Adobe Premiere Pro CC (2016)

18. Exporting Frames, Clips, and Sequences

Lesson overview

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

• Choosing the right export options

• Exporting single frames

• Creating movie, image sequence, and audio files

• Using Adobe Media Encoder

• Exporting to Final Cut Pro

• Exporting to Avid Media Composer

• Working with edit decision lists

• Recording to tape


This lesson will take approximately 60 minutes.

One of the best things about editing video is the feeling you have when you can finally share it with your audience. Adobe Premiere Pro CC offers a wide range of export options to record your projects to tape or convert them to additional digital files.


Exporting your project is the final step in the video production process. Adobe Media Encoder offers multiple high-level output formats. Within those formats you have dozens of options and can also export in batches.

Getting started

Nowadays, the primary form of media distribution is digital files. To create these files, you can use Adobe Media Encoder. Adobe Media Encoder is a stand-alone application that handles file exports in batches, so you can export in several formats simultaneously and process in the background while you work in other applications, including Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects.

Image Note

Premiere Pro can export clips selected in the Project panel, as well as sequences or ranges within sequences or the Source panel. The content that’s selected when you choose File > Export is what Premiere Pro will export.

Overview of export options

Whether you’ve completed a project or you just want to share an in-progress review, you have a number of export options.

• You can select a whole sequence as a single file to post to the Internet or burn to a disc.

• You can export a single frame or a series of frames to post to the Internet or attach to an email.

• You can choose audio-only, video-only, or full audio/video output.

• Exported clips or stills can be reimported into the project automatically for easy reuse.

• You can play directly to videotape.

Beyond choosing an export format, you can set several other parameters.

• You can choose to create files in a similar format, and at the same visual quality and data rate as your original media, or you can compress them to a smaller size for distribution on disc or the Internet.

• You can transcode your media from one format to another to make it easier to exchange with other people involved in the post-production process.

• You can customize the frame size, frame rate, data rate, or audio and video compression techniques if a particular preset doesn’t fit your needs.

• You can apply a color lookup table (LUT) to assign a look; set overlay timecode and other clip text information; add an image overlay; or upload a file to YouTube, Vimeo, an FTP server, or Adobe Creative Cloud.

• You can make a precise adjustment to the output duration of your new media file by automatically shortening or extending periods of low activity.

You can use exported files for further editing, in presentations, as streaming media, or as sequences of images to create animations.

Exporting single frames

While an edit is in progress, you may want to export a still frame to send to a team member or client for review. You might also want to export an image to use as the thumbnail of your video file when you post it to the Internet.

Premiere Pro makes exporting a still frame fast and easy.

When you export a frame from the Source Monitor, Premiere Pro creates a still image that matches the resolution of the source video file.

When you export a frame from the Program Monitor, Premiere Pro creates a still image that matches the resolution of the sequence.

Let’s give it a try.

1. Open Lesson 18_01.prproj from the Lessons/Lesson 18 folder.

2. Open the sequence Review Copy. Position the Timeline playhead on a frame you want to export.


3. In the Program Monitor, click the Export Frame button (Image) on the lower right.

If you don’t see the button, it may be because you’ve customized the Program Monitor buttons. You might also need to resize the panel. You can also select the Program Monitor and press Shift+Control+E (Windows) or Shift+E (Mac OS) to export a frame.


4. In the Export Frame dialog, enter a filename.

Image Note

In Windows, you can export to the BMP, DPX, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TGA, and TIFF formats. On the Mac, you can export to the DPX, JPEG, PNG, TGA, and TIFF formats.

5. Use the Format menu to choose a still-image format.

• JPEG, PNG, GIF, and BMP work well for compressed graphic workflows (such as Internet delivery).

• TIFF, Targa, and PNG are suitable for print and animation workflows.

• DPX is often used for digital cinema or color-grading workflows.

Image Note

The music in this project is entitled “Tell Somebody,” by Alex featuring AdmiralBob. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.

6. Click the Browse button to choose a location to save the new still image. Create a folder named Exports on the desktop and select it.

7. Select the Import into Project option to add the new still image into your current project and click OK.

Exporting a master copy

Creating a master copy allows you to make a pristine digital copy of your edited project that can be archived for future use. A master copy is a self-contained, fully rendered digital file output of your sequence at the highest resolution and best quality possible. Once it’s created, you can use a file of this kind as a separate source to produce other compressed output formats without opening the original project in Premiere Pro.

Matching sequence settings

Ideally, the frame size, frame rate, and codec of a master file will closely match the sequence it’s based on. Premiere Pro makes this easy by offering a Match Sequence Settings option when you export.

