Adobe Premiere Pro CC (2016)

2. Setting Up a Project

Lesson overview

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

• Choosing project settings

• Choosing video rendering and playback settings

• Choosing video and audio display settings

• Choosing capture format settings

• Creating scratch disks

• Using sequence presets

• Customizing sequence settings


This lesson will take approximately 45 minutes.

Before you begin editing, you need to create a new project and choose some settings for your first sequence. If you’re not familiar with video and audio technology, you might find all the options a little overwhelming. Luckily, Adobe Premiere Pro CC gives you easy shortcuts. Plus, the principles of video and sound reproduction are the same no matter what you’re creating.

It’s just a question of knowing what you want to do. To help you plan and manage your projects, this lesson contains information about formats and video technology. You may decide to revisit this lesson later, as your familiarity with Premiere Pro grows.

In practice, you’re likely to make very few changes to the default settings, but it’s good to know what all the options mean.


In this lesson, you’ll learn how to create a new project and choose sequence settings that tell Premiere Pro how to play your video and audio clips.

Getting started

A Premiere Pro project file stores links to all the video and sound files—aka clips—used in your Premiere Pro project. You will also create at least one sequence—that is, a series of clips that play, one after another, with special effects, titles, and sound, to form your completed creative work. You’ll choose which parts of your clips to use and in which order they’ll play. The beauty of editing with Premiere Pro is that you can change your mind about almost anything.


Premiere Pro project files have the file extension .prproj.

Starting a new Premiere Pro project is simple. You create a new project file, choose a sequence preset, and start editing.

You create a sequence, with particular playback settings, and place multiple clips in it. It’s important to understand how the sequence settings change the way Premiere Pro plays your video and audio clips. To speed things up, you can use a built-in preset to choose sequence settings and then make adjustments if necessary.

You need to know the kind of video and audio your camera records because your sequence settings will usually be based on your original source footage. To make it easier for you to choose the right settings, Premiere Pro sequence presets are named after different camera recording formats. If you know which video format your camera records, you’ll know what to choose.


In this lesson, you’ll learn how to create a new project and choose sequence settings that tell Premiere Pro how to play your clips. You’ll also learn about different kinds of audio tracks, what preview files are, and how to open projects created in Apple Final Cut Pro and Avid Media Composer.

Setting up a project

Let’s begin by creating a new project.

1. Launch Premiere Pro. The welcome screen appears.


The Open Recent heading lists previously opened projects. You should see Lesson 01 under this heading.

There are several links in this window.

• New: Click this link to open the New Project dialog box.

• Convert Premiere Clip Project: Click this link to browse to an existing Adobe Premiere Clip project and open it to continue working on it.

Image Note

Premiere Clip is a mobile editing app. You can complete your edit using Premiere Clip or send your project to Premiere Pro for advanced finishing.

• Open: Click this link to browse to an existing Premiere Pro project file and open it to continue working on it.

• Sync Settings Now: Click this link to sync your user preferences with those you store in Creative Cloud. This makes it easy to move from one editing system to another.

• Use Settings from a Different Account: Click this link to choose which Adobe ID you want to use to sync user preferences.

• Premiere Pro Help: Click this link to open the online Help system. You’ll need to be connected to the Internet to access online Adobe Premiere Pro Help.

• Forums, Inspire, and Blog: Click one of these links to open Internet sites with useful information, updates, creative examples, and opportunities to engage with other users and application engineers.

2. Click Project, under the New heading, to open the New Project dialog box.


This dialog box has two tabs: General and Scratch Disks. All the settings in this dialog box can be changed later. In most cases, you’ll want to leave them as they are. Let’s take a look at what they mean.

Image Note

You’ll notice that tabbed panels and dialog boxes appear a lot in Premiere Pro. They are a useful way of packing extra options into a smaller space.

Video rendering and playback settings

While you’re working creatively with video clips in your sequences, it’s likely you will apply some visual effects. Some special effects can be played immediately, combining your original video with the effect and displaying the results as soon as you click Play. When this happens, it’s calledreal-time playback.

