Adobe Premiere Pro CC (2016)

17. Managing Your Projects

Lesson overview

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

• Working in the Project Manager

• Importing and exporting projects

• Managing collaboration

• Managing your hard drives


This lesson will take approximately 25 minutes.

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to stay organized when working with multiple Adobe Premiere Pro CC projects. The best kind of organizational system is the one you already have when you find that you need it. This lesson will help you be more creative with a little bit of planning.


Stay on top of your media and projects with a few simple steps.

Getting started

When you start creating projects with Premiere Pro, you may not feel the need to invest time in staying organized. Perhaps you’re working on your first project now, and if that’s the case, it’s going to be nice and easy to find it on your storage drive.

Once you start working on multiple projects, staying organized gets a little more complicated. You might use multiple media assets taken from multiple storage locations. You’ll have multiple sequences, each with its own particular structure, and you’ll be generating multiple titles. You may also have multiple effect presets and title templates. All in all, you’ll need quite a filing system to keep all these project elements organized.

The solution is to create an organizational system for your projects and to have a plan in place for archiving those projects that you might want to work on again.

The thing about systems for organization is that they’re usually easier to use if they exist before you need them. Look at this idea from the other direction: If you don’t have an organizational system in the moment you need it—when you have a new video clip to put somewhere, for example—you might be too busy to think about things such as names and file locations. Consequently, it’s common for projects to end up with similar names, stored in similar locations, with a mix of files that don’t go together.

The solution is simple: Make your organizational system in advance. Map it out with pen and paper if it helps and work out the journey you’ll take, starting with acquiring your source media files, moving through your edit, and finishing with output, archiving, and beyond.

In this lesson, you’ll begin by learning about features that help you stay in control, without losing focus on what matters most—your creative work.

Then you’ll learn about some positive approaches to collaboration.

1. Open Lesson 17.prproj in the Lesson 17 folder.

2. In the Workspace panel, click Editing. Then click the menu adjacent to the Editing option and choose Reset to Saved Layout.

Using the File menu

Though you can perform most of your creative work using buttons in the interface or using keyboard shortcuts, some important options are available only in the menus. The File menu gives you access to your project settings and to the Project Manager, a tool that automates the process of streamlining your project.


Using the File menu commands

The following are important File menu options for project management:

Batch capture: This allows you to capture multiple clips from tape; see Lesson 3, “Importing Media.” This option is available only if you select one or more clips with no associated media in the Project panel.

Link Media: If you have clips that have become unlinked, use this option to open the Link Media dialog and relink the media (see the next section).

Make Offline: You can break the connection between clips you select in the Project panel and their media files (see the next section).

Image Tip

The options Link Media or Make Offline are also available in the Project panel when you right-click selected clips.

Project Settings: These are the settings you chose when you created your project; see Lesson 2, “Setting Up a Project.”

Project Manager: This automates the process of backing up your project and discarding unused media files (described later in this lesson).

Making a clip offline

The words offline and online have different meanings in different post-production workflows, depending on the context. In the language of Premiere Pro, they refer to the relationship between clips and the media files they link to.

• Online: The clip is linked to a media file.

• Offline: The clip is not linked to a media file.

When a clip is offline, you can still edit it into a sequence, and even apply effects to it, but you won’t be able to see any video. Instead, you’ll see the Media Offline warning.


In almost all operations, Premiere Pro is nondestructive. This means that no matter what you do with the clips in your project, nothing will happen to the original media files. Making a clip offline gives you a rare exception to this rule.

If you right-click a clip in the Project panel or go to the File menu and choose Make Offline, you’ll have two options.


• Media Files Remain on Disk: This unlinks the clip from the media file and leaves the media file untouched.

• Media Files Are Deleted: This deletes the media file. The effect of deleting the media file is that the clip goes offline because there is no media file to link to anymore.

The benefit of making clips offline is that they can be reconnected with new media. If you’ve been working with low-resolution media, this means you can recapture tape-based media, or reimport file-based media, at a higher quality.

Image Tip

You can make multiple clips offline in a single step. Just select any clips you want to make offline before you choose the menu option.

