Just like in Photoshop and After Effects, Adobe Premiere has a robust set of tools for masking, blurring, and color-correcting certain sections of the frame. In particular, the Pen tool allows you to draw these masks by hand, so you can make them extremely precise. You can even use the Pen to draw custom titles for your video, so it's a highly versatile tool. Below, we've shared some essential information about the Adobe Premiere Pen tool, so you can draw masks and titles using freeform shapes.
What is the Pen Tool?
Found in the Effects panel, the Adobe Premiere Pen tool is just like the Ellipse and Rectangle Shape tools, but you're able to draw any shape you like. Once you've drawn a shape, you can apply effects to the area outside or inside the shape boundaries. For instance, you might want to blur out a person's face when interviewing them about a sensitive topic. There might also be an highly saturated area of a shot, so you can color-correct that area and keep the rest of the frame intact.
Creating Masks with the Pen Tool
First, launch your current Premiere project and click on the clip that you want to edit. Then go to the Effects panel and choose which masking or color effect that you'd like to apply to the clip (i.e. Mosaic, Blur).
Click on the dropdown arrow next to your desired effect, you'll see icons for the three shape tools. Choose the Pen tool and start drawing your mask.
Just like in other Adobe programs, the Pen can draw straight or curved path segments, with vertex points in between. This allows you to fine-tune each segment and drag on the direction lines to change its curvature. First, click to create a vertex point, and then click again to create a second vertex point, with a line segment between the two. Keep clicking to draw more points, until you're happy with the path.
To finish a path, hover the Pen tool over your first vertex point, until you see a small circle next to the Pen cursor, and then click on the vertex.
Finally, if you press the Alt key while clicking on a vertex point, it will change to a Bezier point, allowing you to make adjustments to line segments on both sides of the point. This can be extremely handy when creating s-curves and other complex shapes.
Drawing Titles with the Pen Tool
Premiere Pro also comes with a Titler feature, which allows you to design custom shapes and text for title clips. To access it, click on the "New Item" button at the bottom of your project (it looks like a white square with one corner folded over). Choose "Title" from the submenu to launch a new dialog box, where you can name your new title clip.
Now, a huge window will appear with a blank canvas for your title frame, along with a variety of shape and text tools on the left-hand side. Click on the Pen tool in the panel, and start drawing!