Real-time playback is desirable because it means you can watch the results of your creative choices right away.

If you use lots of effects on a clip or if you use effects that are not designed for real-time playback, your computer may not be able to display the results at the full frame rate. That is, Premiere Pro will attempt to display your video clips, combined with the special effects, but it will not show every single frame each second. When this happens, it’s described as dropping frames.

What do rendering and real time mean?

Think of rendering as an artist’s rendering, where something is visualized, taking up paper and taking time to draw. Imagine you have a piece of video that is too dark. You add a special effect to make it brighter, but your video-editing system is unable to both play the original video and make it brighter. In this situation, you’d have your system render the effect, creating a new temporary video file that looks like your original video combined with the visual effect to make it brighter.

When the part of your edited sequence is played that contains the clip with the rendered effect, your system plays the newly rendered video file instead of the original. The process is invisible and seamless. The rendered file plays back like the original video file, but brighter.

When the part of your sequence with the brightened clip is finished, your system invisibly and seamlessly switches back to playing your other original video files.

The downside of rendering is that it takes up extra space on your hard drive, and it takes time. Also, because you’re viewing a new video file that is based on your original media, there might be some minor loss of quality. The upside with rendering is that you can be confident your system will be able to play the results of your effect at full quality, with all the frames per second. This might be important if you output to tape, though it’s less critical if you output to a file.

Real time is...instant! When using a real-time special effect, your system plays the original video clip combined with the special effect right away, without waiting for it to render. The only downside with real-time performance is that the amount you can do without rendering depends on how powerful your system is. In the case of Premiere Pro, you can dramatically improve real-time performance by using the right graphics card (see the sidebar “The Mercury Playback Engine”). Plus, you’ll need to use effects that are designed for GPU acceleration, and not all effects are.

Premiere Pro displays colored lines along the top of the Timeline to tell you when extra work is required to play back your video.


If you can’t see every frame when you play your sequence, it’s OK! It won’t affect the final results. When you’re done editing and you output your finished sequence (more on that in Lesson 18, “Exporting Frames, Clips, and Sequences”), it’ll be full quality, with all the frames.

Real-time playback can make a difference to your editing experience and your ability to preview the effects you apply with confidence. There is a simple solution: preview rendering.

When you render, Premiere Pro plays back the results of your special effects at high quality and full frame rate, without your computer having to do any more work than playing a regular video file.


In the New Project dialog box, if the Render menu is available, it means you have graphics hardware in your computer that meets the minimum requirements for GPU acceleration and it is installed correctly.

The menu has two options.

• Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration: If you choose this option, Premiere Pro will send many playback tasks to the graphics hardware on your computer, giving you lots of real-time effects and easy playback of mixed formats in your sequences. You may see an option to use OpenCL or to use CUDA for GPU acceleration, depending on your graphics hardware.

• Mercury Playback Engine Software Only: This is still a major advancement in playback performance, giving you excellent performance that uses all of the available power in your computer. If you don’t have powerful enough graphics hardware on your computer, only this option will be available, and you won’t be able to click this menu.

If you have a compatible graphics card, you can achieve much better performance by choosing GPU acceleration. It allows Premiere Pro to give some of the work of playing back video and applying visual effects to the GPU.

You will almost certainly want to choose the Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration option and benefit from the additional performance if you can.

Do so now, if the option is available.

The Mercury Playback Engine

The Mercury Playback Engine dramatically improves playback performance, making it faster and easier than ever to work with multiple video formats, multiple special effects, and multiple layers of video (for effects such as picture-in-picture).

The Mercury Playback Engine has three main features.

• Playback performance: Premiere Pro plays back video files with great efficiency, especially when working with the types of video that are difficult to play back, such as H.264 or AVCHD. If you’re filming with a DSLR camera, for example, chances are your media is recorded using the H.264 codec. With the new Mercury Playback Engine, you’ll find that these files play back with ease.