Working with low-resolution media is sometimes desirable if you have limited disk storage or a large number of clips. When your editing work is complete and you’re ready for fine finishing, you can replace your low-resolution, small file-size media with selected high-resolution, large file-size media.

Be careful with the Make Offline option, though! Once your media file is deleted, it’s gone. Be cautious when using the option that deletes the actual media file.

Using the Project Manager

Let’s take a look at the Project Manager. You can access it by choosing File > Project Manager.

The Project Manager provides several options that automate the process of consolidating your project, or gathering together any media files you’ve used in your project.

It’s useful if you intend to archive your project or if you want to share your work. By using the Project Manager to gather all your media files, you can be confident nothing will be missing—or offline—when you hand the project over to colleagues.

The result of using the Project Manager is a new, separate project file. Because the new project file is independent of your current project, you should use the Project Manager and then double-check that the new project is as you want it before you delete anything.


Here’s an overview of the options:

• Sequence: Select one or all the sequences in your project. The Project Manager will choose clips and media files based on the sequences you select.

Image Note

Not all media formats can be trimmed. If you create a trimmed project that has media of this kind, the Project Manager creates copies of the full original clips.

• Resulting Project: Create a new project with new media files based on only the trimmed parts of clips you have included in your sequences or create a new project that has full copies of the clips you have included in your sequences, either in their original format or as transcoded versions.

• Exclude Unused Clips: With this option selected, the new project will include only clips you have used in your selected sequences.

• Include Handles: If you’re creating a trimmed project, using the Consolidate and Transcode option, this adds the number of frames you specify to the newly trimmed versions of the clips in your sequences. The extra content gives you the flexibility to trim and adjust the timing of your edits later.

• Include Audio Conform Files: This includes the audio conform files with your project, so Premiere Pro won’t need to conduct analysis of your audio again.

• Convert Images Sequences to Clip: If you have imported one or more animated image sequences, or stop-motion photography sequences, as clips, this option converts them into regular video files. This is often a useful option because it will save space and simplify file management.

• Include Preview Files: If you’ve already rendered your effects, you can include the preview files with your new project so you won’t need to render them again.

• Rename Media Files to Match Clip Names: As the name implies, this option renames your media files to match the clip names in your project. Consider carefully if you want to use this option because it can make it difficult to identify the original source media for your clips.

• Convert After Effects Compositions to Clips: Choose this option to exclude dynamically linked After Effects compositions, replacing them with a rendered video file.

• Preserve Alpha: If you are transcoding your footage, you can choose to keep alpha channel information so transparent areas will stay transparent. This will lead to larger files but might mean you retain valuable picture information.

• Destination Path: Choose a location for your new project.

• Disk Space: Click Calculate to see an estimate of the total space needed for your new project.

Collecting files and copying them to a new location

Perhaps you have left media files in too many locations in your storage system. Or perhaps you’re sharing your work with another editor. Perhaps you’re taking an edit on the road. You may not want every clip incorporated into your newly created project. This option lets you create perfect copies of your original, complete media files in a new single location, but selectively (using the Exclude Unused Clips option).

To collect all the files used in your selected sequences to a new, single location, follow these steps:

1. Go to the File menu and choose Project Manager.

2. Select the sequences you want to be included in your new project.

3. Select Collect Files and Copy to New Location.

4. Choose Exclude Unused Clips.

If you want to include every clip in your bins, regardless of whether they are used in a sequence, deselect this option. Deselect this option if you are creating a new project to organize your media files a little better—perhaps because you imported them from lots of different locations. When the new project is created, every media file linked to the project will be copied to the new project location.

5. Decide whether you want to include existing preview files to save you from having to rerender your effects in the new project.

6. Decide whether you want to include Audio Conform Files to save Premiere Pro from having to analyze the audio files again.

Image Tip

Including preview and audio conform files makes it quicker to access your content, but it also takes up more storage space. Premiere Pro creates these files automatically, so you can exclude them safely, at the cost of extra time when you first open the project.

7. Decide whether you want to rename your media files. Generally, it’s better to leave your media files with their original names. However, if you’re producing a project to share with another editor, it might be helpful for them to identify the media files if they are renamed.

