Adobe Premiere Pro CC (2016)

1. Touring Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Lesson overview

In this lesson, you’ll learn about the following:

• What’s new

• Nonlinear editing

• Exploring the standard digital video workflow

• Enhancing the workflow with high-level features

• Incorporating Adobe® Creative Cloud into your workflow

• Learning the Adobe Creative Cloud workflow

• Checking out the workspace

• Customizing your workspace

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This lesson will take approximately 45 minutes.

Before you begin, you’ll walk through a brief overview of video editing and an explanation of how Adobe Premiere Pro CC functions as the hub of your post-production workflow.

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Adobe Premiere Pro is a video-editing system that supports the latest technology and cameras with powerful tools that are easy to use and that integrate perfectly with almost every video acquisition source.

Getting started

There’s enormous demand for high-quality video content, and today’s video producers and editors work in an ever-changing landscape of old and new technologies. Despite all this rapid change, however, the goal of video editing is the same: You want to take your footage and shape it, guided by your original vision, so that you can effectively communicate with your audience.

In Adobe Premiere Pro CC, you’ll find a video-editing system that supports the latest technology and cameras with powerful tools that are easy to use. These tools integrate perfectly with almost every type of media, as well as a wide range of third-party plug-ins and other post-production tools.

You’ll begin by reviewing the essential post-production workflow that most editors follow. Next, you’ll see how Premiere Pro fits into Adobe Creative Cloud. Finally, you’ll learn about the main components of the Premiere Pro interface and how to create custom workspaces.

Nonlinear editing in Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro is a nonlinear editing system (NLE). Like a word processor, Premiere Pro lets you place, replace, and move footage anywhere you want in your final edited video. You can also adjust any parts of the video clips you use at any time. You don’t need to perform edits in a particular order, and you can make changes to any part of your video project at any time.

You’ll combine multiple clips to create a sequence that you can change simply by clicking and dragging with your mouse. You can edit any part of your sequence, in any order, and then change the contents, move clips so that they play earlier or later in the video, blend layers of video together, add special effects, and more.

You can even combine multiple sequences and jump to any moment in a video clip without needing to fast-forward or rewind. It’s as easy to organize the clips you’re working with as it is to organize files on your computer.

Premiere Pro supports both tape and tapeless media formats, including XDCAM EX, XDCAMHD 422, DPX, DVCProHD, AVCHD (including AVCCAM and NXCAM), AVC-Intra, DSLR video, and Canon XF. It also has native support for the latest raw video formats, including media from RED, ARRI, and Blackmagic cameras.

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Premiere Pro features native support for raw media from RED cameras.

Looking at the standard digital video workflow

As you gain editing experience, you’ll develop your own preference for the order in which to work on the different aspects of your project. Each stage requires a particular kind of attention and different tools. Also, some projects call for more time spent on one stage than another.

Whether you skip through some stages with a quick mental check or spend hours (even days!) dedicated to perfecting an aspect of your project, you’ll work through the following steps:


Image Note

The word clip comes from the days of film editing, where a section of film would be clipped to separate it from a reel.


1. Acquire the video. This can mean recording original footage or gathering assets for a project.

2. Ingest (or capture from tape) the video to your storage drive. With tape-based formats, Premiere Pro (with the appropriate hardware) can convert the video into digital files. With tapeless media, Premiere Pro can read the media files directly, with no need for conversion. If you’re working with tapeless media, be sure to back up your files to a second location because physical drives sometimes fail unexpectedly.

3. Organize your clips. There can be a lot of video content to choose from in your project. Spend the time to organize clips into special folders (called bins) in your project. You can add color labels and other metadata (additional information about the clips) to help keep things organized.

4. Combine the parts of the video and audio clips you want as a sequence and add them to the Timeline panel.

5. Place special transition effects between clips, add video effects, and create combined visual effects by placing clips on multiple layers (tracks).

6. Create titles or graphics, and add them to your sequence in the same way you would add video clips.

7. Mix your audio tracks to get the combined level just right, and use transitions and effects on your audio clips to improve the sound.

8. Export your finished project to videotape, to a file for a computer or for Internet playback, to a mobile device, or to a DVD or Blu-ray Disc.

Premiere Pro supports each of these steps with industry-leading tools.

Enhancing the workflow with Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro has easy-to-use tools for video editing. It also has advanced tools for manipulating, adjusting, and fine-tuning your projects.