• 64-bit and multithreading: Premiere Pro is a 64-bit application, which simply means it can use all the random access memory (RAM) on your computer. This is particularly useful when you’re working with high-definition or ultrahigh-definition video (or 4K and above). The Mercury Playback Engine is also multithreaded, which means it uses all the CPU cores in your computer. The more powerful your computer is, the more performance you get in Premiere Pro.

• CUDA, OpenCL, and Intel graphics support: If you have powerful enough graphics hardware, Premiere Pro can send some of the work for playing back video to the graphics card, rather than putting the entire processing burden on the CPU in your computer. The results are even better performance and responsiveness when working with your sequences and lots of special effects that will play in real time.

For more information about supported graphics cards, see

Video/Audio Display Format settings

The next two options tell Premiere Pro how to measure time for your video and audio clips.

In most cases, you’ll choose the default options: Timecode for video and Samples for audio. These settings don’t change the way Premiere Pro plays video or audio clips, only the way time is measured.

Video Display Format

There are four options for Video Display Format. The correct choice for a given project largely depends on whether you are working with video or film as your source material.


About seconds and frames

When a camera records video, it captures a series of still images of the action. If there are enough images captured each second, it looks like moving video when played back. Each picture is called a frame, and the number of frames each second is usually called frames per second (fps).

The fps will vary depending on your camera/video format and settings. It could be any number, including 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 50, or 59.94 fps. Most cameras allow you to choose between more than one frame rate and more than one frame size.

The choices are as follows:

• Timecode: This is the default option. Timecode is a universal standard for counting hours, minutes, seconds, and individual frames of video. The same system is used by cameras, professional video recorders, and nonlinear editing systems all around the world.

• Feet + Frames 16 mm or Feet + Frames 35 mm: If your source files are captured from film and you intend to give your editing decisions to a lab so they can cut the original negative to produce a finished film, you may want to use this standard method of measuring time. Rather than measuring time, this is the number of feet plus the number of frames since the last foot. It’s a bit like feet and inches but with frames rather than inches. Because 16mm film and 35mm film have different frame sizes (and so different numbers of frames per foot), there’s an option for each.

Image Note

Many of the terms used in Adobe Premiere Pro come from film editing, including the term bin. In traditional film editing, film editors hang film clips on hooks over large bins, so the long piece of celluloid trails into the bin to keep it safe.

• Frames: This option simply counts the number of frames of video. This is sometimes used for animation projects and is another way that labs like to receive information about edits for film-based projects.

For this exercise, leave Video Display Format set to Timecode.

Audio Display Format

For audio files, time can be displayed as samples or milliseconds.


• Audio Samples: When digital audio is recorded, a sound sample is taken, as captured by the microphone, thousands of times a second. In the case of most professional video cameras, this happens 48,000 times per second. In Audio Samples mode, Premiere Pro can display time in your sequences as hours, minutes, seconds, and samples. The number of samples per second will depend on your sequence settings.

• Milliseconds: With this mode selected, Premiere Pro will display time in your sequences as hours, minutes, seconds, and thousandths of a second.

By default, Premiere Pro lets you zoom in to your sequences to view individual frames. However, you can easily switch to displaying your audio display format instead. This powerful feature lets you make the tiniest adjustments to your audio.

For this project, leave the Audio Display Format option set to Audio Samples.

Capture Format settings

It’s most common to record video as data files you can work with immediately. However, if you’re working with archival material, you might need to capture from videotape.

The Capture Format settings menu tells Premiere Pro what videotape format you are using when capturing video to your storage drive.

DV and HDV capture

Premiere Pro can capture from DV and HDV cameras using the FireWire connection on your computer, if it has one. FireWire is also known as IEEE 1394 and i.LINK.

Third-party hardware capture

Not all video decks use a FireWire connection, so you may need additional third-party hardware installed to be able to connect your video deck for capture.

If you have additional hardware, you should follow the directions provided by the manufacturer to install it. Most likely you’ll install software supplied with your hardware, and this will discover that Premiere Pro is installed on your computer, automatically adding extra options to this menu and others.