8. Click Browse and choose a location for your new project file.

9. Click Calculate to have Premiere Pro estimate the total new size of your project, based on your selections. Then click OK.

Collecting all your media files this way is helpful if your media files are located in lots of different places and it’s hard to find them. Premiere Pro will make copies of the original files in a single location.

Image Note

Collecting files to a single location results in the smallest possible number of files, which means some additional files are excluded when collecting some camera media such as XDCam. This change means the Media Browser will no longer recognize the files, though the media will play perfectly.

If you intend to create an archive of your entire original project, this is the way to do it.

Consolidating and transcoding

Premiere Pro can transcode all the media in your project to a new format and codec in a single step using this option in the Project Manager.

This is useful if you plan to use a so-called mezzanine codec (sometimes called a house codec), which all media is converted to before being stored on a media server or edited. These codecs are usually easier for editing systems to play back than in-camera codecs, as well as being high quality, often with a higher bit depth (and therefore more color acuity) than the original media. This doesn’t add quality, but it helps maintain it.

To create copies of all your media, select Individual Clips in the Source menu and deselect Exclude Unused Clips. Otherwise, the options are similar to those you’d choose when creating a trimmed project.

Creating a trimmed project

To create a new trimmed project file with new media files, including only the parts of the clips you have used in your selected sequences, do the following:

1. Go to the File menu and choose Project Manager.

2. Select the sequences you want to be included in your new project.

3. Select Consolidate and Transcode.

4. Choose Exclude Unused Clips.

5. Use the Source menu to choose from the following options:

• Sequence: The newly created clips will be formatted to match the sequence they are used in. This may mean conversion from one frame size and frame rate to another.

• Individual Clips: The newly created clips will match their original frame size and format (though it is possible you will be changing the codec). It is likely you will generally choose this option.

• Preset: This allows you to specify a new format in this dialog.

6. Use the Format menu to choose from the following options:

• DNxHD MXF OP1a: This selects an MXF file type with DNxHD preselected as the codec. DNxHD is the preferred codec for Avid Media Composer.

• MXF OP1a: This selects an MXF file type with a range of codec options in the next menu.

• QuickTime: This selects a QuickTime MOV file type, giving access to the GoPro CineForm codec and Apple ProRes codec.

7. Choose the codec you prefer, or click to import a preset. You can create a transcoding preset in Adobe Media Encoder.

The GoPro CineForm codec

While you may already be familiar with the idea of different file types (.mov, .avi, for example), you may not be as familiar with codecs. With each type of file you use, you can think of the file as a container. What’s contained in the file is the encoded video and encoded audio. The word codec is a shortening of the words compressor and decompressor. It’s the way the picture and sound information is stored.

As complex as codec technology might be, the decisions you make about choosing a codec are often quite simple. You’ll probably choose based on the following:

• A requirement as part of an in-house workflow

• The desire to match the original media codec

• A personal preference for one codec over another (based on your personal research)

The GoPro CineForm codec is efficient, is well-suited to post-production, supports very high resolution video, and can store an alpha channel. This is important if you are working with media that has transparent pixels (such as animated titles).

Image Tip

Choosing to add five or ten seconds of media at each end of the clip will do no harm; it will just mean your media files are a little larger.

8. Add some handles. The default is one second on each end of the clips used in your sequences. Consider adding more if you’d like to have more flexibility to trim and adjust your edits in the new project.

9. Decide whether you want to rename your media files. Generally, it’s better to leave your media files with the original names. However, if you’re producing a trimmed project to share with another editor, it might be helpful for that editor to identify the media files if they are renamed.

Image Note

If your media has a nonstandard frame size or you choose to preserve alpha but select a codec that does not support alpha, the media will be copied, instead of transcoded, and a warning message will inform you of this.

10. Click Browse and choose a location for your new project file.

11. Click Calculate to have Premiere Pro estimate the new total size of your project, based on your selections. Then click OK.

The benefit of creating a newly transcoded, trimmed project is that you no longer have unwanted media files cluttering up your hard drive. It’s a convenient way of transferring your project to a new location using the minimum storage space, and it’s great for archiving.

The danger with this option is that once your unused media files are deleted, they’re gone! Be sure that you have a backup of your unused media or that you definitely do not want to use the media before you create a trimmed project.