You may not incorporate all of the following features in your first few video projects. However, as your experience and understanding of nonlinear editing grow, you’ll want to expand your capabilities.

The following topics will be covered in this book:

• Advanced audio editing: Premiere Pro provides audio effects and editing unequaled by any other nonlinear editor. Create and place 5.1 surround-sound audio channels, make sample-level edits, apply multiple audio effects to audio clips or tracks, and use state-of-the-art plug-ins as well as third-party Virtual Studio Technology (VST) plug-ins.

• Color correction: Correct and enhance the look of your footage with advanced color-correction filters. You can also make secondary color-correction selections that allow you to adjust isolated colors and adjust parts of an image to improve the composition.

• Keyframe controls: Premiere Pro gives you the precise control you need to fine-tune visual and motion effects without exporting to a compositing or motion graphics application. Keyframes use a standard interface design, so you can learn how to use them once and know how to use them in all Adobe Creative Cloud products in which they’re available.

• Broad hardware support: Choose from a wide range of dedicated capture cards and other hardware to assemble a system that best fits your needs and budget. Premiere Pro system specifications extend from low-cost computers for digital video editing up to high-performance workstations that can easily edit 3D stereoscopic video, high definition (HD), 4K, and beyond.

• Mercury Playback Engine graphics card acceleration: The Mercury Playback Engine operates in two modes: software-only and graphics processing unit (GPU) acceleration. GPU acceleration mode requires a graphics card that meets minimum specifications in your workstation. See http://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/system-requirements.html for a list of tested graphics cards. Most cards with a minimum of 1GB of dedicated memory will work.

• Multicamera editing: You can easily and quickly edit productions shot with multiple cameras. Premiere Pro displays multiple camera sources in a split-view monitor, and you can choose a camera view by clicking the appropriate screen or using shortcut keys. You can even automatically sync multiple camera angles based on clip audio or timecode.

• Project management: Manage your media through a single dialog box. View, delete, move, search for, and reorganize clips and bins. Consolidate your projects by moving just the media actually used in a project and copying that media to a single location. Then reclaim drive space by deleting unused files.

• Metadata: Premiere Pro supports Adobe XMP, which stores additional information about media as metadata that multiple applications can access. This information can be used to locate clips or communicate valuable information such as preferred takes.

• Creative titles: Create titles and graphics using the Premiere Pro Title Designer. You can also use graphics created in almost any suitable software, plus Adobe Photoshop documents can be used as automatically flattened images or as separate layers you can incorporate, combine, and animate selectively.

• Advanced trimming: Use special trimming tools to adjust each clip and cut point in a sequence. Premiere Pro provides both quick, easy trimming features and advanced trimming tools, allowing you to make complex timing adjustments to multiple clips.

• Media encoding: Export your sequence to create a video and audio file that is perfect for your needs. Use the advanced features of Adobe Media Encoder to create copies of your finished sequence in several different formats, based on presets or your own detailed preferences.

Expanding the workflow

Although it’s possible to work with Premiere Pro as a stand-alone application, it is also a team player. Premiere Pro is part of Adobe Creative Cloud, which means you have access to a number of other specialized tools, including Adobe After Effects, Adobe SpeedGrade, Adobe Audition, and Adobe Prelude. Understanding the way these software components work together will improve your efficiency and give you more creative freedom.

Incorporating other components into the editing workflow

Premiere Pro is a versatile video and audio post-production tool, but it’s just one component of Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe’s complete print, web, and video environment that includes video-focused software for the following:

• High-end 3D motion effects creation

• Complex text animation generation

• Layered graphics production

• Vector artwork creation

• Audio production

To incorporate one or more of these features into a production, you can use other components of Adobe Creative Cloud. The software set has everything you need to produce advanced, professionally finished videos.

Here’s a brief description of the other components:

• Adobe After Effects: The tool of choice for motion graphics and visual effects artists.

• Adobe Photoshop: The industry-standard image-editing and graphics creation product. You can work with photos, video, and 3D objects to prepare them for your project.

• Adobe Audition: A powerful tool for audio editing, audio cleanup, audio sweetening, music creation, and automatic speech alignment.

• Adobe Encore: A high-quality DVD-authoring application. Encore produces DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, and interactive SWF files.

• Adobe Illustrator: Professional vector graphics creation software for print, video production, and the Web.

• Adobe Dynamic Link: A cross-product connection that allows you to work in real time with media, compositions, and sequences shared natively between After Effects, Adobe Audition, and Premiere Pro.

