrambling) So here, maybe, you'll continue to look over my shoulder. So I'll hold down the option key. This time I'm moving the video. This goes back to the over the shoulder shot. (audio scrambling) So that's actually a smoother. Remember, before, I got a talk and it was a jump. Very small thing. I'm going to undo and redo that, so that you can see. I'm gonna zoom back a little bit. So, this was. This is the after. (audio scrambling) And this was the before. (audio scrambling) I think it feels a little smoother. This is definitely nuance here at this point. But, later on we'll have some, we'll work with some stuff when we continue to cut. Where you can see, we hear the audio, and we do. I do this a lot with audio. I lead the audio in before the video. And it establishes the next location. It's also good for just reaction shots. There might be a time where you know, here we have a cut. And maybe I have a point where I don't have B roll. (audio scrambling) So what would I put here? Well I'm going to go ahead. I'm going to hit a marker. In. Out. So I just marked my in and out. And I want a reaction shot. So I need to go back, and I need to find me. Looking, you know, like I'm actually listening. (audio scrambling) Get some nod in there. (audio scrambling) Okay, so I'm going to go here. I'm going to mark it. In point. And remember, I don't need to mark an out point. It's only a few point in. So. An in point. An out point. Want to bring it in. Possible problem. If I just did an overwrite edit, what would the problem be? The problem would be, see like, I don't even make you suffer. The problem. The problem would be is, it would replace the audio and the video if I do that. If I go ahead and I hit the period key, I get this great reaction shot. (audio scrambling) But it has nothing to do with what he's talking about. It doesn't line up. So what I really want to do, I want to replace just the video. And that's where this track targeting comes in. So we saw earlier that this effects things in the timeline. This effects what gets brought in. So at this point, all my audio tracks are turned off. So if I do an edit, only the video will be replaced. If I go ahead, and am I going to do an overwrite edit? Or an insert edit? 50/50 chance. I want to overwrite, replace what's there without changing the duration. So I'm doing an overwrite edit. Into this space. Okay. Now, we saw this frame changing. It did move. That's just, the first frame is now him there. But the timing, and if we listen it should be fine. The hopes of getting great photographs, and but I've set up really great itineraries for. So, great reaction shot. Absolutely no reaction in that shot. It's like "I'm bored, what are you talking about?" My eyes are open. But! The timing feels right. It solved the problem. We didn't mess up our audio. Okay? So that's where you can target stuff. You can do the same thing if you just want to bring in an audio track. I want to fix this. And I talked about something called a slip edit and a slide edit before. And these are things that, I mean I've talked to editors that have been editors for 20 years, they don't even know what a slip and a slide is. Incredibly powerful. So, what I want to do is. I want to keep the timing the same. I can do one of two things. I can do a slide edit, where I can move this up and down the timeline. Or a slip edit where I'm actually changing what part. I want to change the duration. I just want to get something where maybe I'm nodding. Okay? So think of it as, as a scroll. And instead of seeing this part of the window, I scroll down. I see this where I'm actually nodding my head. I don't want to change the duration, okay? That's called a slip edit. Think of it this way, it's winter, right? Maybe it's winter in Seattle. And it snows for two inches for ten minutes. I mean it lasts for ten minutes. And, you are walking along, and you're on the ice, and you slip. Your feet go up and you land on your butt. Okay? You are physically in the same place, but another part of your body is touching the ground. That's what a slip edit is. You're physically staying in the same place, but you're looking at a different part of the clip. Okay? Same day, slide, right? You're walking along. You slide on the ice. Your feet are still on the ground, but you're over here. Okay? That's how you can remember slip and slide. Okay? You can get to those, with shortcuts here. So we come over here, and you go, "I don't remember what they were." And you start hovering. And you look at that, there's a Rate Stretch. There's a Rolling Edit. Oh, there's a Ripple Edit. Can't be it there. No. There's a Slip Tool. There's a Slide Tool. So there are keyboard shortcuts for those. You can kind of see from the the symbol that the Slip Tool, it stays inside the space. The Slide Tool actually goes outside. The keyboard shortcuts are U and Y. And I think of it this way. The Y kind of squeezes down onto a point. So there I'm slipping. And U looks like the outside of two clips around me, so I'm sliding. If you don't remember that, just hover over here. It'll tell you. But let's look at this into place. So I want to do a slip edit first. Okay? It's the Y tool. Come over here. Let's zoom out. When I put my cursor over that clip, I click on it, and I start moving left and right. Actually, I'm not, I'm zoomed in a little so you can see that. So when I click on that, what we see is we see the last frame in the upper left hand corner of Mark, and his first frame. And when I move that, I start seeing my first and last frame inside. And all I'm doing, is I'm moving my mouse left and right. So I see some nodding. Ah, there I'm looking like I'm nodding. And I'm letting go of the mouse. So, you'll see when I let go, physically nothing will change in the timeline. The little icon might change, because my head's nodding. But, I've changed the in and the out point. Okay? Now when I hit play, Great photographs. And, but I. Got a little nod. Maybe do a little more. Great photographs. And, Wrong way. Great photographs. And, The more I play with this, the worse I'm getting. (laughter) Come on. React. I wanted to show it, because I wanted to actually point out something that's kind of cool to see. So, I'm going to do the slip and slide here. I want you to take a look. This is, I've loaded the clip back in the viewer. And you can see the in and the out points of the clip in the viewer. Okay, so as I do this, I just go have a little bit. I move this. As soon as I let go, do you see how it changed up there? Also, in addition to changing up there, I could go up here because I've loaded it in. And also, slide this back and forth. So I'm. What I've done is I've loaded it back in. So this gives me a little more control. There's my head nod. I finished the nod, that's good. A boom. Great photographs. And, but I said. Close enough. So we got the head nod. That's the slip. Now why would I use the slide? I got the reaction shot. The reaction's perfect. The timing. I'm actually nodding my head. Maybe I need to nod a little bit earlier or a little bit later. That's when I switch to the slide, okay? That's the U. So we switch over here to slide. Now, when I grab it, if I start moving this. Instead of seeing, my head at the beginning and the end as the big ones, I see his last frame, and his first frame, so I can say "Oh look, and these." Look at the timeline. I can say "Okay, I want the nod to start here." okay? So now, the same duration of the nod is there. But I've moved that reaction shot later down the line. And but I've set up really great. So that's what a slip and slide does. And it's one of those things that you can appreciate now. But as soon as you really need it, you're gonna go whoa! Face bomb. This is amazing. Okay? An example. You're shooting. Let's say you shot a wedding. And you got the great shot in there. And you're playing it. And at the very end, there's the flash of a strobe going off, and you're like "Oh, that's distracting." But everything is perfectly timed. So you go into the slip, and you move it over a little bit. So it's starts a little earlier, and it ends a little earlier, so you don't see the strobe. The duration is still okay. You know, another example is, you're shooting a street scene. At the very end, there's some guy waving. It's like, okay, it's just wallpaper. And you slip it so you don't see the guy waving. And again, reaction shots. You love the placement of where it starts and where it ends. Maybe it's a turtle swimming in the ocean. But you want to have an earlier or later. That's when the slide comes into play. So that's the slip and the slide edit. And that becomes extremely, extremely valuable.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Abba Shapiro's Work File Information
Building a Rough Cut - Project Files
Refining Your Edit - Project File
Working with Audio Project File
Motion Effects - Project Files
Titling and Graphics - Project Files
Speed Changes - Project Files
Color Correction - Project Files
Finishing - Project Files
Multi-Camera Editing - Project Files (Large Download - 3.25GB)
Creating Timelapses - Project Files (Large Download - 1.25GB)
Thinking Like An Editor - Project Files
Special Tools - Project Files