When you create your trimmed project, Premiere Pro will not delete your original files. Just in case you selected the wrong items, you can always go back and check before manually deleting the files on your hard drive.

Rendering and replacing

There may be occasions that you will have a particular clip in a sequence that is hard for your system to play back without dropping frames. For example, if you have high-resolution raw media files, stop-motion photography, or a complex dynamically linked Adobe After Effects composition, you may find it necessary to render for playback at the full frame rate.

There is another way: If you right-click a clip segment in a sequence, you can choose Render and Replace.


This will lead to the Render and Replace dialog.


The options in this dialog should look familiar. They are the same options as those offered in the Project Manager dialog. The difference is that you have already made a precise selection—a single clip—so there are no options relating to clip or sequence selection.

When you render and replace a clip, the newly created media file is linked to a clip in the Project panel, which is used to replace the original sequence clip. You learned about replacing a clip on the Timeline earlier.

In terms of playback performance, it makes little difference if you render or render and replace. The difference is that the latter will give you a media file you can work with separately.


A dynamically linked After Effects composition and the clip created after choosing Render and Replace

If you have replaced a dynamically linked After Effects composition using Render and Replace, you can restore the link to the original composition by right-clicking the clip and choosing Restore Unrendered. This allows you to go back into the composition, make changes, and have the update in Premiere Pro.


Using the Link Media panel and the Locate command

The Link Media panel gives you simple options to reconnect the clips in your bin with the media files on your storage drive.

The panel appears automatically if you open a project with clips that are not linked to media files.


Image Note

Link Media is different from Replace Footage. Use Replace Footage to link a single clip to an alternative media file. The result is the same, but the automated search options are bypassed, allowing you to link a clip to a totally different file.

The default options work well, but if you’re relinking to different file types or using a more complex system to organize your media files, you may want to enable or disable some of the options for file matching.

At the bottom of the panel, you’ll find a series of buttons.


• Offline All: Premiere Pro will keep the clips in the project but won’t automatically prompt you to relink them.

• Offline: Premiere Pro will keep the selected clip (highlighted in the list) in the project but won’t automatically prompt you to relink it. The next clip on the list will be highlighted for you to make a selection.

• Cancel: This closes this dialog.

• Locate: If you would like to relink clips, choose options to define the search settings, including File Name or File Extension (or both), and click Locate. The Locate panel appears, and you can search for your missing media.

Image Note

Premiere Pro also has an option for preserving your interpret footage settings. If you’ve modified the way Premiere Pro interprets media, select the “Preserve interpret footage settings” check box to apply the same settings to the newly linked media files.


The Locate File panel gives you a quick, easy way to locate your missing media. The simplest way to find a file is as follows:

1. Review the Last Path information as a guide to locating the file. Often the storage drive will have changed, but the path within the drive will be the same. You can use this information to manually search for a containing folder.

2. In the folder browser on the left, select a folder that you think contains the media, perhaps as a subfolder. Don’t worry about choosing the particular subfolder that contains the media.

3. Click Search. Premiere Pro will locate a file that matches the selected missing clip. The file is highlighted.

4. Select the option Display Only Exact Name Matches. Premiere Pro will hide media files that do not match, making it easy to identify which file to select.

5. Double-click the correct file, or select it and click OK.

When you click OK, Premiere Pro will automatically search for other missing media files in the same location. This automation can dramatically speed up the process of relinking missing media files.

Performing the final project management steps

If your goal is to give yourself maximum flexibility to reedit your sequences based on the new project, consider going to the Edit menu and choosing the Remove Unused option before you use the Project Manager.

Remove Unused will leave you with only those clips currently used in sequences. Any clips that are not used will be removed (this can result in empty bins because they are not affected).

You can then continue to work on your project with less clutter.

Importing projects or sequences

As well as importing many kinds of media files, Premiere Pro can import sequences from existing projects, along with all the clips used to create them.

You can import other Premiere Pro project files as if they were a media file, giving limited access to project contents, or by browsing in the project file using the Media Browser. Let’s look at both options.

1. Use any method you prefer to import a new media file. If you double-click a blank area in the Project panel, the Import dialog will appear.