Follow the directions provided with your third-party equipment to configure new Premiere Pro projects.

Image Note

The Mercury Playback Engine can share performance with video capture cards for playback, thanks to a feature called Adobe Mercury Transmit—a feature included since Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.

For more information about video capture hardware and video formats supported by Premiere Pro, visit

Ignore this setting for now because you will not be capturing from a tape deck in this exercise, and you can change the setting as needed later.

Project item names and label colors

A check box at the bottom of the New Project dialog box allows you to display the project item name and label color for all instances.


Image Note

With this option enabled, when you change the color of a clip or change the clip name, all copies of the clip used anywhere, in any sequence, will update accordingly. If this option is not selected, only the copy you select will be changed.

Scratch Disks settings

Whenever Premiere Pro captures (records) from tape or renders effects, new media files are created on your hard drive.


Scratch disks are the places these files are stored. They can be separate disks, as the name suggests, or any folder in your storage locations. Scratch disks can be created all in the same place or in separate locations, depending on your hardware and workflow requirements. If you’re working with really large media files, you may get a performance boost by putting all your scratch disks on different hard drives.

There are generally two approaches to storage for video editing.

• Project-based setup: All associated media files are stored with the project file in the same folder.

• System-based setup: Media files associated with multiple projects are saved to one central location, and the project file is saved to another. This might include storing different kinds of media files in different locations.

Your scratch disks might be stored in local hard drives or on a network-based storage system; any storage location your computer has access to will work. It’s worth noting that the speed of your scratch disks can have quite an impact on playback performance.

Project Files settings

In addition to choosing where new media files are created, Premiere Pro also allows you to choose the location for storing Auto Save files. These are additional copies of your project file that are created automatically while you work.


In addition to storing Auto Save files in your chosen location, Premiere Pro can store a backup of your project file in your Creative Cloud Files folder. This folder is created automatically when you install Adobe Creative Cloud. It allows you to access files in any location where Creative Cloud is installed and log in.

This useful extra safety net is available by choosing Edit > Preferences > Auto Save (Windows) or Premiere Pro > Preferences > Auto Save (Mac OS).

CC Libraries Downloads

The Premiere Pro Libraries panel allows you to download additional media files and access files shared with you. For example, you might download logos or graphic elements to incorporate into your sequence.

When you add items to your project in this way, Premiere Pro will create a copy in the location you choose here.

Using a project-based setup

By default, Premiere Pro keeps any newly created media together with the project file (this is the Same as Project option). Keeping everything together this way makes finding associated files simple. You can stay even more organized by moving any media files you intend to import into your project into the same folder before you import them. When you’re finished with your project, you can remove everything from your system by deleting the folder your project file is stored in.

There’s a downside, though: Storing your media files on the same drive as your project file means the drive has to work harder while you edit, and this can impact playback performance.

Using a system-based setup

Some editors prefer to have all their media stored in a single location. Others choose to store their capture folders and preview folders in a different location from their project. This is a common choice in editing facilities where multiple editors share multiple editing systems, all connected to the same storage drives. It’s also common among editors who have fast hard drives for video media and slower hard drives for everything else.

There’s a downside with this setup too: Once you finish editing, you’ll likely want to gather everything together for archiving. This is slower and more complex when your media files are distributed across multiple storage locations.

Typical drive setup and network-based storage

Although all file types can coexist on a single hard drive, a typical editing system will have two hard drives: drive 1, dedicated to the operating system and programs, and drive 2 (often a faster drive), dedicated to footage items, including captured video and audio, video and audio previews, still images, and exported media.

Some storage systems use local computer networks to share storage between multiple systems. If this is the case for your Premiere Pro setup, check with your system administrators to make sure you have the right settings.

For this project, we recommend you leave all your scratch disks set to the default option: Same as Project.