1. Continue working with the Review Copy sequence in Lesson 18_01.prproj.

2. With the sequence selected (in either the Project panel or the Timeline panel), choose File > Export > Media.

The Export Settings dialog opens.


3. You’ll learn more about this dialog later. For now, select the Match Sequence Settings check box.


Image Note

In some cases, the Match Sequence Settings option cannot write an exact match of the original camera media. For example, XDCAM EX will write to a high-quality MPEG2 file. In most cases, the file written will have an identical format and closely match the data rate of the original sources. Note that when exporting a sequence, the sequence itself is the source in this dialog—not the clips, which will have been conformed to the sequence settings.

4. The blue text showing the output name is actually a button that opens the Save As dialog. You’ll find the same type of text-as-a-button in Adobe Media Encoder. Click the output name now.


5. Choose a target (such as the Exports folder you created earlier), name the sequence Review Copy 01.mxf, and click Save.

6. Review the Summary information to check that the output format matches the sequence settings. In this case, you should be using DNxHD media (as MXF files) at 29.97fps. The Summary information is a quick, easy reference that helps you avoid minor errors that can have big consequences. If the Source and Output Summary settings match, it minimizes conversion, which helps maintain the quality of the final output.


Image Tip

When you choose the Match Sequence Settings option, Premiere Pro produces a file with the same settings as the sequence Previews. Choose these settings with care because some options have higher quality than others and the default options often choose speed (for quick previewing) over image fidelity.

7. Click the Export button to create a media file based on the sequence.

Choosing another codec

When you export to a media file, you can choose the codec that’s used. Some camera formats (such as DSLR) are already heavily compressed. Using a higher-quality mastering codec can help to preserve quality.

1. Choose File > Export > Media or press Control+M (Windows) or Command+M (Mac OS).

Image Tip

If you are working without GPU acceleration (in Software mode) and your output file will be lower image resolution than your sequence, you can select the Maximum Render Quality option to produce better results. This method is slower but produces excellent results when images are scaled smaller.

2. In the Export Settings dialog, click the Format pop-up menu and choose QuickTime.

3. Click the output name (the blue text) and give the file a new name, Review Copy Save it to the same destination you used in the previous exercise.

4. Click the Video tab near the bottom of the window.

5. Choose a video codec that you have installed.

One option that should be installed on your system is the GoPro CineForm codec. This produces a high-quality (but reasonably sized) file. Make sure the frame size and frame rate match your source settings. You might need to scroll down or resize the panel to see all the settings. Use the settings shown here.

About GoPro CineForm Codec options

The GoPro CineForm codec comes in three configurations, which can be selected using the Preset menu at the top of the Export Settings dialog.

• GoPro CineForm RGB 12-bit with Alpha at Maximum Bit Depth: This produces a high-quality file, storing picture information with 12-bit color (rather than the more common 8-bit) and using the full RGB color gamut, with effects calculated in 32-bit floating point and with an alpha channel. It’ll take a little longer to produce the file, and it’ll be a little larger, but the quality will be excellent.

• GoPro CineForm RGB 12-bit with Alpha: This produces the same high-quality file as the first option, but the encoding is performed using the standard color bit depth. It’s still a high-quality result, and the encoding will take place faster.

• GoPor CineForm YUV 10-bit: This produces a high-quality video file using YUV color, the most common color mode for camera media and televisions. There is no alpha channel, but it’s rare that you will need it. While this file is created with 10-bit color rather than 12-bit, remember most video is produced in just 8-bit.


Image Tip

You can always check the Match Source boxes on the right side of the Export Settings dialog or click the Match Source button to match options such as Frame Rate and Field Order.

6. Click the Audio tab and choose Uncompressed for the audio codec. In the Basic Audio Settings section, choose 48000 Hz as the sample rate, Stereo for Channels, and 16 bit for Sample Size. Set the Audio Channel Configuration to output Stereo.


7. Click the Export button at the bottom of the dialog to export the sequence and transcode it to a new media file.

Working with Adobe Media Encoder

Adobe Media Encoder is a stand-alone application that can be run independently or launched from Premiere Pro. One advantage of using Adobe Media Encoder is that you can send an encoding job directly from Premiere Pro and then continue working on your edit as the encoding is processed. If your client asks to see your work before you finish editing, Adobe Media Encoder can produce the file without interrupting your flow.

Choosing a file format for export

It can be a challenge to know how to deliver your finished work. Ultimately, choosing delivery formats is a process of planning backward; find out how the file will be presented and it’s usually straightforward to identify the best file type for the purpose.