2. Select the file Desert Sequence.prproj in the Lesson 17 folder and click Import.

The Import Project dialog appears.


• Import Entire Project: This imports every sequence in the project you’re importing and every clip already imported into a bin.

• Import Selected Sequences: This allows you to select the specific sequence you’d like to import. Only clips used in that sequence will be imported.

Image Note

If you import a Premiere Pro project file and choose to import selected sequences, the Import Premiere Pro Sequence dialog appears. Using this dialog, you can selectively import specific sequences, bringing associated clips into your project automatically.

• Create folder for imported items: This creates a bin in the Project panel for the items you import rather than adding them to the main Project panel, potentially mixing them up with existing items.

• Allow importing duplicate media: If you import clips that link to media files you have already imported, by default Premiere Pro will consolidate the two clips into one. If you would prefer to have two copies of the clip, select this option.

3. For now, click Cancel. You’ll use another method.

You can also import whole projects or individual clips and sequences using the Media Browser. Simply browse to a project and open it as if it were a folder.

Using the Media Browser to access the contents of project files this way gives you access to the entire contents of the project. You can browse inside bins, select clips to import, and even view the contents of sequences.

When you want to import an item (including a sequence), drag it into your current project file, or right-click it and choose Import.

Let’s try this.

1. Save the current project.

2. Open the project Lesson 17 Desert Sequence.prproj in the Lesson 17 folder to make sure the media files are correctly relinked.

This is a montage sequence, showing images of a desert. Let’s take clips from this project.

3. Save the project. This updates the project with links to the media you copied into your local storage.

4. Go to the File menu, choose Open Recent, and select Lesson 13.prproj in whichever location you chose for it, or browse to the Lesson 13 folder, and open Lesson 13.prproj.

5. In the Media Browser, browse to the Lesson 17 folder, and then double-click Lesson 17 Desert Sequence.prproj to browse inside the project.

6. Double-click the Desert Montage sequence.

The sequence opens in the Source Monitor, just as you would expect a clip to. The sequence also opens in a read-only Timeline panel.


The sequence name includes the phrase (Source Monitor) to remind you that this is not a current project sequence.

You can easily import a whole sequence from the Media Browser by right-clicking it and choosing Import. However, you can also drag a clip or clips from this Source Monitor Timeline panel directly to your Project panel.

If you position the read-only Timeline panel next to your current sequence Timeline panel, you can drag clips directly from one to the other.

Managing collaboration

The option to import other projects presents novel workflows and opportunities for collaboration. You could, for example, share work on different parts of a program between different editors, all using the same media assets. Then, one editor could import all the other projects to combine them into a completed sequence.

Project files are small—often small enough to email. This allows editors to email each other updated project files, open them and compare, or import them to do a side-by-side comparison in the project, provided that each editor has a copy of the same media files. You can use local-folder file-sharing services to update a shared project file that links to duplicated copies of local media files. You can also share files using Creative Cloud.

You can add markers with comments to a Timeline. When updating a sequence, consider adding a marker to highlight changes for your collaborators.

Be warned: Premiere Pro does not lock project files when they are in use. This means two people can access the same project file at the same time. This could be creatively dangerous! As one person saves the project file, it updates. As the next person saves the file, it updates again. Whoever saves last defines the file, replacing changes made by the last editor. If you intend to collaborate, work on separate project files and import sequences for comparison, or manage access to the project file carefully.

There are several dedicated media servers made by third parties that help you to collaborate using shared media files. These allow you to store and manage your media in a way that is accessible by multiple editors at the same time.

Keep these questions in mind:

• Who has the latest version of the edited sequence?

• Where are the media files stored?

As long as you have simple answers to these questions, you should be able to collaborate and share creative work using Premiere Pro.

Premiere Pro allows you to export a selection of clips and sequences as a new Premiere Pro project. This streamlined project file makes collaboration easier because it allows you to focus on precisely the content that matters.

To export a selection as a Premiere Pro project, select items in the Project panel and choose File > Export > Selection as Premiere Project. Choose a name and location for the new project file and click Save.

The project file will link to your existing media files.