1. Click in the Name box and name your new project Lesson 02.

2. Click the Browse button; then choose your preferred location on your computer hard drive for these lessons.

Image Note

When choosing a location for your project file, you might be able to choose a recently used location from the drop-down menu.

3. If your project is set up correctly, the General and Scratch Disks tabs in your New Project window should look identical to the screens shown here. If the settings match, click OK to create the project file.



Importing an Adobe Premiere Clip project

Adobe Premiere Clip is a mobile application that allows you to edit video on the move. Projects created with Premiere Clip can be sent to your Adobe Creative Cloud files folder.

You can open a Premiere Clip project in Premiere Pro. When you do, the Premiere Clip project is converted into a Premiere Pro project automatically, allowing you to continue working on your sequence using the powerful tools available in Premiere Pro.

Importing Final Cut Pro projects

Final Cut Pro is a nonlinear editing system produced by Apple. Adobe Premiere Pro CC can import and export sequences and links to media files using Final Cut Pro 7 XML. Extensible Markup Language (XML) files store information about editing decisions in a way that can be understood by both Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro. This makes it ideal for sharing creative work between both applications.

Because of limitations in the way XML files are created and to improve compatibility, it’s better to avoid nonalphanumeric characters (such as / \ ¢ ™ $ ® € . , [ .tiff] { } ( ) ! ? | ; " ' * < >) in file and folder names.

Exporting an XML file from Final Cut Pro 7

You’ll need to open the Final Cut Pro project file in Final Cut Pro to create an XML file. When you import the XML file into Premiere Pro, you’ll need the media files used by Final Cut Pro. Premiere Pro can share the same files if both applications are installed on the same editing system.

1. Open the existing project in Final Cut Pro.

2. Either choose nothing in the project, in which case Final Cut Pro will export the entire project, or select some specific items, in which case Final Cut Pro will export only those items.

3. Choose File > Export > XML.

In the XML dialog box you’ll see a report of how many bins, clips, and sequences are selected.

4. Choose the “Apple XML Interchange Format, version 4” option for maximum compatibility with Premiere Pro.

5. Save the XML file in an easy-to-find location (such as with your project).

Exporting an XML file from Final Cut Pro X

If you’re working with Final Cut Pro X, a newer version of Apple Final Cut Pro, you can still export an XML file by choosing File > Export > XML. However, you’ll need to convert the XML created to Final Cut Pro 7 XML using a third-party application such as Xto7 (

When choosing options in Xto7, choose to save an XML file, rather than sending to Final Cut Pro 7.

Media best practice

If you intend to work with both Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro, you’ll want to use a media format that both editing systems can handle easily. Premiere Pro has wide-ranging support for media formats and can easily work with Final Cut Pro ProRes media files.

For this reason, it’s best for editors working with both applications to use Final Cut Pro to import media and capture video from tapes. You can set up your project using ProRes media in Final Cut Pro and then easily exchange projects with Premiere Pro.

Importing a Final Cut Pro 7 XML file

You import a Final Cut Pro 7 XML file into Premiere Pro just like any other kind of file (for more details, see Lesson 3, “Importing Media”). When you import an XML file, Premiere Pro guides you through connecting the sequence and clip information to the original media files used by Final Cut Pro. There is a limit to the amount of information Final Cut Pro will include in an XML file, so you will find that some proprietary effects won’t make it to Premiere Pro. Test this workflow before you depend upon it.

Importing Avid Media Composer projects

Media Composer is a nonlinear editing system produced by Avid. Premiere Pro can import and export sequences and links to media files using AAF files exported from Avid Media Composer. AAF files store information about editing decisions in a way that can be understood by both Avid and Premiere Pro. This makes it ideal for sharing creative work between both applications.

Exporting an AAF file from Avid Media Composer

You’ll need to open the Avid project file in Avid Media Composer to create an AAF file. When you import the AAF file into Premiere Pro, you’ll need the media files used by Avid Media Composer, and Premiere Pro can share the same files.