• Adobe SpeedGrade: A tool that provides professional, sophisticated color grading/finishing with support for high-end and 3D (visual stereo) video formats.

• Adobe Prelude: A tool that allows you to ingest, transcode, and add metadata, markers, and tags to file-based footage. Then create rough cuts you can share with Premiere Pro directly or with other NLEs via XML.

• Adobe Media Encoder: A tool that allows you to batch process files to produce content for any screen from Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects.

Looking at the Adobe Premiere Pro video workflow

Your Premiere Pro/Creative Cloud workflow will vary depending on your production needs. Here are a few scenarios:

• Use Photoshop CC to touch up and apply effects to still images from a digital camera, a scanner, or a video clip. Then use them as media in Premiere Pro.

• Create a layered graphic in Photoshop CC and then open it in Premiere Pro. You can opt to work with each layer independently, allowing you to apply effects and animation to selected layers.

• Import large numbers of media files with Adobe Prelude CC, adding valuable metadata, temporal comments, and tags. Create sequences from subclips in Adobe Prelude and send them to Premiere Pro to continue editing them.

• Send a clip straight from the Premiere Pro timeline to Adobe Audition for professional audio cleanup and sweetening.

• Send your Premiere Pro sequence to Adobe Audition to complete a professional audio mix. Premiere Pro can create an Adobe Audition session based on your sequence, with mixed-down video so you can compose based on the action.

• Using Dynamic Link, open Premiere Pro video clips in After Effects. Apply special effects and animation and then view the results in Premiere Pro. You can play After Effects compositions in Premiere Pro without waiting to render them and also benefit from After Effects Global Cache, which saves previews for later use.

• Use After Effects CC to create and animate text in ways far beyond the capabilities of Premiere Pro. Use those compositions in Premiere Pro with Dynamic Link. Adjustments made in After Effects appear in Premiere Pro immediately.

• Export video projects as Blu-ray Disc–compliant H.264 files using built-in presets and then use them in Encore CS6 to create a DVD, a Blu-ray Disc, or an interactive Flash application.

Most of this book will focus on standard workflows involving only Premiere Pro. However, several lessons and sidebars will demonstrate how you can use Adobe Creative Cloud components as part of your workflow for powerful effects work and fine finishing.

Touring the Premiere Pro workspace

It’s helpful to begin by getting familiar with the editing interface so you can recognize the tools as you work with them in the following lessons. To make it easier to configure the user interface, Premiere Pro offers workspaces. Workspaces quickly configure the various panels and tools onscreen in ways that are helpful for particular activities, such as editing, special effects work, or audio mixing.

To begin with, you’ll take a brief tour of the Editing workspace. In this exercise, you’ll use a Premiere Pro project from this book’s companion DVD (or downloaded lesson files if you are using the e-book):

1. Make sure you’ve copied all the lesson folders and contents from the DVD to your hard drive.

2. Launch Premiere Pro.

The first time you launch Premiere Pro, you will see a welcome screen with a series of options to find more information. Along the top there are several options, including Create, New Features, Getting Started (the default), and Tips & Techniques.

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The welcome screen gives access to several tutorials to get you started.

3. Most of these options take you to useful video tutorials. For now, click Create and then choose Open File. If you have worked with Premiere Pro before, the option will be simply Open.

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If you have launched Premiere Pro before and created a project, you’ll see a list of previously opened projects too.


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It’s best to copy all the lesson assets from the DVD to your computer storage drive and leave them there until you complete this book; some lessons refer to assets from previous lessons.


4. In the Open Project window, navigate to the Lesson 01 folder in the Lessons folder; then double-click the Lesson 01.prproj project file to open the first lesson in the Adobe Premiere Pro workspace.

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Image Note

You may be prompted with a dialog box asking where a particular file is. This will happen when the original files are saved on a hard drive (or hard drive letter) different from the one you’re using. You’ll need to tell Premiere Pro where the file is. In this case, navigate to the Lessons/Assets folder, and select the file that the dialog box is prompting you to open. Premiere Pro will remember this location for the rest of the files.


Looking at the workspace layout

Before you begin, make sure you’re using the default Editing workspace.

To reset the Editing workspace, choose Window > Workspaces > Reset to Saved Layout. Or click Editing on the Workspaces panel to make sure it is selected. Then, to reset the Editing workspace, click the small panel menu next to the Editing option on the Workspaces panel and choose Reset to Saved Layout.


Image Note

All Premiere Pro project files have a .prproj extension.