Often clients will have a delivery specification you must follow, making it easy to select the right options for encoding.

Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder can export to many formats; let’s run through them quickly to identify when you should use them.


• AAC Audio: The Advanced Audio Coding format is the audio-only format that is most often used with H.264 encoding. It’s more efficient than the commonly known MP3 codec.

• AIFF: The Audio Interchange File Format is an uncompressed audio-only file format.

• AS-11: This format is based on MXF (covered later in the list), with precise configuration for broadcast television delivery. If you’re producing content for TV, you might be asked to deliver in this format.

• DNxHD MXF OP1a: This format is included primarily for providing compatibility with Avid editing systems. It is, however, a high-quality, cross-platform file format for professional editing.

• DPX: Digital Picture Exchange is a high-end image sequence format for digital intermediate and special-effects work.

• H.264: This is the most flexible and widely used format today, with many presets for devices such as the iPod and Apple TV and TiVo Series3 SD and HD and for services such as YouTube and Vimeo. H.264 files can be played on smartphones or used as high-quality, high-bit-rate intermediate files for work in other video editors.

• H.264 Blu-ray: This option produces H.264 files configured specifically for Blu-ray Discs.

• JPEG: This setting creates a sequential series of still images.

• JPEG 2000 MXF OP1a: This creates a video file with similar compression to MPEG2 but with each frame compressed individually, giving more consistent quality and a more robust file.

• MP3: This compressed audio format is popular because it produces a relatively small file that still sounds good to the ear.

• MPEG2: This file format is primarily used for DVDs and Blu-ray Discs. Presets in this group allow you to produce files that can be distributed for playback on your own or other computers. Many broadcasters use MPEG2 as a format for digital delivery.

• MPEG2 Blu-ray: This creates a Blu-ray–compliant MPEG2 video and audio file for HD discs.

• MPEG2-DVD: This creates a DVD-compliant MPEG2 video and audio file for standard-definition discs.

• MPEG4: This produces lower-quality H.263 3GP files for playback on older cell phones.

• MXF OP1a: These MXF presets let you create files compatible with several video-editing systems and media servers, including AVC-INTRA, DV, IMX, and XDCAM.

Image Note

If working with a professional mastering format (such as MXF OP1a, DNxHD MXF OP1a, or QuickTime), you can export up to 32 channels of audio where the format allows. The original sequence must use a multichannel master track with the corresponding number of tracks.

• P2 Movie: This produces standard Panasonic P2 media.

• PNG: This is a lossless but efficient still-image format for Internet use or for image sequences that contain transparency. Unlike many still image formats, PNG files can include an alpha channel.

• QuickTime: This container format can store media using one of several codecs. QuickTime files use the .mov extension, regardless of the codec.

• Targa: This is a rarely used uncompressed still-image file format. Like PNG files, Targa files can include an alpha channel.

• TIFF: This popular high-quality still-image format offers both lossy and lossless compression options.

• Waveform Audio: This is an uncompressed audio file format.

• Wraptor DCP: If you’re supplying content for digital cinema projection, the settings can be complex. This option produces a standard DCP file you can be confident will be accepted, with few settings to choose between.

The following formats are available only on Windows:

• AVI: Like QuickTime files, this “container format” can store files using one of several codecs. While not officially supported by Microsoft for a number of years, AVI files are still in widespread use.

• BMP: This is an uncompressed, rarely used still-image format.

• Animated GIF and GIF: These compressed still-image and animated formats are used primarily on the Internet. They’re available only on the Windows version of Premiere Pro.

• Uncompressed Microsoft AVI: This is a high-bit-rate intermediate format that is not widely used and is available only on the Windows version of Premiere Pro.

• Windows Media: This produces WMV files, ideal for Microsoft Silverlight applications (Windows only).

Configuring the export

To export from Premiere Pro to Adobe Media Encoder, you’ll need to queue the export. The first step is to use the Export Settings dialog to make choices about the file you’re going to export.

1. If necessary, open Lesson 18_01.prproj.

2. Make sure the Review Copy sequence is open and choose File > Export > Media.

It’s best to work through the Export Settings dialog from the top down. Choose your format and presets first, then pick the output, and finally decide whether you’d like to export audio, video, or both.

3. Choose H.264 from the Format menu. This is a popular choice for files you’ll upload to online video websites.

4. In the Preset menu, choose Vimeo HD 720p.

These settings match the frame size and frame rate of the sequence. The codec and data rate match the requirements for the website.