Using the Libraries panel

The Libraries panel gives you direct access to stock assets, graphics, and LUTS created elsewhere and shared via Creative Cloud, inside Premiere Pro.

You can also place media files in your Creative Cloud Files folder, which will automatically populate Creative Cloud Files folders on other computers if you are logged in to your Creative Cloud account on those systems.

It’s easy to share folders with other users too, so the Creative Cloud Files folder is a useful way to share project files.

Managing your hard drives

Once you’ve used the Project Manager to create a new copy of your project or you have completed your project and finished with its media, you’ll want to clean up your drives. Video files are big. Even with large storage drives, you’ll quickly need to think about which files you want to keep and which ones you want to discard. You might also want to move your project media to slower, larger archive storage to keep as much fast media storage available as possible for current projects.

To make it easier to remove unwanted media when you’ve finished a project, consider importing all media files via your project folder or via a specific location on your media drive for your project. This means putting copies of your media into a single location before importing because when you import media, Premiere Pro creates a link to it wherever it is on your computer.

By organizing media files before you import them, you’ll find it much easier to remove unwanted content at the end of the creative workflow because everything is conveniently located in one place.

Remember that deleting clips in a project, or even deleting the project file itself, will not delete any media files.

Additional files

The media cache uses storage space as you import new media files to your projects. Also, each time you render effects, Premiere Pro creates preview files.

To remove these files and reclaim extra space on your hard drive, there are several options:

• Choose Edit > Preferences > Media (Windows) or Premiere Pro > Preferences > Media (Mac OS) and click Clean in the Media Cache Database section. This will remove cache files that are no longer referenced by a project.

• Delete render files associated with your current project by choosing Sequence > Delete Render Files.

• Locate your Preview Files folder by checking under File > Project Settings > Scratch Disks. Then delete the folder and its contents using Windows Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac OS). This will remove all cache files.

Consider carefully when choosing the location of the media cache and your project preview files. The total size of these files can be significant, and the speed of the drive will impact playback performance in Premiere Pro.

Media management with Dynamic Link

Dynamic Link allows Premiere Pro to use After Effects compositions as imported media while they are still editable in After Effects. To do this, Premiere Pro must have access to the After Effects project file that contains the composition, and After Effects must have access to the media files.

While working on a single computer with both applications installed and your media assets located on internal storage, this is achieved automatically.

If you use the Project Manager to collect files for a new Premiere Pro project, it will not bring copies of Dynamic Link files or duplicated audio files created when sending clips to Adobe Audition. Instead, you will need to make copies of the files yourself, in Windows Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac OS). This is easy to do: just copy the folder and include it with the assets already collected, or in After Effects, choose File > Dependencies > Collect Files.

Review questions

1. Why would you choose to make a clip offline?

2. Why would you choose to include handles when creating a trimmed project with the Project Manager?

3. Why would you choose the Project Manager option called Collect Files and Copy to a New Location?

4. What does the Remove Unused option in the Edit menu achieve?

5. How can you import a sequence from another Premiere Pro project?

6. Will the Project Manager collect Dynamic Link assets, such as After Effects compositions, when creating a new project?

Review answers

1. If you’re working with low-resolution copies of your media files, you’ll want to make your clips offline so you can recapture them or reimport them at full resolution.

2. Trimmed projects include only the parts of your clips used in sequences. To give yourself the flexibility to adjust your edit points later, you’d add handles; 24 frame handles would actually add 48 frames to the total duration of each clip because one handle is added at the beginning and end of each clip.

3. If you have imported media files from lots of different locations on your computer, it can be difficult to find everything and stay organized. By using the Project Manager to collect all the media files into one location, you’ll make it easier to manage your project media files.

4. When you choose Remove Unused, Premiere Pro removes any clips from your project that are not used in a sequence. Remember, no media files are deleted.

5. To import a sequence from another Premiere Pro project, import the project file as you would import any media file. Premiere Pro will invite you to import the entire project or selected sequences. You can also browse inside project files with the Media Browser.

6. The Project Manager does not collect Dynamic Link assets when creating a new project. For this reason, it’s a good idea to create any new Dynamic Link projects in the same location as your project folder or in a dedicated folder for your project. That way, it’s easier to locate and copy the assets for the new project.