1. Open an existing project in Media Composer.

2. Choose the sequence you’d like to transfer.

3. Choose File > Export. Click the Options button.

In the standard Avid Export dialog box, there’s a menu at the bottom that contains templates. The Options button at the bottom allows customization.

4. In the Export Settings dialog box, do the following:

• Select AAF Edit Protocol.

• Include marks and export only between In/Out points (optional).

• Use enabled tracks (optional).

• Include all video tracks in the sequence.

• Include all audio tracks in the sequence.

• Video Details: For Export Method, choose Link to (Don’t Export) Media.

• Audio Details: For Export Method, choose Link to (Don’t Export) Media.

• Audio Details: Include Rendered Audio Effects.

5. Save the AAF file in an easy-to-find location.

Importing an Avid AAF file

You import an Avid AAF file like any other kind of file (see Lesson 3). When you import an AAF file, Premiere Pro guides you through connecting the sequence and clip information to the original media files used by Avid. There is a limit to the amount of information Avid will include in an AAF file, so you will find that some proprietary effects will not make it to Premiere Pro. Test this workflow before you rely upon it.

Media best practice

Avid Media Composer uses a media management system that’s completely different from the Premiere Pro system. However, since version 3.5 of Media Composer, a new system called AMA has permitted linking to media outside of Avid’s own media organization system. Media files imported into Avid Media Composer using AMA tend to relink better when an AAF file is imported into Premiere Pro. Media in an Avid Media Composer AMA folder can be anything that Apple QuickTime can play, including P2, XDCAM, and even RED. You’ll need to have the appropriate codec available on your Premiere Pro editing system. Consider using Avid DNxHD, which is a popular codec created by Avid and supported natively in Premiere Pro.

You will usually achieve the best results if you use Avid Media Composer’s AMA system to link to original media with P2 or XDCAM media.

Setting up a sequence

In your Premiere Pro projects you will create sequences, into which you’ll place video clips, audio clips, and graphics. If necessary, Premiere Pro adapts video and audio clips that you put into a sequence so they match the settings for that sequence. Each sequence in your project can have different settings, and you’ll want to choose settings that match your original media as precisely as possible. Doing so reduces the work your system must do to play back your clips, improves real-time performance, and maximizes quality.

Image Tip

If the first clip you add to a sequence does not match the playback settings of your sequence, Premiere Pro asks if you would like to change the sequence settings automatically to fit.

If you’re editing a mixed-media format project, you may have to make careful choices about which format to match with your sequence settings. You can mix formats easily, but playback performance is best when the sequence settings match.

Creating a sequence that automatically matches your source

If you’re not sure what sequence settings you should choose, don’t worry. Premiere Pro has a special shortcut to create a sequence based on your original media.

At the bottom of the Project panel, there is a New Item menu Image. You can use this menu to create new items, such as sequences and titles.

To automatically create a sequence that matches your media, drag and drop any clip (or multiple clips) in the Project panel onto this New Item menu.

Premiere Pro creates a new sequence with the same name as the clip and a matching frame size and frame rate. Now you’re ready to start editing, and you can be confident your sequence settings will work with your media.

If the Timeline is empty, you also can drag a clip (or multiple clips) into it to create a sequence automatically.

Choosing the correct preset

If you know exactly which settings you need, Premiere Pro gives you access to all the options to configure a sequence. If you’re not so sure, you can choose from a list of presets.

Click the New Item menu on the Project panel Image and choose Sequence.

The New Sequence dialog box has three tabs: Sequence Presets, Settings, and Tracks. You’ll start with Sequence Presets.


The Sequence Presets tab makes setting up a new sequence much easier. When you choose a preset, Premiere Pro chooses settings for your sequence that closely match a particular video and audio format. After choosing a preset, you can adjust these settings on the Settings tab.

You’ll find a wide range of preset configuration options for the most commonly used and supported media types. These settings are organized based on camera formats (with specific settings inside a folder named after the recording format).