Image Note

The settings tabs displayed in the Export Settings dialog change depending on the format you choose. Most of the critical options are contained on the Format, Video, and Audio tabs.

5. Click the output name (the blue text) and give the file a new name, Review Copy 03.mp4. Save it to the same destination you selected in the previous exercise.

6. Examine the Summary information text to check your choices.

Here’s an overview of the various tabs displayed under Summary:

• Effects: You can add a number of useful effects and overlays as you output your media (see a list of these options in the next section).

• Video: The Video tab allows you to adjust the frame size, frame rate, field order, and profile. The default settings are based on the preset you chose, but you can change them to anything you like.

• Audio: The Audio tab allows you to adjust the bit rate of the audio and, for some formats, the codec. The default settings are based on the preset you chose, but you can change them to anything you like.

• Multiplexer: These controls let you determine whether the encoding method is optimized for compatibility with a specific device (such as an iPod or PlayStation Portable). This can also control whether the video and audio are combined or delivered as separate files.

• Publish: This tab lets you to enter the details of a YouTube, a Vimeo account, or an FTP server for automatic upload when the encoding is complete. If you create your own preset, this FTP information included. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard way to transmit files to a server.

Export effects

As you export your media file, you can apply a Lumetri look and add useful information overlays.

• Lumetri Look/LUT: Choose from a list of built-in Lumetri looks or browse to your own, allowing you to quickly apply a nuanced adjustment to the appearance of your output file.

• Image Overlay: Add a graphic, like a company logo or network “bug,” and position it onscreen. The graphic will be incorporated into the image.

• Name Overlay: Add a text overlay to the image. This is particularly useful as a simple watermark to protect your content or as a way of marking different versions.

• Timecode Overlay: Display timecode for your finished video file, making it easy for viewers without specialized editing software to note reference times for commenting purposes.

• Time Tuner: Specify a new duration or playback speed, up to + /– 10%, achieved by applying subtle adjustments to periods of low action. Results vary depending on the media you are working with, so test different speeds to compare the end result.

Using the Source and Output panels

Moving to the left side of the Export Settings dialog, there’s a Source Range drop-down menu. Use this menu to choose to export the entire sequence, a range you set by placing an In point and an Out point, a range set by the Timeline Work Area bar, or a custom region selected now using the small triangular handles and navigator directly above the menu.


In the upper-left corner of the Export Settings dialog are the Output and Source tabs. The Output tab shows a preview of the video to be encoded. It’s useful to view the video on the Output tab to spot errors such as unwanted letterboxing or distortion caused by the irregularly shaped pixels used in some video formats.

The Source tab gives access to basic cropping controls. Be sure to check the Output tab after making changes on the Source tab.

Using the formats

Adobe Media Encoder supports many formats. Knowing which setting to use can seem a little overwhelming. Let’s take a look at some common scenarios and review which formats are typically used. There are few absolutes, but these should get you close to the correct output. It’s a good idea to test your output on a short section of your video before producing a full-length finished file.

• Encoding for DVD/Blu-ray: Generally, you’ll use MPEG2 for shorter video projects—namely, the MPEG2-DVD preset for DVD and MPEG2 Blu-ray preset for Blu-ray Discs. The visual quality of MPEG2 is indistinguishable from H.264 in these high-bit-rate applications and encodes faster. However, the H.264 codec is more efficient, letting you fit more content into a smaller storage space.

• Encoding for devices: Use the H.264 format for current devices (Apple iPod/ iPhone, Apple TV, Kindle, Nook, Android, and TiVo), as well as for some generic 3GPP presets; use MPEG4 for older MPEG4-based devices. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications on its website.

• Encoding for uploading to user-generated video sites: The H.264 format includes presets for YouTube and Vimeo in widescreen, SD, HD, and 4K. Use these presets as a starting point for your service, being careful to observe resolution, file size, and duration limits.

In general, the Premiere Pro presets are proven and will work for your intended purpose. Avoid adjusting settings when using presets designed for devices or optical discs because changes that seem subtle might make the files unplayable; hardware players have stringent media requirements.

Most Premiere Pro presets are conservative and will deliver good results with the default settings, so you probably won’t improve the quality by tinkering.

Queuing the export

When you’re ready to create your media file, you have a few more options to consider.


• Use Maximum Render Quality: Consider enabling this setting when scaling from larger image sizes to smaller image sizes. This option requires more RAM, which can dramatically slow down the output. This option is usually not needed except when working without GPU acceleration and scaling the image and seeking the highest possible quality.