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If you’re new to nonlinear editing, the default workspace might look like a lot of buttons. Don’t worry. Things become much simpler when you know what the buttons are for. The interface is designed to make video editing easy. The principal elements are shown here.

Each workspace item appears in its own panel, and multiple panels can be combined into a single frame. When many panels are combined, you may not be able to see all the tabs. If this is the case, a menu of additional panels is displayed. Click this menu to access a hidden panel.

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You can also display any panel by choosing it in the Window menu, so if you can’t find a panel, just look there.

The principal elements are shown here.

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The main user interface elements in Premiere Pro.

The main user interface elements are as follows:

• Timeline panel: This is where you’ll do most of your actual editing. You view and work on sequences (the term for edited video segments or entire projects) in the Timeline panel. One strength of sequences is that you can nest them (place sequences inside other sequences). In this way, you can break up a production into manageable chunks or create unique special effects.

• Tracks: You can layer—or composite—video clips, images, graphics, and titles on an unlimited number of tracks. Video clips on upper video tracks cover whatever is directly below them on the Timeline. Therefore, you need to give clips on higher tracks some kind of transparency or reduce their size if you want clips on lower tracks to show.

• Monitor panels: You use the Source Monitor (on the left) to view and select parts of clips (your original footage). To view a clip in the Source Monitor, double-click it in the Project panel. The Program Monitor (on the right) is for viewing your current sequence.

• Project panel: This is where you place links to your project’s media files: video clips, audio files, graphics, still images, and sequences. You can organize all your media using bins. Bins are similar to folders—you can place one bin inside another for more advanced organization of your media assets.

• Media Browser: This panel allows you to browse your hard drive to find footage. It’s especially useful for file-based camera media.

• Libraries: This panel gives access to files you have added to your Creative Cloud Files folder on your storage drive. These might be standard graphics elements, music, or any other media file you intend to use for projects.

• Effects panel: This panel contains the clip effects you will use in your sequences, including video filters, audio effects, and transitions. Effects are grouped by type to make them easier to find, and there’s a search box at the top of the panel to quickly locate an effect.

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Effects panel

• Audio Clip Mixer: This panel is based on audio production studio hardware, with volume sliders and panning knobs. There is one set of controls for each audio track on the Timeline. The adjustments you make are applied to audio clips. There’s also a dedicated Audio Track Mixer for applying audio adjustments to tracks.

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Audio Clip Mixer

• Effect Controls panel: This panel displays the controls for any effects applied to a clip you select in a sequence. Motion, Opacity, and Time Remapping controls are always available for visual clips. Most effect parameters are adjustable over time.

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Effect Controls panel

• Tools panel: Each icon in this panel represents a tool that performs a specific function, typically a type of edit in a sequence. The Selection tool is context-sensitive, which means it changes appearance to indicate the function that matches the positioning. If you find your cursor doesn’t work as you expect, it might be because you’ve selected the wrong tool.

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Tools panel

• Info panel: The Info panel presents information about any asset you select in the Project panel or any clip or transition selected in a sequence.

• History panel: This panel tracks the steps you take and lets you back up easily. It’s a kind of visual Undo list. When you select a previous step, all steps that came after it are also undone.

Each panel has a tab the shows the panel name. Panel tabs have a menu of options particular to that panel.

Customizing the workspace

In addition to choosing between the default workspaces (based on tasks), you can adjust the position and location of panels to create a workspace that works best for you. You can create multiple workspaces for different tasks.

• As you change the size of a frame, other frames change size to compensate.

• All panels within frames are accessible via tabs.

• All panels are dockable—you can drag a panel from one frame to another.

• You can drag a panel out of a frame to become a separate floating panel.

In this exercise, you’ll try all these functions and save a customized workspace:

1. Click the Source Monitor panel (selecting its tab if necessary) and then position your pointer on the vertical divider between the Source Monitor and the Program Monitor. The mouse cursor will change when it’s in the right position. Drag left and right to change the sizes of those frames. You can choose to have different sizes for your video displays.

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2. Now place the pointer on the horizontal divider between the Source Monitor and the Timeline. The mouse cursor will change when it’s in the right position. Drag up and down to change the sizes of these frames.

3. Click the tab for the Effects panel (to the left of the name) and drag it to the middle of the Source Monitor to dock the Effects panel in that frame. Remember, if you can’t see the Effects panel, you can select it in the Window menu.

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The drop zone is displayed as a center highlight.