Click the disclosure triangle to see specific settings in a group. These settings are typically designed around frame rates and frame sizes. Let’s look at an example:

1. Click the disclosure triangle next to the group AVCHD.

You can now see three subfolders, based on frame sizes and interlacing methods. Remember that video cameras can often shoot video using different frame sizes, as well as different frame rates and codecs. The media used for the next exercise will be AVCHD at 720p, with a frame rate of 25fps.


2. Click the disclosure triangle next to the 720p subgroup.


3. To best match the footage you’ll be using, choose the AVCHD 720p25 preset by clicking its name.

Formats and codecs

Video file types like Apple QuickTime, Microsoft AVI, and MXF are containers that can carry many different video and audio codecs. The file is referred to as the wrapper, and the video and audio are referred to as the essence.

Codec is a shortening of compressor/decompressor. It is the way video and audio information is stored.

If you output your finished sequence to a file, you’ll choose both a file type and a codec.

When you’re starting out in video editing, you may find the number of formats available a little overwhelming. Premiere Pro can play back and work with a wide range of video and audio formats and will often play back mismatched formats smoothly.

However, when Premiere Pro has to adjust video for playback because of mismatched sequence settings, your editing system must work harder to play the video, and this will impact real-time performance. It’s worth taking the time before you start editing to make sure you have sequence settings that closely match your original media files.

The essential factors are always the same: the number of frames per second, the frame size (the number of pixels in the picture), and the audio format. If you were to turn your sequence into a media file without applying a conversion, then the frame rate, audio format, frame size, and so on, would all match the settings you choose here.

When you output to a file, you can choose to convert your sequence to any format you like (for more on exporting, see Lesson 18).

While the standard presets usually fit, you may need to create a custom setting. To do so, first choose a sequence preset that matches your media closely and then make custom selections in the Settings tab. You can save your custom preset by clicking the Save Preset button near the bottom of the Settings tab. Give your customized project settings preset a name in the Save Settings dialog box, add notes if you want, and click OK. The preset will appear in a Custom folder under Sequence Presets.

Image Note

The Preset Description area of the Sequence Presets tab often describes the kind of camera used to capture media in this format.

Customizing a sequence

Once you’ve selected the sequence preset that most closely matches your source video, you may want to adjust the settings to suit the specifics of your sequence.

To begin making adjustments, click the Settings tab and choose options that better suit the way you would like Premiere Pro to play back your video and audio files. Remember, Premiere Pro will automatically adapt footage you add to your Timeline so that it matches your sequence settings, giving you a standard frame rate and frame size, regardless of the original format. This process is called conforming.


You will notice that some settings cannot be changed when you use a preset. This is because they are optimized for the media type you selected on the Preset tab. For complete flexibility, change the Editing Mode menu to Custom, and you will be able to change all the available options.

The Settings tab allows you to customize the individual settings of a preset. If your media matches one of the presets, it’s not necessary to make changes on the Settings tab. In fact, it’s recommended that you use the default settings.

Maximum bit depth and maximum render quality

If you enable the Maximum Bit Depth option, Premiere Pro can render special effects at the maximum quality possible. For many effects, this means 32-bit floating-point color, which allows for trillions of color combinations. This is the best possible quality for your effects but requires more work for your computer, so expect less real-time performance if you enable it.

If you enable the Maximum Render Quality option or if you have GPU acceleration, Premiere Pro uses a more advanced system for scaling images smaller. Without this option, you might see minor artifacts or noise in the picture when making images smaller. Without GPU acceleration, this option will impact playback performance and file export.

Both of these options can be turned off or on at any time, so you can edit without them and then turn them on when you output your finished work. Even with both options on, you can use real-time effects and get good performance from Premiere Pro.

Image Tip

For now, leave the settings as they are, but examine the way the preset is going to configure the new sequence. Look at each setting from top to bottom to build familiarity with the choices required to configure a sequence.

Understanding track types

When you add a video or audio clip to a sequence, you’ll put it on a track. Tracks are horizontal areas in the sequence that hold clips in a particular position in time. If you have more than one video track, any video clips placed on an upper track will appear in front of clips on a lower track. For example, if you have text or a graphic on your second video track and a video clip on your first video track, you’ll see them in front of the video.