Image Note

On the Video tab, you’ll also find the option Render at Maximum Depth. When working without GPU acceleration, this can improve the visual quality of your output by using greater precision to generate colors. However, this option can add to the render time.

• Use Previews: When you render special effects, preview files are produced that look like your original footage combined with the effects. If you enable this option, the preview files will be used as the source for the new export. This can save a significant amount of time that would otherwise be spent rendering the effects again. The result might be lower quality, depending on the sequence preview files format (see Lesson 2, “Setting Up a Project”).

• Use Frame Blending: Enable this option to smooth motion whenever you output to a different frame rate than your sequence settings.

• Import into project: This option automatically imports the newly created media file into your current project. This is particularly useful when exporting freeze frames.

• Set Start Timecode: This allows you to specify a new file start timecode, ignoring the sequence start timecode. This is particularly useful if you are working in a broadcast environment where a specific timecode start may be a delivery requirement.

• Metadata: Click this button to open the Metadata Export panel. You can specify a wide range of settings, including information about copyright, creator, and rights management. You can even embed useful information such as markers, script, and speech transcription for advanced delivery options. In some cases, you may prefer to set the Metadata Export Options setting to None, removing all metadata from the newly created file.


• Queue: Click the Queue button to send the file to Adobe Media Encoder, which will open automatically, allowing you to continue working in Premiere Pro while the export takes place.

• Export: Select this option to export directly from the Export Settings dialog rather than sending the file to the Adobe Media Encoder queue. This is a simpler workflow and usually a faster export, but you won’t be able to edit in Premiere Pro until the export is complete.

Click the Queue button to send the file to Adobe Media Encoder, which starts up automatically.

Additional options in Adobe Media Encoder

Using Adobe Media Encoder brings a number of benefits. Although it involves a few extra steps beyond simply clicking the Export button in the Export Settings panel of Premiere Pro, the extra options are worth it.


Image Note

Adobe Media Encoder does not have to be used from Premiere Pro. You can launch Adobe Media Encoder on its own.

Here are some of the most useful features you’ll find in Adobe Media Encoder:

• Add additional stand-alone files: You can add stand-alone files to Adobe Media Encoder by choosing File > Add Source. You can even drag and drop files into it from Windows Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac OS).

• Import Premiere Pro sequences directly: You can choose File > Add Premiere Pro Sequence to select a Premiere Pro project file and choose sequences to encode (without ever launching Premiere Pro).

• Render After Effects compositions directly: You can import and encode compositions from Adobe After Effects by choosing File > Add After Effects Composition. Once again, you don’t need to open Adobe After Effects.

• Use a watch folder: If you’d like to automate some encoding tasks, you can create watch folders by choosing File > Add Watch Folder and then assigning a preset to that watch folder. Media files placed into the folder are automatically encoded to the format specified in the preset.

• Modify a queue: You can add, duplicate, or remove any tasks by using the like-named buttons and dragging any tasks that haven’t yet started encoding to any place in the queue. If you haven’t set the queue to start automatically, click the Start Queue button (Image) to start encoding. Adobe Media Encoder encodes files in the queue one after another. You can add files to the queue after encoding has begun. You can even add files to the queue directly from Premiere Pro while encoding is taking place.

• Modify settings: Once the encoding tasks are loaded into the queue, changing settings is easy; click the item’s Format or Preset, and the Export Settings dialog appears.

Exchanging with other editing applications

Collaboration is often essential in video post-production. Premiere Pro can both read and write project files that are compatible with many of the top editing and color-grading tools on the market. This makes it straightforward to share creative work, even if you and your collaborators are using different editing systems.

Exporting a Final Cut Pro XML file

Using Final Cut Pro XML allows you to exchange a Premiere Pro project with many applications. You can bring your project directly into Final Cut Pro 7 or convert it to Final Cut Pro X using 7 to X for Final Cut Pro from Assisted Editing. You can also export your project to applications such as DaVinci Resolve and Grass Valley EDIUS.

Some of your special effects and keyframes will not be supported by the Final Cut Pro 7 XML standard, so you should test this workflow to find out how much of your creative work can be shared using this system.

Exporting from Premiere Pro to Final Cut Pro—and importing the XML file into Final Cut Pro—is simple.

1. In Premiere Pro, choose File > Export > Final Cut Pro XML.

2. In the Save Converted Project - As Final Cut Pro XML dialog, name the file, choose a location, and click Save. Premiere Pro will let you know if there were any issues exporting the XML file.

This file can now be imported into another application. You may need to batch import or batch capture the media into the other application and relink it.