4. Using the tab at the top of the panel, drag the Effects panel to a point near the right of the Project panel to place it in its own frame.


Image Note

As you move a panel, Premiere Pro displays a drop zone. If the panel is a rectangle, it will go into the selected frame as an additional tab. If it’s a trapezoid, it will go into its own frame.


The drop zone is a trapezoid that covers the right portion of the Project panel. Release the mouse button, and your workspace should look something like the example.

You can also pull panels out into their own floating panels.

5. Click the Source Monitor panel tab, and hold down the Control (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) key while dragging it out of its frame.

If you drag a panel by clicking on its tab, Premiere Pro displays a drop zone. If the panel is a rectangle, it will go into the selected frame as an additional tab. If it’s a trapezoid, it will go into its own frame.

6. Drop the Source Monitor anywhere, creating a floating panel. Resize it by dragging from a corner or a side, as you would with any other panel.

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7. As you gain experience, you might want to create and save the layout of your panels as a customized workspace. To do so, choose Window > Workspaces > Save as New Workspace. Type a name, and click OK.


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You can change the font size in the Project panel by clicking the panel menu and choosing Font Size > Small, Medium (default), Large, or Extra Large.


8. If you want to return a workspace to its default layout, choose Window > Workspaces > Reset to Saved Layout.

9. To return to a recognizable starting point, choose the preset Editing workspace, and reset it.

Introducing preferences

The more you edit video, the more you’ll want to customize Premiere Pro to match your specific needs. Premiere Pro has several types of settings. For example, panel menus, which are accessible by clicking the menu button on a panel tab, have options that relate to each panel, and individual clips in a sequence have settings you can access by right-clicking them.

There are also application preferences, all grouped into one panel for easy access. Preferences will be covered in depth as they relate to the individual lessons in this book. Let’s look at a simple one:

1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Appearance (Windows) or Premiere Pro > Preferences > Appearance (Mac OS).


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Premiere Pro automatically saves a backup copy of your project file while you work, in case of system failure. Premiere Pro is integrated with Adobe Creative Cloud, so an additional backup project file can be saved to your Creative Cloud shared files folder if you select the check box in this panel.


2. Drag the Brightness slider to the left or right to suit your needs. When you’re done, click OK, or click Cancel to return to the default setting.

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The default brightness is a dark gray to help you see colors correctly. There are additional options to control the brightness of interface highlights.

3. Switch to Auto Save preferences.

Imagine if you had worked for hours and then there was a power outage. If you hadn’t saved recently, you’d have lost a lot of work.

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Moving, backing up, and syncing user settings

User preferences include a number of important options. The defaults work well in most cases, but as you discover in the editing process, it’s likely you’ll want to make a few adjustments. For example, you might prefer the interface to be always brighter than the default.

Premiere Pro includes the option to share your user preferences between multiple machines: When installing Premiere Pro, you will have entered your Adobe ID to confirm your software license. You can use the same ID to store your user preferences in Creative Cloud, allowing you to sync and update them from any installation of Premiere Pro.

You can sync your preferences on the welcome screen by choosing Sync Settings Now, or you can sync your preferences while working with Premiere Pro by choosing File > Sync Settings > Sync Settings Now (Windows) or Premiere Pro > Sync Settings > Sync Settings Now (Mac OS).

Review questions

1. Why is Premiere Pro considered a nonlinear editor?

2. Describe the basic video-editing workflow.

3. What is the Media Browser used for?

4. Can you save a customized workspace?

5. What is the purpose of the Source Monitor? What is the purpose of the Program Monitor?

6. How can you drag a panel to its own floating panel?

Review answers

1. Premiere Pro lets you place video clips, audio clips, and graphics anywhere in a sequence; rearrange items already in a sequence; add transitions; apply effects; and do any number of other video-editing steps in any order that suits you.

2. Shoot your video; transfer it to your computer; create a sequence of video, audio, and still-image clips on the Timeline; add effects and transitions; add text and graphics; mix your audio; and export the finished product.

3. The Media Browser allows you to browse and import media files without having to open an external file browser. It’s particularly useful when you’re working with file-based camera footage.

4. Yes. You can save any customized workspace by choosing Window > Workspaces > Save as New Workspace.

5. You use the monitor panels to view your original clips and your sequence. You can view and trim your original footage in the Source Monitor and use the Program Monitor to view the Timeline sequence as you build it.

6. Drag the panel with your mouse while holding down Control (Windows) or Command (Mac OS).