Media Culture - Premier Pro Pt 1

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What is Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro is a non-destructive, non-linear video editing application. The interface is comprised of a series of windows called "panels" that can be modified to create different "work spaces".

It follows the basic design of most editing software:

  • Media Browser window: browse all available files on the computer, and preview content before adding to your project.
  • Project panel: view all of the audio/video/still/title assets that are included in a project.
  • Source Monitor: preview assets, set in and out points for fine tuning.
  • Program Monitor: view the edited materials as part of the Sequence which is open in the Timeline.
  • Sequence: audio and video clips are edited together on separate tracks.
  • Timeline panel: edit audio/video/still images content into a Sequence.
  • You can have multiple Sequences in one Project and Timeline windows.

  • Media files audio/video/still content. Please save and work locally on the Storage drive in the Multimedia Lab.
  • Clips are assets that point to the original file on the hard drive.
    • Changes made to clips in the Premiere project will not affect the original media files - this is the meaning of a non-destructive program.
    • This also means that changing the location of the source files may result in Premiere losing track of where to find the contents of the project with a "Media Offline' notice. When moving files from the server, or different computer stations, please keep all materials in a single folder. Reconnect media, or ask a lab aide for help.
  • Project file: a recipe, or list of instructions for how to put the project together.
  • In-Points and Out-Points: Designates the beginning and end sections of a clip.
  • Playhead: Shows the time location of the current frame in any window. Sometimes it is also called the Current-Time Indicator (CTI).

Getting Started

Collect and Organize Source Files

Premiere Pro does not move or copy any files. Files need to be pre-organized before importing.

  1. Create a folder in the Storage drive labeled with your name. Do not use special characters other than a dash or underscore.
  2. Inside this folder create folders for each Video, Audio, Images, and Premiere Files.
  3. Move any corresponding files into the appropriate folder, and label each individual file descriptively.

Create a Project

  1. Launch Premiere Pro from the dock.
  2. Select New Project.

New Project Settings


  • Video Display Format: Timecode
  • Audio Display Format: Milliseconds
  • Capture: This setting is only applies if you are capturing from DV or HDV tape. When using file based video this can be ignored.

Scratch Disks

All four settings can be set to Same as Project.


  1. Click the Browse button.
  2. Navigate to your project folder in the Storage drive and select the Premiere Files folder. This will keep all the extraneous files that Premiere creates tidy.
  3. Name the project descriptively and click OK.
  4. In the New Sequence window that appears press cancel.

Import Media Files

It is easier to import files into Premiere before creating a new sequence.

  1. If the "New Sequence" dialog box comes up immediately in your project, press cancel.
  2. In the Media Browser navigate to your project folder on the Storage drive.
  3. Add all video clips and still images to the Project Panel by right clicking on the folder and select Import.
  4. After importing all media close the Media Browser panel by pressing the x on the top right of the tab.

New Sequence Settings

You will use a pre-existing file to make sequence settings that are consistent across your project.

  1. Pick a video file which represents the majority of the files that will be used in the project (in terms of dimensions, frame rate, compression etc).
  2. Select that particular file that will be the project standard in the Project panel. Right click and select New Sequence From Clip.
  3. A new Sequence will be added to the Project panel and it will open int the Timeline panel.
  4. Change the sequence name to something meaningful by clicking on the sequence name in the Project panel.
  5. Name the sequence and click OK.
  6. You should only do this once. After that, when adding clips to the timeline, you'll want to conform those clips to the existing settings. (more below)


Windows are called panels in Premiere.

  • Under the Windows menu open various panels.
  • Many windows have a Panel Menu in the top right corner which can be used to change settings for that window. Panel menu pp.jpg
  • Any panel can be expanded to full screen by pressing the ` (tilde) key while the mouse is over that panel. Press the ` key again to return to normal.

Media Browser

The Media Browser is used to browse files on the computer.

  • When you import an asset Premiere Pro leaves it in its current location, and creates a clip in the Project panel that points to it.


The Project panel shows all of the assets in a project. This includes media files, sequences, titles, sub-clips etc.

  • View and sort assets in either List view or Icon view.
  • List view displays additional information about each asset.
  • Icon view has the Hover Scrub feature to preview footage without having to open it into a new window.


  • Displays data about a selected item.
  • Displays timecode information for clips under the Playhead in the Timeline.


  • Displays multiple video and audio tracks running in parallel on the open Sequence
  • Assemble and rearrange sequences in the Timeline panel where clips, transitions, and effects are represented graphically.


  • The mouse pointer will change shape when it is over the Timeline.

Tools panel pp.jpg
A. Selection tool (V)

B. Ripple Edit tool (B)

C. Rate Stretch tool (X)

D. Slip tool (Y)

E. Pen tool (P)

F. Hand tool (H)

G. Track Select tool (A)

H. Rolling Edit tool (N)

I. Razor tool (C)

J. Slide tool (U)

K. Zoom tool (Z)

Source Monitor

The Source Monitor plays back individual clips. In the Source Monitor, prepare clips to add to a sequence. Set In points and Out points, and specify the clip’s source tracks (audio or video). You can also insert clip markers and add clips to a sequence in a Timeline panel.

Program Monitor

The Program Monitor plays back the sequence of clips that are being assembled. It’s a view of the active sequence in a Timeline panel.



The Space Bar can be used to start and stop playback.

The J, K and L keys are shortcuts for playback.

  • Press L to play forward.
  • Press K to play stop.
  • Press J to play backwards.
  • Pressing L multiple times increases the forwards playback speed.
  • Pressing J multiple times increases the backwards playback speed.
  • The I and O keys can be used to set in and out points.