Exporting to OMF

Open Media Framework (OMF) has become a standard way of exchanging audio information between systems (typically for audio mixing). When you export an OMF file, the typical method is to create a single file with all your audio tracks inside. When the OMF file is opened by a compatible application, it will show all the tracks.

Here’s how to create an OMF file:

1. With a sequence selected, choose File > Export > OMF.


Image Note

If you’re working on a multicamera edit, flatten the edit before exporting the OMF file because the nested clips won’t be included properly otherwise.

2. In the OMF Export Settings dialog, enter a name for the file in the OMF Title field.

3. Check that the Sample Rate and Bits per Sample settings match your footage; 48000 Hz and 16 bits are the most common settings.

4. From the Files menu, choose one of the following:

• Embed Audio: This option exports an OMF file that contains the project metadata and all the audio files for the selected sequence.

• Separate Audio: This option exports separate mono audio files into an omfiMediaFiles folder.

Image Note

All OMF files have 2GB file limit—if you’re working on a long sequence, you may need to separate it into two sections and export them separately.

5. If you’re using the Separate Audio option, choose between the AIFF and Broadcast Wave formats. Both are high quality, but check with the system you need to exchange with. AIFF files tend to be the most compatible.

6. Using the Render menu, choose either Copy Complete Audio Files or Trim Audio Files (to reduce the file size). You can specify that handles (extra frames) be added to give you some flexibility when modifying the clips.

7. Click OK to generate the OMF file.

8. Choose a destination and click Save. You can target your lesson folder for now.

Exporting to AAF

Another way to exchange files is by using the Advanced Authoring Format (AAF) standard. This method is typically used to exchange both project information and source media with other NLE software, including Avid Media Composer or with Avid ProTools for audio finishing.

Some of your special effects and keyframes will not be supported by the AAF standard, so you should test this workflow to find out how much of your creative work can be shared using this system.

1. Choose File > Export > AAF.

2. Choose if you’d like to create a Mixdown video, which is a flattened video of your sequence that will be displayed if the AAF file is opened in ProTools.


3. Choose if you’d like to break audio clips out to mono, which can be useful when sending an AAF file to Avid Media Composer. If you do, choose the settings you’d like for the newly encoded audio.

4. Click OK and choose a location to save the AAF file.

Working with edit decision lists

An edit decision list (EDL) is a simple text document with a list of instructions for automating editing tasks. The formatting follows standards that allow the EDL to be read by a number of different systems.

EDLs hark back to the days when small hard drives limited the size of your video files and slower processors meant you could not play full-resolution video. To remedy this, editors used low-resolution files in a nonlinear editor like Premiere Pro, edited their project, exported that to an EDL, and then took that text file and their original tapes down to a production studio. There they would use expensive switching hardware to create the finished, full-resolution product, usually from the original videotapes.

These days, there isn’t much call for that kind of offline work, but filmmakers still occasionally use EDLs.

If you plan to use an EDL, you need to keep your project within some narrow guidelines.

• EDLs work best with projects that contain no more than one video track, no more than two stereo (or four mono) audio tracks, and no nested sequences.

• Most standard transitions, freeze frames, and clip-speed changes are supported.

• Premiere Pro supports a key track for titles or other content. That track has to be immediately above the video track selected for export as an EDL.

• You must capture and log all the source material with accurate and unique timecode information.

• The capture card used to batch capture the media must have a device control that uses a timecode.

• To ensure that there are no breaks in the timecode, videotapes must each have a unique reel number and be formatted with timecode (sometimes referred to as striped) before you shoot the video.

To see the EDL options of Premiere Pro, choose File > Export > EDL, which opens the EDL Export Settings dialog.


Choose the tracks you want to export and select from the types of editing information you want to be included, using the series of check boxes.

The EDL title is not the filename. Rather, it’s a title that appears in the first line of the EDL file. The title can be different from the filename. After clicking OK in the EDL Export Settings dialog, you’ll have the opportunity to enter a filename.

When you’re happy with the options, click OK. There are a few noteworthy settings.

• Start Timecode: This is the timecode value for the first edit in the sequence.

• Include Video Levels: This includes video opacity levels in the EDL.

• Include Audio Levels: This includes audio levels in the EDL.

• Tracks To Export: Choose which tracks to export. The video track directly above the video track selected for export is designated as the key track.

Using closed captioning

Video content can be enjoyed by more people when it is accessible. An increasingly used practice is to add closed-captioning information that can be decoded by television sets. Visible captions are inserted into a video file and travel through supported formats to specific playback devices.

