Creating a Dreamy Look in Adobe Premiere

Creating the dream look to your video clips in Adobe Premiere Pro can be considered an advanced special effect. There isn't a dream look effect in the 'Video Effects Bin' so you need to create it on your own by combining other effects to get the look you desire. It can be time consuming to get the clip to look exactly the way you want it, but with some hard work and dedication, you can achieve the dream look.

Envision the Look

Because we have to make our dream look from scratch, we need to think about how we want it to look and what exactly is the dream look. The generally accepted dream look has been around for years and consists of a slightly blown out exposure with a soft focus. This look alerts the audience that they are watching a dream sequence. Knowing this, there are two things that you will need to do to your video clip to create the dream look. You must blow out the image and you must soften the focus.

Blowing Out the Image

The first and most difficult part to pull off is giving your image the blown out look. To do this you are going to use 'Lighting Effects'. Go to the 'Video Effects' bin and choose 'Adjust'. Then, drag 'Lighting Effects' onto your clip. 

Now, go to 'Effect Controls' and collapse the triangle next to 'Lighting Effects' to make alterations. Collapse 'Light 1' and choose 'Spotlight' as the 'Light Type'. Make sure the light's color is white; it should be by default. 

Most dream sequences have the brightness coming from the edge of the frame rather than the center. By default, your light position is in the center and needs to be moved. You will have to manually change the coordinates in the 'Center' to move the effect.

Once the light is in position, you need to alter the light's 'Intensity', 'Major Radius' and 'Minor Radius' to get the blow out look you want. Play with the adjustments until you find a combination that is appealing to you.

Creating Soft Focus

Once the lighting looks right, it's time to soften the focus. Go to the 'Video Effects' bin and choose 'Blur'. Then, drag the 'Gaussian Blur' effect to your clip. Next, go to the 'Effects Control' to make your adjustments to the blur. 

The dream look is in soft focus and is not a complete blur. Only apply a little blur so the image is still clearly visible. Your video clip should now have the dream look.

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