The Snap function makes it easier to align clips in the Timeline.

  • When a clip is moved it snaps to:
    • the edge of another clip
    • a marker
    • the start or end of the time ruler
    • the playhead
  • To turn Snap on or off go to Sequence > Snap, press the S key or click the magnet icon in the Timeline.
  • The Playhead ignores the Snap setting. To enable Snap while dragging the Playhead hold down the Shift key.

Editing Basics

In and Out Points

Using the Source Monitor

  1. Double click on a clip in the Project panel. Click on the icon and not the name. The clip will open in the Source Monitor.
  2. In the monitor play the clip and cue it to where you want the in point.
  3. Click the Mark In button or press the I key.
  4. In the monitor play the clip and cue it to where you want the out point.
  5. Click the Mark Out button or press the O key.
  6. Drag the clip to the Program Monitor, or to the Timeline.

Using the Project Panel

  1. Select a clip in the Project panel. A thin line will appear at the bottom of the clip.
  2. Drag the Playhead to where you want the in point and press the I key.
  3. Drag the Playhead to where you want the out point and press the O key.
  4. Drag the clip to the Program Monitor, or to the Timeline.

Insert vs Overwrite

The two main editing modes are called Insert and Overwrite.

  • Insert edits will move the clips that are to the right of the Playhead to the right.
  • Overwrite will overwrite the clips to the right of the Playhead.
    • When Overwrite is used on a track with clips it will replace any existing clips.
    • When Overwrite is used on an empty track above a clip it will not affect the other tracks.
  • To make a edit drag a clip from the Source Monitor or Project panel to the Timeline.
  • Place the clip where the edit should start.
    • Overwrite is the default editing mode.
    • Hold down the Command key while dragging to switch to Insert mode.


Opacity controls the transparency of a clip. Clips default to 100% opacity (completely visible). As the opacity is reduced the clip becomes more transparent and the track below becomes more visible.

Timeline Panel Adjustments

  1. Click the triangle next to the track name to expand the view of the track.
  2. Click the Show Keyframes button PP KeyNav N.png , or the Hide Keyframes button PP KeyframeEffects.png , and choose Show Opacity Handles from the menu. A horizontal opacity control rubber band appears in all the clips of the track.
    • Note: If no keyframes exist on the track, the rubber band appears as a straight horizontal line across the entire track.
  3. Select the Selection tool, and drag the opacity control rubber band up or down or select the Pen tool, and drag the opacity control rubber band up or down.
    • The opacity value and current time appear as a tool tip as you drag.
  4. To animate the Opacity effect over time, first set keyframes. Select the Pen tool. Click on the opacity control rubber band with the Pen tool wherever you want to set a keyframe. Then drag each keyframe up or down to set its value. For example, to fade a clip in, create a keyframe at the beginning of the clip and another a few seconds later. Drag the first down to the bottom of the clip at 0 opacity. Drag the second up to 100%.

Effects Controls Panel Adjustments

  1. With the Selection tool double click a clip in the Timeline to open in in the Source Monitor.
  2. In the Source Monitor clock on the Effects Control panel. Click the triangle to the left of Opacity to expand the view.
  3. In the Effects Control panel or Timeline panel move the playhead to you want to add a keyframe.
  4. Click the Add/Remove Keyframe button PP KeyNav N.png to add a keyframe.
  5. While the playhead is over the keyframe adjust the value of the keyframe by clicking on the Opacity value and sliding the mouse left or right.

Speed and Duration

To adjust the speed, duration or to reverse a clip

  • Select a clip in the Timeline and go to Clip > Speed/Duration
  • or right-click on a clip and choose Speed/Duration.

The settings in the Speed/Duration window:

  • To adjust the speed or duration separately from each other click the gang button so that it shows a broken link.
  • Adjust the Speed or Duration values by clicking on the number and dragging left or right while holding down the mouse button or click on the number and type in a new value.
  • To have the speed or duration adjusted together click the gang button so that it shows an unbroken link.
  • Reverse Speed: Check this to reverse the speed.
  • Maintain Audio Pitch: Check this to have the pitch remain the same as the duration is changed.
  • Ripple Edit, Shifting Trailing Clips: Checking this will cause any adjacent clips to move if needed.

Normalizing Audio

Audio Levels - Premier Pro


  1. Click in the Timeline of the sequence to be exported.
  2. Press the | key to view the entire contents of the timeline, if applicable and use the work area bar to select the portion of the timeline to be exported.
  3. Go to File > Export > Media....
  4. In the bottom left choose what part of the sequence to export:
    • Entire Sequence: exports the entire sequence.
    • Sequence In/Out: Exports the are between any in and out points set in the sequence.
    • Work Area: Exports the Work Area set in the Timeline.
    • Custom: Exports the area set by the triangles above this setting.
  5. Click the Queue button and Adobe Media Encoder will open.
  6. Drag a preset onto the name of your sequence to add the preset to the Queue. *For this assignment we recommend using the H.264 Match Source - High bitrate preset under User Presets and Groups > H.264 Match Source - High Bitrate / Based on Source / Based on Source / 10Mbps
  7. Click on the save location and select to save into your project folder, and name the file descriptively.
  8. Click the Start Queue button (green play button) to start exporting. A status bar will show the progression.
  9. After the video has finished exporting playback the entire piece to confirm everything exported properly before submitting work for faculty or class screening.

When you are done editing for the day

  1. Save & quit Premiere Pro
  2. Connect to your share on Orca, another server or an external hard rive.
  3. In the Finder, find your project folder in Storage
  4. Move your project folder to your server storage share
  5. Your project folder is now safely stored and ready to use on your next editing session.

Converting Footage