Image Note

This public service announcement was produced by RHED Pixel and is provided courtesy of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Adding closed-captioning information is relatively easy as long as you have captions that have been properly prepared. Caption files are often generated with software tools such as MacCaption, CaptionMaker, and MovieCaptioner.

Here’s how to add captions to an existing sequence:

1. Close the current project (do not save) and open Lesson 18_02.prproj.

2. Open the sequence NFCC_PSA.

Image Note

Using the Button Editor, you can customize the Program Monitor by adding a Closed Captioning Display button for easy access to toggling viewable captions.

3. Choose File > Import and navigate to a caption file (.scc and .mcc formats are supported). You’ll find a sample file in the Lessons/Assets/Closed Captions folder.

The caption file is added to the bin as if it were a video clip, with a frame rate and duration.

4. Edit the closed captions clip to a track above all the clips in your sequence.

5. Click the Settings menu button in the Program Monitor (Image) and choose Closed Captioning Display > Enable.

6. Play the sequence to see the captions. If your captions don’t display properly, click the Settings menu button in the Program Monitor and choose Closed Captioning Display > Settings. Make sure the settings match the file type you’re using. In this case, use the CEA-608 option.


7. You can adjust the captions using the Captions panel (Window > Captions). You can adjust the timing and formatting of captions using the panel’s controls.

You can also create your own closed captions right within Premiere Pro.

1. Choose File > New > Captions. The New Captions dialog opens.


2. The default settings are based on your current sequence. These are fine, so click OK.

3. Another dialog opens, asking for advanced settings for broadcast workflows.


CEA-608 (also known as Line 21) is the most commonly used standard in countries that use the NTSC broadcast standard. The TeleText option (Line 16) is used in PAL countries. This clip is NTSC, so for this clip choose CEA-608.

4. Choose CC1 from the Stream menu to set this as the first stream of closed captions (up to four streams can be added). Click OK. The Closed Captions clip is added to the Project panel.

5. Edit the new closed caption clip onto the Video 2 track. It will be too short for the sequence (by default it is three seconds long).

6. Select the closed caption clip on the Timeline and go to the Captions panel (Window > Captions).

7. Enter text that matches the dialogue and/or narration being spoken and then click the + button at the bottom of the panel to add another caption.

8. Adjust the In and Out durations for the caption to adjust its length for each caption block.

9. Use the formatting controls at the top of the Captions panel to adjust the appearance of each caption.


As the total length of captions gets longer, the clip contents will get longer. You’ll need to trim the clip in the sequence longer to see the new contents.

Recording to tape

Although tape is becoming less and less common, there are industries and parts of the world where it remains the preferred output method. For example, many broadcasters require master tape delivery on formats such as HDCAM SR or DVCPRO HD. If you shot tape, you may want to archive on tape.

If you own a tape deck or camera, you can use the project Lesson 18_03.prproj to experiment. This contains both a DV sequence and an HDV sequence that can be output.

Preparing a project for tape output

To play a sequence out to tape, you need to be able to play it back perfectly. This means no dropped frames or unrendered effects. You’ll need to ensure that you have fast enough hard drives and a well-tuned machine. Here are a few things to check:

• Device Control settings: Make sure Premiere Pro can see your recording deck. Open Premiere Pro Preferences and choose Device Control. In the Devices menu, choose the appropriate type of device control for your deck. Click the Options button and attempt to match your device as closely as possible. If you’re using a professional deck or third-party capture card, you may need to install additional drivers.

• Audio channel assignments: You should check that the audio channels in the sequence are assigned to the correct output. Some decks, like DV, allow for only two channels of audio, whereas other formats can support 4, 8, or even 16 channels. Using the Audio Mixer, you can assign each audio track in your sequence to a specific output.

Preparing a tape for output

Tapes need to be prepared. Typically, this is called striping or blacking a tape. This process sets the control track and timecode on the tape and ensures that it’s ready to record to.

The process varies greatly from deck to deck, so be sure to check the owner’s manual of your hardware. It’s common to start a tape at 00:58:00:00 to accommodate bars, tone, slate information, and a countdown, with the primary video starting at exactly 01:00:00:00.

Recording to a DV or HDV deck

Out of the box, Premiere Pro has the ability to connect to a DV or HDV deck, provided your editing system has a FireWire port. If you captured your original video from DV or HDV tape, you may want to write the finished project back to tape for safekeeping. If so, follow the steps listed here:

1. Connect your DV or HDV camcorder to your computer, just as you did when you captured the video.

2. Turn it on and set it to VCR or VTR (not to Camera mode).

3. Cue the tape to where you want to start recording.

4. Open the sequence you want to record.

5. Choose File > Export > Tape (DV/HDV) for FireWire-connected devices or File > Export > Tape (Serial Device) for serial interface–connected devices.