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I've never even tried video editing before this class. I opened the program once and panicked. After only 9 lessons I was able to throw a short video together (basic of course, but still pretty cool). I wish all of my teachers growing up were just like Abba. He goes over everything without dragging anything on for too long. He repeats things just enough for me to actually remember them, and he is funny. He keeps it fun and shows that even he makes mistakes. I can't even believe how much I have learned in less than a quarter of his class. I have a long way to go and am very excited to learn more. This class is worth every penny and more! I was hesitant on buying the class because I have CS6 and he works with CC, but I have already used what I've learned in his course to create a video. The first 9 lessons were already worth what I paid for the entire course. Thank you, Abba! You are an awesome teacher! You have me absolutely obsessed with creating right now! I highly recommend! You won't find this thorough of a course for this decent price!

Patricia Downey

Just bought this yesterday and cannot stop watching!!!! What a FANTASTIC teacher-- just love the way he explains everything. For someone like me (who has a zillion questions) it is perfect. As soon as he introduces a feature, he explains several aspects in such a way that's easy to grasp and remember. So, so happy I got this. Thank you Abba and CreativeLive!

a Creativelive Student

I am only on lesson 19 and I am so glad I bought this class, so worth it and Abba packs so much information into these lessons its crazy. I will for sure have to come back and watch again when I need to remember to do stuff or need a refresher. He is funny and quirky and a great teacher. I so recommend this to anyone wanting to become a better video editor!! I am coming from being self taught and using iMovie and he makes it so simple and understandable. Can't wait to learn more :)

Student Work