The Tracks tab of the New Sequence dialog box allows you to preselect the track types for the new sequence.

All audio tracks are played at the same time, creating a complete audio mix. To create the mix, position your audio clips on different tracks, lined up in time. Narration, sound bites, sound effects, and music can be organized by putting them on different tracks. You can rename tracks, making it easier to find your way around your sequence.


Premiere Pro lets you specify how many video and audio tracks will be added when the sequence is created. You can add and remove audio or video tracks later, but you can’t change your Audio Master setting.

Image Note

After a sequence is created, you can’t change the Audio Master setting. This setting is for choosing mono, stereo, 5.1, or multichannel output. For the purposes of these lessons, choose the Stereo setting.

You can choose from several audio track types. Each track type is designed for specific types of audio. When you choose a particular track type, Premiere Pro gives you the right controls to make adjustments to the sound, based on the number of audio channels. For example, stereo clips need different controls than 5.1 surround-sound clips.

When you add a clip to a sequence that has both video and audio, Premiere Pro makes sure the audio part goes to the right kind of track. You can’t accidentally put an audio clip on the wrong kind of track; Premiere Pro will automatically create the right kind of track if one doesn’t exist.

Audio tracks

Audio tracks are the horizontal areas where you’ll put your audio clips. The types of audio tracks available in Premiere Pro are as follows:

• Standard: These tracks are for both mono and stereo audio clips.


• 5.1: These tracks are for audio clips with 5.1 audio (the kind used for surround sound mixes).

• Adaptive: Adaptive tracks are for both mono and stereo audio and give you precise control over the output routing for each audio channel. For example, you could decide the track audio channel 3 should be output to your mix in channel 5. This workflow is commonly used for multilingual broadcast TV.

• Mono: This track type will accept only mono audio clips.

You’ll explore audio more in Lesson 11, “Editing and Mixing Audio.”


Submixes are an advanced feature of the audio finishing tools in Premiere Pro. You can send the output from a track in your sequence to a submix track, rather than directly to the master output. You can then use the submix to apply audio effects and make changes to the volume. This may not seem useful for a single track, but you can send as many tracks as you like to a single submix. That means you could have, for example, ten audio tracks controlled by a single submix. Put simply, this means far less clicking and much more action.

You choose submixes based on the output options you want.

• Stereo Submix: For submixing to stereo tracks


• 5.1 Submix: For submixing to 5.1 tracks

• Adaptive Submix: For submixing to mono or stereo tracks

• Mono Submix: For submixing to mono tracks

For this sequence, you’ll use the default settings. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the available choices; then do the following:

1. Click in the Sequence Name box and name your sequence First Sequence.

2. Click OK to create the sequence.

3. Choose File > Save. Congratulations! You have made a new project and sequence with Premiere Pro.

If you have not already copied the media and project files to your computer, please do so before continuing to Lesson 3 (you’ll find instructions in the “Getting started” section at the beginning of this book).

Review questions

1. What is the purpose of the Settings tab in the New Sequence dialog box?

2. How should you choose a sequence preset?

3. What is timecode?

4. How do you create a custom sequence preset?

5. What options are available in Premiere Pro to capture video from tape with no additional third-party hardware?

Review answers

1. The Settings tab is used to customize an existing preset or to create a new custom preset.

2. It’s generally best to choose a preset that matches your original footage. Premiere Pro makes this easy by describing the presets in terms of camera systems.

3. Timecode is the universal system for measuring time in hours, minutes, seconds, and frames. The number of frames per second varies depending on the recording format.

4. When you’ve selected the settings you want for your custom preset, click the Save Preset button, give it a name and a description, and click OK.

5. Premiere Pro records DV and HDV files if you have a FireWire connection on your computer. If you have additional connections provided by installed third-party hardware, consult the documentation for that hardware for the best settings.