If you’re working with a DV camcorder, you’ll see the Export to Tape dialog.

Here’s a rundown of the options:

• Activate Recording Device: When you select this option, Premiere Pro will control your DV device. Deselect it if you want to record to a device that you’ll control manually.

• Assemble at timecode: Select this option to pick an In point on the tape where you want recording to begin. When this option is not selected, recording will begin at the current tape location.

• Delay movie start by x frames: This is for the few DV recording devices that need a brief period of time between receiving the video signal and recording it. Check your device’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends.

• Preroll x frames: Most decks need little or no time to get to the proper tape-recording speed. To be on the safe side, select 150 frames, or add black video to the start of your project.

The remaining options are self-explanatory.

6. Click Record (or Cancel if you don’t want to make a recording).

If you haven’t rendered your project (by pressing Enter [Windows] or Return [Mac OS] instead of the spacebar for playback), Premiere Pro does so now. When rendering is complete, Premiere Pro starts your camcorder and records your project to it.

If you’re working with a professional video deck with RS-422 device control, you can use the Edit To Tape window, with more detailed options, by choosing Window > Edit To Tape.

Using third-party hardware

Video input/output (I/O) devices are available from companies such as AJA, Blackmagic Design, Bluefish444, and Matrox. These cards give you the connections you need to connect professional-quality video decks to your computer.

The following features are useful when working with professional decks:

• SD/HD-SDI: Serial Digital Interface (SDI) carries standard-definition or high-definition video and up to 16 channels of digital audio. Over a single cable, you can output your video to a deck, as well as all the audio that you might need.

• Component video: Some decks still rely on other connection types. You can use component video for both analog (Y’PrPb) and digital (Y’CbCr) connections. Component connections can carry only a video signal, not audio.

• AES and XLR audio: If you’re not relying on an embedded SDI audio signal, then many decks also offer dedicated audio connections. The two most common are AES (either XLR or BNC types) and analog XLR audio.

• RS-422 deck control: Professional decks employ a type of device control known as RS-422. This serial connection is used for frame-accurate control of the deck.

Image Tip

To learn more about supported hardware cards, visit

• HDMI: Although it is not used that widely for professional video production, HDMI connections are increasingly popular for monitoring.

Final practice

Now that you have completed this book, you may want to practice a little. To make this easier, the media files for a few productions have been combined in a single project file so you can explore the techniques you have learned.

These media files can be used only for personal practice and are not licensed for any form of distribution, so please do not upload any of the clips or the results of any editing work you do with them—they are not for sharing with the public.

The Final Practice.prproj project file, in the Lessons folder, contains original clips for a few productions.

• Theft Unexpected: This is an award-winning short film directed and edited by Maxim Jago. Use this footage to experiment with trimming and practice adjusting timing in simple dialogue.

• Laura in the snow: This is a spec commercial for a dress company shot entirely at 96fps, set to play back at 25% speed for smooth slow motion. Use this footage to practice color correction and grading adjustments. Experiment with ramping slow motion and masking both the video and the effects you apply.

• Andrea Sweeney NYC: This is a short road-movie diary piece. Use the voiceover as a guide and practice combining 4K and HD footage in a single timeline. Experiment with panning and scanning inside the 4K footage if you choose to use HD sequence settings.

• Bike Race: This is simple multicamera footage. Experiment with live editing on a multicamera project.

• Desert: Use the diverse colors to try color correction tools and combine the footage with music to produce a montage.

• Music Multi-Camera: Experiment with multicamera editing skills.

Review questions

1. What’s an easy way to export digital video if you want to create a self-contained file that closely matches the original quality of your sequence preview settings?

2. What Internet-ready export options are available in Adobe Media Encoder?

3. What encoding format should you use when exporting to most mobile devices?

4. Must you wait for Adobe Media Encoder to finish processing its queue before working on a new Premiere Pro project?

Review answers

1. Use the Match Sequence Settings option in the Export dialog.

2. This varies by platform. Both operating systems include H.264 and QuickTime, and the Windows version includes Windows Media as well.

3. H.264 is the encoding format used when exporting to most mobile devices.

4. No. Adobe Media Encoder is a stand-alone application. You can work in other applications or even start a new Premiere Pro project while the render queue is processed.